Total Score: 6.15/10
The latest core range beer to grace 4 Pines is a pragmatic drop indeed: In Season IPA. You will find no description of hop varieties because, well, they change each season (bi-annually between Northern and Southern Hemisphere hops). The batch on my can (#4) says on their website that it contains “Northern Hemisphere hops Colombus, Chinook, Idaho #7 and Crystal come together in a tropical palate pleaser, showcasing strong notes of tangerine, mango and peach.” I will, as always, be the judge of that – though I do feel overall that 4 Pines core range has been holding back in flavour terms, I’m willing to give the brewer of so many delicious (and at times odd) Keller Door brews another chance.
Poured from a 375ml can into a nonic pint.
A: Clear golden mandarin-tinged body with a thin white lace ring. Not a big fan of clear IPAs, there’s something not dirty enough about them, oh well, looks aren’t everything people tell me (I’m either ugly or handsome, you speculate). 6/10.
S: Smells like a ripper of an American IPA: grassy/cannabis notes upfront, note of rubbery resin as well (a good sign believe it or not), dry cracker malt base with a hint of pepper. It’s a little bit lacking in diversity, but hey – so are TV ads lately, shouldn’t hold that against 4 Pines now should we? 8/10.
T: Then the flavour bomb drops… and fizzles out. It’s a bit ordinary in the flavour department hey? I was expecting a BIG tasty IPA with a good sweet/bitter balance, instead I get a rather dry and a little bland IPA. Flavour profile is thin grassy hops, dry cracker comes in mid palate and rides out to the end with a touch of grain. Finish adds a bit of a herbal hop bitterness, but it’s pretty mild by comparison to other Aussie IPAs (let alone the US ones). At 6.3% ABV I’m surprised the flavour is so muted – crack open a can of 5.4% Pirate Life Pale Ale and that will easily drown out the flavour of this 4 Pines TBH. 5/10.
M: Mid to light bodied, tad watery, some hop resins floating around “oh hi doggie” (to quote The Room) and a light carbonation. 6/10.
D: Despite the negative adjectives used in my review 4 Pines In Season IPA isn’t all that bad, just a bit entry-level (which is 4 Pines to a tee: so why am I shocked this isn’t better IDK). If I could use another brew to compare this is like a watered-down Sierra Nevada Hop Hunter – that’s still a pretty decent effort, next time brew it at around 7% and you might be on to something 4 Pines. 7/10.
Food match: Not bold enough to warrant Thai, maybe Japanese – this is a crisp IPA.