Total Score: 7.2/10
In the words of George Costanza: “I’m back baby!”. After a mini-break following the behemoth that was Stone W00tstout, I’m dragged back to reviewing [not kicking and screaming, I ❤ this stuff] by Modus Operandi’s new limited release: Lost Key XPA. Now where we last left MO was on a high from their Sonic Prayer IPA, however I’m a bit cautious about Lost Key XPA (or eXtra Pale Ale for those scratching their noggins) because of my experience with their last limited release: Session IPA, which was, in a word: coma-inducing [which is actually 2 words joined together – come on grammar Nazis get it together!]. I will have to crack open the can to find out if MO bombed or elated… which is, err, the opposite of bombed I guess.
Poured from a 500ml can into a nonic pint.
A: Pea-soup consistency, amber with a hint of brown and a waifish cream-coloured head that doesn’t linger for long. Loving the opaqueness proved by the yeast, as we all know by now I am a “naturtrüb-man” (i.e. “natural-cloud-man”). 7/10.
S: Pineapple/papaya combo upfront which works great for me [my current preference being tropical-accented APA/IPAs]. Fresh ‘green’ note in there as well, sitting somewhere between herbal and cannabis(y)… it’s certainly got some decent hop notes, though it is lacking on the malt side, this is a good XPA aroma… I’m expecting a “steady as she goes” ahead. 8/10.
T: Less bold than expected but nonetheless pineapple/papaya hop notes followed by grassy/green characters, a touch of grainy malts in the centre towards a light rocket leaf peppery hint in the finish. Aftertaste is mildly bitter and crisp. Not bad at all… also not great, somewhere in the myriad of decent Pale Ales is where Lost Key sits – it’s a huge sea of Pales out there and this is hardly a white whale. 7/10.
M: Body is good, almost medium, with some hop oils and a nice dense carbonation to back it up. 7/10.
D: I go back to that above analogy “somewhere in the myriad of decent Pale Ales is where Lost Key sits” because it is rather apposite of this brew and where it resides in the grand scheme of things called “my fridge”: It’s neither here nor there. In fact I became a bit bored by the time I drained my pint, Pale Ale ennui setting in from all the beers I’ve drunk over these 6yrs on my craft beer journey… perhaps it’s time to hang up my hat and move on to something new? Perhaps I’ll start yachting… call me Ishmael. 7/10.
Food match: There’s a touch of spice in this drop that would slake some Thai fare.