Total Score: 6.65/10
‘Session IPA’ my latest pet hate – along with any ‘Session [etc…]’ – at least since every single one I’ve tried has been a watered down waste of hops. A Mornington rep heard my lament when I noticed their new Hop Culture and advised me that this time someone had done it: Made a Session IPA that actually has a decent amount of flavour knocking about… I remain sceptical, however something’s got to perhaps/maybe/possibly/conceivably and almost-inevitably give right? Well I’m about to find out and in the immortal words of Han Solo (before the walls of the trash compactor started to close in, Star Wars Episode IV): “I’ve got a bad feeling about this”.
Poured from a 330ml (at least give us a full sized can if you’re going to Session Ale me) can into a nonic pint.
A: Hazed light amber/golden body with a wispy half centimetre white head that sticks around, pretty standard really [in my best Dr. Evil voice]. 7/10.
S: Pineapple chunks, papaya and mangoes in syrup round out this hearty tropical punch hop aroma. Vagueness is the order of the day for the malt base: Not really much of an issue with an American IPA, so no points lost there. Pretty top-notch tropical notes on this one actually. 8/10.
T: To quote that wily bard Shakespeare [with a slight variation from Doc]: “To drink perchance to enjoy balance between sweet and bitter: Ay, there’s the rub. For in that drink of Hop Culture what sweetness may come.” The answer is: Not enough. For this is a Session IPA that contains whispers of the above pineapple chunks, papaya and mangoes in syrup, not much else in between, and finishes with a bitterness that seems more noticeable than it really is because there is not enough sweetness to balance it out. 6/10.
M: Mouthfeel, perplexingly, is medium bodied with a hop oiliness that you would find in a normal IPA and a light but dense carbonation, so: Great work here. 8/10.
D: Overall another disappointing Session [etc…], however not as bad as Modus’s Session IPA. Apart from being almost devoid of sweetness (and therefore juicy hop flavour) this is a brew that ticks all the other boxes… too bad the one that counts the most is the “T” otherwise this would have been a cracker of a brew. My summer IPA will continue to be Pirate Life IPA then… will another Aussie brewer step up and produce an IPA as good as that? It’s not looking likely ATM. 6/10.
Food match: A bare bodkin and Fardels bear: Roasted [Hamlet joke].