Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Golden Road Point the Way

Type: IPA, but sessiony (see ABV)
Origin: Los Angeles, CA
Price: $2.15/16oz
ABV: 5.2%...?
NSP: 12.98

I have to admit two things: (1) I'm a sucker for good design aesthetics, and (2) I'm totally completely down for some good canned beer.  I was lulled in by the cool packaging (see 1), and the 16oz size (see 2).  Hey, wait, that's exactly what Andy said in his Burning Bush review.  What an asshole, pre-plagiarizing my shit.  Anyway, while this one's not quite as obviously Moses-y as that one, Moses did indeed point the way towards some stuff, mainly Mount Sinai.  I'm not sure that's apropos of anything, but I thought it randomly noteworthy.

Smells pretty damn good, plenty of orangey citrus without a whole lot of malty sweetness to get in the way.  So it's a good start.  But dammit, 5.2%*?  That's sort of lame.  Maybe I've become a bit too much of a boozehound because of this cursed blog, but it seems to me that if your IPA doesn't get up to at least 6-6.5% you should call it a session (which the website mentions, but the can does not), or maybe at most an extra pale ale, rather than a true-to-form IPA.  

The flavor's pretty good, but the orange that's so prevalent in the nose is unfortunately absent.  But the bitterness level is pretty optimal, so that's good.  The body's surprisingly stout for an IPA in general, much less a 5.2%er, which makes it feel like a heftier brew.  It's nicely balanced, and pretty easy to drink.

Take all of that at face value, and it's a fairly positive review.  But here's my complaint: how often do you want a beer that fools you into thinking there's more alcohol in it?  Shit, that philosophy downright pisses me off, particularly as a NSP-centric Non-Snob SOB.  The beers that are going to win our non-existent awards are things like the masterfully ABV-hiding Horny Devil.  So while I don't mind this at all from a flavor perspective, I can't help but feel like I've somehow been swindled even though the NSP is respectable.

* The website says this is 5.9%, while the can clearly says 5.2%. Did the recipe change or did they mess up the packaging?  5.9% is somewhat less swindly than 5.2%.

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