Happy Sunday Funday ya’ll! It seems like college football season is always too short, but at least my UCF Knights got a full season in compared to many other teams. I’ve been on the fence about “Session IPAs,” which are IPAs designed to have the same flavor profiles as regular IPAs, but a much lower ABV of around 4% to 4.5%. Many that I’ve tried have just tasted like watered down versions of their full strength counterparts. However, I’ve heard a lot of good things about this Jai Low and Cigar City rarely misses, so I figured I’d give it a shot.
Appearance: This pours a more muted orange than its big brother Jai Alai with a lighter head as well. It also seems to be more hazy with a constant effervescence than its full strength counterpart.
Aroma: Just like the appearance, it is a more muted version of Jai Alai. I’m getting light notes of citrus and tropical hops, but it isn’t overwhelmingly strong like some fresh IPAs are. I’m hoping this beer isn’t going to be another watered down flop.
Taste: While this may be light on ABV and calories (120), it is full flavored. There are nice citrusy hop notes with a malty body that finishes with a palate cleansing bitterness. It isn’t too strong and lends itself to sipping with friends while watching sports. Cigar City managed to balance flavor and drinkability and positioned this to battle for beer drinkers that like a full bodied flavor but don’t want to slam 7%+ beers.
Mouthfeel: This is very light, clean, and crisp. It isn’t as light as a macrobrew, but it is definitely lighter than most craft beers you will come across.
Value: This is the one area that I really don’t like about craft “Session” beers, or really craft pilsners and lagers. It was $11 for a 6 pack and that is in line with most other craft beers. However, I’m not sure I can justify that price for tailgates when I can get an 18 rack of Lattes for about $13.
Overall: This was a surprisingly flavorful beer and it is the best of the style I have tried so far. As a beer overall, I’d give it a 6/10. It has good flavor and is very drinkable, but the price point is what is bringing it down. I can get a 6 pack of Jai Alai or really any other awesome IPA for the same price and get better flavor profiles (and a bigger kick). For what it is, however, I definitely like it!
I’ll be on an all out fishing trip next week, so hopefully I can slap the grouper, snapper, reds, and maybe some kingfish. Rumor is there is also a new brewery opening by where we will be in Indian Rocks Beach, so there may be some new brew reviews to boot!
Until next time, tight lines and cheers!