Blind Review 0006: An Impressive ‘Small Batch’ Beer

Time for another blind review, in which I have no idea what the beer is. It’s disguised by a paper bag, is poured for me into a glass, and I review it as I would a normal brew, just without knowing anything about it. I then try to guess the style and present my rating, where all is revealed.

And here comes the latest mystery beer…

The pour made an average size head, which was fluffy and long lasting. The color of the beer was orange with some golden highlights, when held to the light. The body was ever slightly clouded with light sediment. The lacing left behind was of excellent quality and amount. This is a great looking beer.

On the aromatics, I immediately noticed a heavy hop presence. Most of the hop aroma was citrus-centric; there was heavy lemon and grapefruit, as well as some sweet orange. There were malt undertones in the form of caramel and a general graininess. As the beer warmed, it took on a cat urine type aroma; we can have a debate about whether this is off-putting or not, but it’s a typical aroma found in some heavily hopped beers… For this aroma, I tend not to take points away, but I do recognize it may be offensive to some.

To the palate, the grapefruit and orange dominates with some tropical fruits sneaking in. The beer is sweet at first, then transitions into a mildly bitter finish. There’s remarkable balance here, and this drink is very crisp and refreshing. The flavors are bold and fresh.

I thought this to be a really nice beer, extremely easy drinking, and oh-so refreshing. A winner to my palate.

My style guess: As I drank this, I could feel the alcohol, although it was completely hidden in the flavor. I’m going to guess this is a Double IPA.

So what beer is this?

Breckenridge 471 Small Batch IPA, a Double IPA, 93 points. Price: $2.99 US for one twelve ounce bottle.

Final thought: Finally, a blind review where I guess the style correctly! This is a good beer, and a nice value, too. In my research after the review, I see this one comes in four packs, and is sourced from brewmasters riffing around with different ingredients. Apparently Breckenridge will pick the more exceptional experiments and bottle them. This is the first beer I’ve had by Breckenridge that I can recall, and I look forward to doing some regular reviews from them in the future.


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