Monday, April 30, 2012

512. Sixpoint Bengali Tiger IPA

Sixpoint cans are now available in Dayton. It’s like a little slice of heaven for those of us in the hinterlands. Yes, I speak pejoratively about Dayton. And no, I don’t feel bad about it—if Dayton can’t take some legitimate criticism, then shit is worse than I imagined. Because let’s be honest: Sixpoint brings it. Between Bengali Tiger and Sweet Action, Sixpoint is all up front. There ain’t no lay-away, there ain’t no “can I pay you next Tuesday,” there ain’t no phone soliciting for a free cruise. And there certainly ain’t no half-steppin’. No image or aura to boast about but not follow through on. Straight proper product. For your smooth sippin’ pleasure. It’s like the Wu Tang Clan in cold liquid form. Sixpoint even slips in the smooth literary reference on the can: “What immortal hand or eye / Could frame thy fearful symmetry?” Sure, William Blake is a bit of a ponce, but damn, poetry on cans? That’s something I can get behind. What with the “Beer is Culture” reference on the can, me thinks Sixpoint is taking the high road in the low brow beer culture wars. And for that, I raise my glass to Sixpoint. Sure, we’ve drank Sixpoint before, but not in town and not on any damn night we felt like. And let me tell you, it feels good. Our previous scions of illustrious worth include Righteous Rye, Sweet Action (which could possibly be the best beer name ever), and Signal. And now a little of the Bengali Tiger. Colonial English references never tasted so good.

Bengali Tiger IPA pours a hazy orange copper with a lustrous white head that holds on like the foam of whisked egg whites. The nose is a mix of hops and malt: on the hop side there is citrus and resin, with orange jam and marmalade aroma coming out the strongest, while on the malt side, there is both graininess and huskiness doused with a touch of caramel. There is a touch of hop grassiness that sneaks in on the side, but nothing distracting. Flavors start with orange hop bitterness and husky bread dough—the hop flavor reinforces the jammy orange resin of the nose as well as the dry grainy bread malt character. There is some evergreen hop flavors that dances along the edges that eases the transition into the bitterness of the middle, which bites clean with a touch of hop spiciness as it continues on into the finish. I get a touch of biscuit in the final bit of flavor before the beer gives way to the lingering pine and resin bitterness. The body is medium with a slightly sharp carbonation; the mouthfeel is doughy but bright, and it lightens on the palate via both the carbonation and the hop bitterness. I’m left with a slight evergreen bitterness and freshness in my mouth after the beer is gone. Which, whether my description conveys it or not, is delightful. Because let’s be honest—this is precisely the taste everyone wishes was left in their mouth after they used mouthwash, not that medicinal mint and burning that is supposed to signify “fresh breath.” Which is only another way of saying that if I could start my day with Bengali Tiger IPA, I would. Damn, I love you Sixpoint.

From the Sixpoint website: “The Sixpoint homebrewed IPA interpretation. Blaze orange in color, with an abundance of citrus hop bitterness, and a full pine and grapefruit bouquet in the aroma.”

ABV: 6.4%
IBU: 62


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