NobleSquirrel (3437) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAY 31, 2009
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Can at Green Eye. Pours a nice looking copper with a foamy head. Nose is a very clean hop character, citric and resiny at the same time with a little crystal malt showing through. Taste is actually quite good, very standard IPA notes, nothing putting it over the top, but it is quite dry and like a smaller cousin of Decadent. Plenty of C-hop character and resins to keep it interesting. Would make a really good session beer. Good.
FlacoAlto (3737) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - MAY 31, 2009
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Bottled February 2009; Sampled June 2009
A soft’ish pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces a three finger thick, light tan colored head that has some staying power to it. The beer is a dark copper, amber color that shows an almost clear, full copper color when held up to the light. The aroma has a herbal and citrus note to it, though it doesn’t jump out of the glass. Notes of Meyer lemon, a touch of lychee as well as some grapefruit zest notes seem to be drowned out at times by a dusty, cracker like malt note. The aroma is not bad, but it certainly isn’t remotely brash like a decent IPA should be.
The beer is fairly dry, but does have some malt body to it that makes it cling to the palate just a bit. Herbal and menthol hop notes define the up front flavors and there is a biting bitterness here as well. The citrus hop notes take a distant backseat, but provide some just noticeable orange flavors. The malt character here is defined by the crystal malt which contributes a touch of toffee, some caramelized grain character and some biscuit like grain notes.
In many ways this seems a bit like a mildly hop focused Amber Ale, it does have a biting bitterness to it, but other than that the hop character is severely lacking.
alagnak (467) - Littleton, Colorado, USA - MAY 28, 2009
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Draft @ Falling Rock. Deep copper color. Taste and smell are mainly pine hoppiness. Good straightforward IPA and an easy drinker - just not a lot in the way of complexity.
TURDFERGUSON (3878) - Carrboro, North Carolina, USA - MAY 21, 2009
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle. Amber with no head. Pretty nice nose- a HUGE improvement over the decadent iipa. Some tropical fruits, some citrus, pine, a light caramel malt backbone. More one-demensional flavor with lots of piney bitterness. Drinkable and slightly oily palate. Solid and the best offering I have had from Ska.
DoctorDog (6) - , Ohio, USA - MAY 21, 2009 does not count
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
12 oz can into a nonic.
Appearance is slightly hazy amber/copper. Pours with 2+ fingers of creamy off white head, which fades slowly to a thin cap; excellent retention. Tons of sticky lacing.
Smells of pine/grapefruit hoppiness. Slight malty notes hide behind the onslaught of hops.
Tastes of grapefruit and pine resin hops, combining for a superbly bitter finish. Fairly solid, sweet caramel malt provides good balance. Alcohol is well blended.
Moderate carbonation with a medium feel. Slightly slick and coating oiliness.
Rock solid. Looks, smells, and taste are all excellent....goes down easy. This is good stuff, and I certainly wish I had another in front of me.
blazingspiral (170) - Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA - MAY 20, 2009
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: JUN 17, 2009 update/re-rate:
Having tried this brew a few more times, I came back to increase the score a little. Most of what I said previously is still accurate, however I might have been too harsh. This brew fills a niche in the IPA world by providing a unique example of the style, focusing mostly on the grassy, herbal qualities of some hops. It can be perfect if that’s what you’re in the mood for. Try it.
Sampled both can and bottle versions -- this rating is for the canned one.
Pours clear copper with a big off-white head. The bubbles are rather large. As the head recedes, clumps of bubbles stick to the glass in random and artless forms. Aroma of rustic farm bread, combined with various woodsy, leafy, and herbal hops characteristics. Small hints of citrus. The flavor of this brew is very green. There is pronounced hoppy bitterness, long-lasting astringency, and a lingering aftertaste that has a back-of-the-tongue saliva inducing effect. Basically what you would expect from 70 IBUs. Malt flavors are pretty far in the background and play a neutral, supportive role for the hops. Unfortunately, in today’s world of many IPA choices, this product lacks the refined and dignified hop flavors needed to achieve a top spot in its style category. The taste is rough around the edges, almost prickly, and definitely immature. Finally, for the palate: just a little too thin and watery for my tastes. However, this is a decent brew, one of Ska’s best, and I give it a couple extra points for being available in cans.
swoopjones (5248) - Buffalo, New York, USA - MAY 20, 2009
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Can from the Maproom, Chicago. Very good IPA IMO. Amber orange pour. Piney hop aromas. Taste is spot on balance between piney hops & malts. A good beer that i wish they had in stock at Binny’s when I was there
beastiefan2k (2259) - 2nd City (formely NYC & KS), Illinois, USA - MAY 18, 2009
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Can from mj. Pour is beautiful, the body is a lightly hazy orange copper, glowing color. A thick, rich, foamy head, just dying to expand sits on top. As it fades it leaves a thick trail of lacing on the sides of the glass. An aroma of mainly piny hops and just a touch of sweet candied hops. Taste is much less piny and has more sweet hops with a long sweet hops aftertaste. A nice medium bitterness throughout the beer. Slightly dry after the sweetness passes. IPA, fresh, clean, and hoppy, it don’t take a rocket scientist. I like the cans, before this nothing from SKA has impressed me..
12oz can, Bells tulip glass.
bigbeersrule (111) - USA - MAY 16, 2009
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
Easily the best canned beer I have ever had. A really good west coast IPA. Aroma of grassy and citrus hops. Color is a nice golden color with a good white head. Flavor was rich and had huge hop flavor. Great job at balance. If you can find this beer buy it. Fantastic. My new personal favorite.
Magjayran (1379) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - MAY 13, 2009
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottled. Copper/amber color. Medium density to the head. Aroma is pine. Flavor is pine. There’s some citrus but not much. A little herbal at the end. Eh.