Another hoppy lager from the good people over at Jack’s Abby for my next review. This one is their Extra Pale Lager, Hopstitution which was created by the brewery to help showcase small quantities of specialty hops they are able to acquire. This beer is brewed all year round when they can get their hands on some specialty hops, so the hops used are never exactly the same from batch to batch. Each bottle lists the specific hops used in the batch. Hopstitution comes in at 5.5% ABV and the IBU varies from batch to batch.
Appearance: Poured from a .5 liter bottle into a long tulip glass. Nice golden yellow color with some haze to it as all Jack beers are unfiltered. Big thick 3 finger creamy, billowy head. After dissipating a little the head looked like a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream on top of the beer. The color of this beer is really very nice and the lacing is incredible.
Nose: Real nice pine, resin and tropical fruits coming up front on this one. The nose on this one is really very like an IPA. Although the bottle is missing the hops used I found out from the site this version was hopped with Citra and Calypso. Explains why the nose blew me away.
Taste/Mouth: Very crisp and refreshing as all of the Jack beers I have had thus far, It has a nice bite of earthy and piney hop bitterness. It finishes really dry but is refreshing at the same time makes you want to keep drinking it. Some biscuity malt backs up the hop bitterness nicely. It has a very nice full mouthfeel to it.
Price/Availability: Each version is only brewed once so this is a one and done. As usual the price from Jack is good, the bottle was around $5.
Overall: Another beer from Jack’s Abby I would definitely seek out again. Great idea as well to change up the hops in each version of this beer as different ones become available. Reminds me a lot of an updated 2014 version of the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.
Hopped on the High Seas from Cigar City is a year round release they call their Carribean Style IPA. Each batch is dry hopped with a different hop variety, for this review I have the batch dry hopped with Calypso. In the past I have enjoyed the batches with Simcoe and Kohatu, sorry no reviews on those. They brew the IPA at the Cervezas del Sur Brewery in Ponce, Puerto Rico and they dry hop it before it gets shipped back to Tampa for canning, hence the name. Hopped on the High Seas is 7% ABV and comes in at 70 IBUs.
Appearance: Dark copper, similar color to Jai Alai but a little lighter and translucent. Once again it has a nice head turning into some sticky lacing down the entire glass. Love the can as well.
Nose: Not super hop forward at all, definitely not what I remember from the other batches of this I have had. Some citrus but more of a really sweet sugary smell with some maltiness as well. Not what I was expecting from the nose at all.
Taste/Mouth: Get some tropical fruits, mostly pineapple before a real sharp bitterness crushes your palate. Lot of sweet maltiness in the taste as well. It finishes really dry, piney and resinous. From the nose I was not expecting such a hop bomb of bitterness from the taste.
Availability/Price: New batch, new hop so I think this is the last we will be seeing of this particular variety of this beer. The Hopped on the High Seas series is pretty readily available in states that get Cigar City distribution and at a similar price to Jai Alai it isn’t bad.
Overall: This beer was a huge letdown, especially after I have enjoyed the Simcoe and Kohatu batches of it. It was pretty hard for me to drink the two cans of it I had. Freshness wasn’t an issue as the can was less than a month old when I drank it. I think it must have just been this hop variety wasn’t working with it. I will continue to try this series when I see it but will definitely avoid anymore of this particular batch.