I don’t know how Washingtonites do it. All of the rain they get, and they still manage to get up every morning and stay awake behind the wheel. No wonder why Starbucks took off. New Englanders have it a little better – not as much rain, but we really only have three seasons: summer, fall, winter part A, and winter part B. To get over those winter time blues and to remind us of muggy 80 degree weather, Sean Lawson crafted an uplifting IPA aptly called Sip of Sunshine. From the cow, ski resort, and craft beer laden state of Vermont, it should should making me hum My Girl at first sip. Let’s run them numbers…
Smell: When I was pouring, I got a big plume of peach snaking its way into my nostrils. Very citrusy and tropical smelling brew. Mangoes, mandarin, pineapple, and plum all can be detected at some point from the head of the brew. This certainly fits the description on the can: “This lupulin-laden India Pale Ale is packed with juicy tropical fruit character…” Complementing those fruits, you also get a subtle citrus hop aroma.
Taste: I was thinking this was a good IPA at first sip. And that was really about it. Those massive tropical notes I got from the smell were not as pronounced in the mouth. The biggest citrus taste I get from this beer is bitter grapefruit and it stays there from start to finish. No hints of mango, pineapple, passion fruit – nothing. It’s a hop forward, grapefruit punching IPA. The grains in Sip of Sunshine are really nowhere to be found, which I typically don’t mind, however, with a beer as bitter as this, it would help to balance things out. No sweetness comes from the grain, and no sugary notes come from other tropical fruits. For as sought after as this beer is and for what it delivered, I don’t picture myself spending the effort driving package store to package store trying to hunt it down.
The mouthfeel is fairly light on this brew, the ABV is 8%, carbonation is a bit on the bloated side, and I don’t know how this has a 100 on Beer Advocate.
Overall: This beer should be called Sip of Partly Cloudy Skies. It’s a good IPA, but it really underwhelmed me. I’d give it a solid B due to its lack of complexity and drinkibility. It smells great, but performs like LeBron in the clutch. I’ll take my cup of Starbucks now.