Beer Review: Kane Head High IPA

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Definitely an old standby for me back when I was still living in Jersey I used to drink this beer on draft pretty regularly (they weren’t canning yet). Happy to finally get this up on the blog, Kane Head High the breweries flagship IPA is up next. Head High and its older brother Overhead were definitely some of the most promising beers coming out of Jersey a few years ago and have proved to be a player in the explosion on the east coast. Head High comes in at 6.6% ABV.

Appearance: Super hazy orange color with a half finger head which dissipates into a nice layer that sits on the top of the beer. Great lacing as you drink this one down, I am a fan of the simplistic can design as well.

Nose: Pine, resin, grapefruit, orange and citrus fruits up front. It smells like hop nuggets when you crack the can open. Pine and floral add a nice layer as well. Classic American IPA aroma.

Taste/Mouth: Grapefruit and orange come through but less pronounced than in the nose. Pine and earthy hop notes with a nice balance of toasty malt flavors. It has some good flavors but feels a little light and empty at times with not a ton of depth. Finishes dry and bitter. It is certainly an easy drinker.

Price/Availability: I believe the cans are brewery release only. I got this in a trade from a friend back home. I used to get this on draft all the time for like $6.

Overall: A good IPA from my home state and as I mentioned earlier a beer I used to drink quite a bit before it got the attention it is getting today (thanks craft can hypebeasts!). My one issue that I always used to have with this beer was its incredible inconsistency. I would have it one night on draft and proclaim that it is the best IPA on the east coast and then one month later have it again and swear I would never drink it again. It is certainly possible they have resolved this issue at this point as this can was pretty good. If your in NJ this is certainly worth grabbing, try Overhead too!

Grade: B

Beer Review: Cigar City’s Hopped on the High Seas Calypso

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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.

Grade: C-