|Highest Rated||Hopsynth (87 / 100)
||Average score||80 / 100 (Excellent)|
|Lowest Rated||Hopsynth (71 / 100)
83 / 100
750ml brown caged and corked bottle purchased from Jane's Beer Store in Mountain View, CA. Shared with Sam & Andrew back in Sydney.
Pours a deep golden colour, with just a hint of a suggestion of pink to it, and an offwhite head that foams up a lot, and settles out to a solid cm of cap. Carbonation is beautifully powdery, flowing in long streams when the glass moves. Long broad streaks of lace. Looks pretty good.
Nose is tart and bright, with a fairly strong stonefruit note that almost gives off almond kernel brightness. There's a vanilla character as well which is smooth, and adds some depth. As it warms, the fruit becomes a bit stronger, but it also develops mild characters of green peppercorns and a little leafy greens. It's very nice.
Taste is strong, with a genuinely prominent tartness. It does feel like it's unbalanced though, because the vanilla smoothes it out, and there's still plenty of fruit giving pithy skin notes. Light, soft finish, with fine carbonation and a dry, champagne character towards the back of the palate.
It's a really nicely done beer—it's very much the kind of dry complexity you get in a good sparkling wine, and the fruit notes are really well integrated. It's very nicely done all up.
71 / 100
Pours a golden, slightly orangey yellow colour. Head is off-white, foamy with large bubbles on the side. Thin, unsticky lacing. Looks alright but pretty unimpressive.
Smells tart. Melony, with a touch of citrus too; rindy and slightly bitter as well as quite tart and sharp, even. Intriguing sweetness behind it though; still fruity and fresh but just a nice cakey malt character backing up and even accentuating those sharp acidic notes. Interesting.
Taste is also quite melony, from start to finish really. Nice swell of tart acidity towards the mid with the fruit character prevailing in the end and providing a good fresh finish with a touch of candy sweetness and just a fresh zest to complement the acid which could otherwise be a bit overwhelming. Tropical at times, tart puckering citrus at times and otherwise a good rich melon sweetness. Quite pleasant.
Bit of substance to it; puckering takes over a bit on the back and quite dry to finish. Not bad but could be better/smoother even within the style.
Drinks like a tart cleanser; good sharp acidity but maybe a touch too dry on the back because it's nicely balanced for the most part otherwise.
87 / 100
500ml brown bottle purchased from K&L Wine Merchants in Redwood City, CA. Shared with Sam & Loz during a brewday.
Pours a bright golden colour, with a loose-bubbled head of pure white that also has some eggy fineness around the edge of the glass. Body is light and liquid, although the carbonation is very languid. Looks good.
Nose is very pleasant. It has a sharp greenness to the hops, almost the punch of Nelson Sauvin, or perhaps it's just an analogue of that due to having the acidic, vinous quality of the beer behind it. I get kiwifruit, honeydew melon, lime and starfruit. It's really genuinely pretty lovely.
Taste is also very good. Here there's an acid, but it's constantly linked to the fruit characters, which gives it grape-like qualities with undertones of unripe blueberries, champagne and babaco. Finish is slightly pithy, with a dryness from an eventually effervescent carbonation. That's really very fine indeed.
Feel is sparkling, and tingling towards the back with the cumulation of acid and carbonation. Lovely.
That's a genuinely cracking beer, folks. The acid is really nicely done, and the combination with the fruity hops is inspired. It takes some skill to pull that off so well. And this hits that sweet, balanced spot that makes everything harmonise.