I never really find anything good in the grocery store. Sure, there are a few staples that are always there, always quality. But I’m usually not on the lookout for quality never-before-tried craftbeer at the Harris-Teeter here in New Bern. But I usually don’t miss anything, either. The fact that it was an IPA caught my eye, and the fact that it was from Oregon put it in my cart. I mention Oregon because I usually trust craft beer from a few regions without doubt — Oregon, Colorado, California to name a few. This one didn’t disappoint. I was as delighted by the flavor as I was surprised to find it in a grocery store 2,988 miles away from the brewery.
Appearance (15%) – It pours a light yellow with a mild head and moderate cloudiness. (82% of 15 = 12.3)
Aroma (20%) – It comes at you first with an herbal aroma that’s heavy on black tea but even offers a slight oregano scent. There isn’t the hop blast I usually look for, but after already knowing we’re not on the typical IPA ride, the aroma is pretty much what’s expected — no more, no less. (80% of 20 = 16)
Flavor (50%) – I was worried that the tea and spice would overpower the beer flavor, the hops. It didn’t. They were quite delicate and really added to the flavor. It also has a very “west coast” flavor, with no over-maltiness to get in the way. The tea and spice additions were delicate and really enhanced the hoppy experience. (88% of 50 = 44)
Bite (10%) – This one comes with the level of carbonation that I usually look for in an IPA, and is light on the tongue. The 7% ABV isn’t too strong, but still provides a warming sensation that would honestly go pretty good in the cold weather. (80% of 10 = 8 )
Bumper (5%) – It’s highly drinkable, but I probably wouldn’t recommend going past the third one in a single sitting. This beer would go phenomenally well in the fall or winter when everyone else is drinking those pumpkin spice ales and you’re still looking for something with a little hop and a lack of maltiness. (80% of 5 = 4)
Final Verdict (84.3) – B (83-86, The one that stands out in the “What’s on tap” section of the menu)
To see The Man F.A.Q. Beer Review Guide, click here.