Little Looks are the reviews of brews that may be new to me or to the market, a local beer I want to shout about, or simply a classic revisited.
Most people will recognise the branding of Brooklyn based brewery, Sixpoint, the company has been operating since 2004 and has become known for its bold double IPA, Resin, but also for the rest of its core range; Bengali, The Crisp and Sweet Action which have been sitting in ‘spoons fridges for a few years now, reliably being a ‘go to’ when nothing else holds attention but Sixpoint have recently teamed up with distribution company, Heathwick, to bring three new beers into the UK market and I was lucky enough to try them.
I’ve often felt that, well since the rebirth of beers in cans, there was more gravitas to pouring a ‘big’ beer from a bottle rather than a tin. Maybe the feel of the weighty glass, the ceremony of popping the cap vs the flimsy feel of a can and the engrained association of the snap and hiss being the soundtrack to a session on the lager. Pouring this ‘big’ beer from its metal package the aromas of Bourbon, oak, vanilla and caramel hit instantly and honestly, those aromas are enticing. The taste is a smooth and sweet caramel with vanilla, Bourbon and a dry finish with a little pepper from the rye but it’s more mellow than I had expected, in fact the whole character of his beer is mellow, smooth and not harsh at all in a way that some Bourbon barrel aged beers can be. However, it is perhaps a little too sticky and sweet, becoming a little too heavy for my palate as it warms. Warming is inevitable by the way, this thing is a slow affair at ten and a half percent. This is a seasonal release available in the warmer months but I’d be inclined to reserve this for the autumn winter catalogue, or rather, if you see it and are intrigued enough perhaps stash it away for when we’re back to coat and scarf weather.
Back to the summer vibes with Alpenflo, the new Sixpoint Helles lager which gives out a touch of honey and a little hint of citrus over a pretty standard yet inviting aroma. It pours perfectly bright, the carbonation frothing up ready for you to dive in for instant refreshment. And that’s exactly what you get. It’s a very good example of a Helles lager and does exactly what a good lager should do; provide crisp, clean refreshment. It’s a display of balanced bready malts, a good level of carbonation and body with a mildly dry finish which urges you to take another sip and another sip and another sip….and then the beer is gone. Personally, I wanted to reach for another straight away. This is the only one of the three to be available all year round, and I’d hope to see this make it into multi-pack format.
Jammer is the Sixpoint Gose which is all about the coriander and salt. There is a light herbal and saline hit to the aroma whilst it pours golden and retaining a white head; the carbonation is good. Coriander comes through more as the beer warms; both in the aroma and over the palate. Salt and a tart sherbet vibe fizz on the palate first, a delicate but very-much-there coriander scoots in to then be joined by more salt. It’s a drying salinity, like being on the beach, which is ideal in hot weather. It’s not too tart either because the brewers have deliberately dialled down the sourness, perhaps to market this as an entry level gose, or just to encourage session drinking (this is 4%), but my tastes could take more tartness and more coriander too. However, both elements work well with the salt, the balance actually seems right and as far as gose goes this is a pretty good version. A twist of lime would be nice, but i’m inclined to think that that’s where the Citrus Jammer comes in to play.
Many thanks to Heathwick for sending me these beers. Whilst these beers were free to me, I do not believe that to have affected my opinions of them.