Friday, May 27, 2016

Bluestone Fox Tail IPA (review)

Beer Review #119 

When it comes to trying out new beers and reviewing them, I'M all about firsts. Today's review of Fox Tail IPA is my first review of a beer from draft as well as my first review of a beer purchased directly from its brewer. I should also add that, aside from my own home brews, today's beer has the closest point of origin of any prior beer I've reviewed- a scant one mile away at Bluestone Brewing Co (18 Pitney Street Sayre Pa, 18840).

A year or two ago I was delighted to hear that a little bit of craft beer culture was finally coming to town. There are thriving craft beer scenes just across the border in the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes of New York State, as well as to our south in Central Pa, but as they say there is no place like home...and buy local!

Well, there is local, and then there is local. Bluestone is local with a capital 'L.' - built and managed by locals, and sourcing many local ingredients. What's not to like?

Last Thursday I stopped into Bluestone Brewing Co for an early dinner with my girlfriend Aly. I had pints of Thunder Chicken Maple Porter and Big Elk Amber Ale. We both had the Maple Porter braised chicken. The pub was bright and clean, the food excellent and prepared quickly, the staff friendly.

The Maple Porter was excellent (dark, smooth, with balanced dark malt bitterness and a touch of sweetness), so this afternoon I was excited to drop by and pick up a 32 ounce growler of Fox Tail IPA for a very reasonable $12 (ten if you bring your growler).

The menu describes Fox Tail IPA as a:

Medium bodied beer with a fruity aroma.  The creamy mouthfeel derives from the crystal malt and finishes with a strong, dry, grapefruit rind hop finish. 

Photo: Bluestone Brewing Co.
More hoppy amber ale than IPA (think Troeg's HopBack Amber Ale), Fox Tail is a cloudy amber beer that offers up a finger or two of just slightly off white foam. Carbonation is medium-low, but the head retention is good. For presentation sake, its nice to have a little bit of foam linger at the top of a pint through out the length of the session to avoid the appearance of a flat beverage.

Given the color of the beer, its no surprise that this one is more malty (sweet) than many other brews bearing the IPA name tag. There are muted notes of dark skinned fruits I was not expecting (plum? raisin?) in the aroma. Hop aroma is subdued, so perhaps the beer has a bit of age on it.

Never fear though, because at around 80IBU's this is most definitely an IPA as far as your taste buds are concerned, and is adequately bitter to satisfy fans of the style. If I may co-opt the brewer's description, grapefruit rind comes to mind - along with just a hint of lemon and some pine. All bitter on the back end.

6.2% ABV

Read My Previous 118 Craft Beer Reviews HERE

Musical Pairing: The Last In Line by Dio

Twin Tiers Beer Trail:
-Twin Tiers Craft Beer Club (Sayre)
I-86 Beer Trail
The Jolly Farmer, Waverly (Waverly)
Bluestone Brewing Company (Sayre)
- Diversion Brewing Co. (Chemung)
The Grille at the Train Station (Sayre)
River Rat Brew Trail (Central Pa)


No comments:

Post a Comment