Jack’s Abby Kiwi Rising

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I think everybody wants to travel to Australia and New Zealand at least once in their life.  Beautiful weather, beautiful beaches, wonderful people… what more can you ask for in a vacation?  How about some souvineer hops?  Jack’s Abby, from the commonwealth of Massachusetts, did its best to concoct an elixir emulating the flavors of New Zealand in their semi-limited release brew, Kiwi Rising.  Featuring all New Zealand hops, this lager should spout sunshine after I pry the cap.  Let’s get our tan on…

IMG_1281Appearance:  Gold in color with a nearly white head.  It’s a little murky diving in there, but looks like a perfectly colored, southern hemisphered IPA.

Smell:  Explosion of juicy fruits: peaches, oranges, grapefruit, and mango.  Very citrusy.  I also get some lemon-lime soda in there too and some candy sweetness.

Taste:  This double IPL is very vibrant.  At first taste, you get a lot of fruity sweetness, but it’s immediately followed by a sharp hop dagger to the sides of your tongue.  The finish, however, transitions back to sweet sugars left on your palate.  A very interesting and intriguing beer indeed.  You know the New Zealand hops are there because of the bitterness, but I can’t specifically identify the exact flavor characteristics they give off.  They’re a tad rubbery, a little tropical, and bitter.  I’m thinking that because this beer is lagered, it closes with a crisper, more mild-mannereIMG_1286d finish.  That aspect makes this one of the most drinkable hop forward beers I’ve ever had, however I do miss the grand finale ending most assertive IPAs bring.

I’m also surprised at how drinkable this beer is considering its hefty ABV at 8.5% – I can’t detect it at all.  The carbonation is fine, maybe a touch undercarbed and the mouthfeel is thin for an imperial.

Overall:  I enjoyed Kiwi Rising a lot, but I think I’d enjoy it more on an 80 degree day hanging out with friends.  It definitely seems like a summertime brew and you’d be able to have a few of these in a sitting.  The price point on this beer is also fabulous at just about 5 dollars per 500 mL bottle.  All things considered, Kiwi Rising gets an A-.  Would like to see a little more bite from a double, but hey, it’s not too often that you can bring an 8.5% hopped up brew to the beach.

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