On the west side of Brooklyn situated amongst the marine terminals exists Sixpoint Brewery, and since 2004 it has been formulating abstract iterations of various beer styles. Explain that a bit more you say? Sure thing.
To better understand Sixpoint’s approach to their product line, imagine if the characters of The Big Bang Theory round-tabled their individual theories on what beer should taste like and how it should be made. Well after the beer-geek dust settles, the outcome is a brew not predetermined and defined by the boundaries of a particular style but is guided only by specific traits that might suggest a possible category.
Kind of a “build it, and they will come” approach. It’s the Montessori school of craft beer.
Case in point is Sixpoint’s HI-RES triple IPA. In a blind taste test, I wouldn’t be surprised if many people would read this beer as any variant of the beloved IPA. There are major characteristics in the flavor profile that move the consumer in all directions. Generally speaking though, this recipe is very hop aggressive and a step above average in the alcohol by volume department. Sixpoint’s own story behind the beer goes like this:
…Once out eyes were opened to the potential of the hop cone, we couldn’t be stopped. With laser focus, we magnified the hop factor, and pushed the boundaries of flavor, aroma, and perception itself to create HI-RES. It’s Mad Science.
Delving into HI-RES’ development a bit more, the Sixpoint “Mad Scientists” describe (sort of) how they examined hop resin on a cellular level and traced the veritable IPA God particle. I read everything available on the Sixpoint website related to HI-RES, as well as some other media found on the Interwebz, and in the end it just seemed like a lot of publicizing that didn’t actually say anything definitive. Refer to the above narrative as an example. Marketing aside HI-RES is by and large a decent beer, however it just doesn’t quite “push the boundaries of perception”.
Poured from the energy drink formatted can, the result is a very nice reddish orange and lively beer, topped by a sizeable off-white head. Visually, HI-RES is a striking example of a robust IPA. Aromatically though, the largeness of the beer diminishes. The major olfactory players for this beer are the standard citrus and sweet grains found in many of today’s readily available (and more affordable) IPAs. The only outlier was a subtle hint of apple. The mouthfeel is on par with normal expectations from a high IBU brew: a full body of hop resin moderately counteracted by malt and cutting carbonation. The flavors afforded by the Mad Scientists at Sixpoint are predominately pine & sap base and a bitter citrus surround. The entirety of the tongue experiences this recipe, just not equally so. The overall profile of HI-RES is assuredly hop heavy, but just isn’t balanced reasonably enough by opposite forces and isn’t as drinkable as many other comparable brews. The beer’s finish is dry and leaves me with a lasting tribute to forceful hops and harsh grassiness.
Beer for this review was sent to Tenemu by Sixpoint.