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…
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-mannered 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.