On the Shelf – Sixpoint Brewery Righteous Ale

By The Gentleman

 

It has been a rather long engagement but my first experience of Sixpoint Brewery is at an end. The last beer is the Righteous Ale, an unusual brew using rye malt, which Sixpoint says will “provide a signature and distinct earthy character”. I say it is unusual because I can’t quite remember having another beer made specifically with rye malt so as far I know this is a first for me, which I am definitely okay with. The Righteous Ale is another of Sixpoint’s core beers and is available all year-round for your drinking pleasure.

Righteous Ale

By now you know all about my love of Sixpoint Brewery’s design aesthetic for their impressive beer cans. I’m not going to repeat myself too much because that would just be boring and dull. What I will say is I really appreciate the way the colouring on the Righteous Ale can subtly reflects the colour of the beer in the glass. When you pour out the Righteous Ale it has quite a dark brown colour but when the light hits it the beer has this deep red tinge to it which is very similar to the deep red of the can. Little touches like that just make me all giddy inside. I do have to say I like the way the design emphasises the word Righteous. All Sixpoint’s core beers, bar The Crisp, are ales so it really isn’t necessary to emphasise that it is an ale in the name. Instead Righteous really stands out, even more so with Ale in smaller font next to it. The beer features another of Sixpoint’s logos, this time it is  a strong fist. It definitely fits with the Righteous label, helping to invoke a sense of righteous fury, which I’m not quite sure that’s what they were going for with their talk of monks but that’s all I can think of when I look at it. I still think the Bengali Tiger has the best logo, but the Righteous Ale is probably my second favourite.

Righteous Ale

As I said earlier when you pour out the Righteous ale it has quite a prominent brown colour with a slight tinge of deep red when the light catches it. I didn’t get much head when I poured it, although that could be down to my pouring skills and lack of appropriate beer glasses (too little money, too many things to buy). The beer had quite a strong smell, I thought I got hints of dark chocolate  as well as the usual strong whiff of malt and hops. The Righteous Ale is another relatively strong beer with a 6.3% ABV  and the taste is quite bitter due to its 57 IBU but nowhere near as bitter as the Global Warmer. Now that was a bitter beer. The beer has a pleasant bitterness that isn’t too overpowering. For me the dominant flavour was a deep caramel and then a mix of citrus, I can’t quite put my finger on what, and some definite spiciness which I assume is coming from the rye. Drinking the beer you get a real strong mouth coating of bitter hops and you were left a definite bitter, but very pleasant aftertaste that stayed with you for sometime after you’d finished.

Righteous AleRighteous Ale

Coming to the end I think it is hard to say which Sixpoint beer was my favourite. Despite all being ales Sixpoint have crafted some very different flavours from the very citrusy Bengali Tiger to the super bitter Global Warmer and the spicy rye of the Righteous Ale. I think any beer drinker would be able to pick up what Sixpoint is putting down. If it came down to it I’d probably give the Begali Tiger the edge just because I liked the overall design of the can the most and the citrusy flavours were so intense and refreshing but the Righteous Ale definitely offers something a little bit different with its rye spiciness.

Sixpoint Brewery Ales

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Now Serving – Bengali Strepsil

By The Gentleman

 

So the other day I was watching an episode of Jamie and Jimmy’s Food Fight Club and they kept going on about how beer cocktails are the big thing in drinking at the moment. It was also an episode where Jamie and Jimmy said huckle-my-buff so many times it became a form of torture and I wanted to huckle Jamie’s buff to make him stop, but it did get me thinking that I hadn’t had a beer cocktail yet.

 

I skipped through my books to see if I could find any interesting beer cocktail recipes, but nothing took my fancy. There were either a version of ‘shot and a brew’ or something akin to a shandy. Not that there’s anything wrong with those combinations, I’ll probably try them later, but I was feeling a little more adventurous. I eventually searched online and adapted the Weissen Sour from here. It was an interesting drink that grew on you over time.

 

Bengali Strepsil

1 1/2 oz Maker’s Mark bourbon

3/4 oz lemon juice

1 tsp lime marmalade

2 dashes Bitter Tears Lucille Blood Orange bitters

2 oz Sixpoint Brewery Bengali Tiger IPA

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Combine ingredients in shaker over ice. Gently shake together. Pour over fresh ice in glass. Top with remaining Bengali Tiger and an extra squeeze of lemon juice.

 

Now you are probably wondering why I called it the Bengali Strepsil. Well, the drink had a very intense bitter and hoppy flavour at first from the beer (you can see my views on the Bengali Tiger IPA here). As the flavour progressed you picked up on the lemon juice, the citrus from the beer and the ginger from the bitters. What you were left with was a flavour and sensation reminiscent of sucking on a strepsil throat reliever, but in a good way. The Lady commented that they reminded her of these particular Danish strepsils that were ginger flavoured. In the same way that a Strepsil works, your mouth felt very cleansed afterwards with a very pleasant aftertaste and a hint of numbness. The drink also had a very pretty light orange colour to it, I assume from the beer that I used which had more of a hazy orange colour. Pleasing to look at and, eventually, pleasing to sip.

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The recipe itself could use a little work. It probably wasn’t quite as balanced as it should be but it didn’t taste like rocket fuel and that’s always a plus in my book. I didn’t think the marmalade added anything, mainly because the ice kept it solid. Maybe warming it up could help. Adding in the extra beer and squeeze of lemon was a personal flavour thing as it was pretty damn intense without them. If you’re a bourbon drinker you may not want to add the extra beer and lemon in. The IPA was also quite a heavy, strongly flavoured beer on its own so I’d like to come back to it and try out a few different types of beer to see how the flavour changes and a few different bitters too. I would also like to try it without adding the beer to the shaker. That way you could get the bourbon, juice and bitters more incorporated and then top it with the beer.

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Overall, drinking the Bengali Strepsil was somewhat reminiscent of Dylan Moran’s stand-up where he talks about drinking wine. You start of thinking ‘God that’s strong!’ but then overtime the flavour grows on you, becoming more pleasant and familiar and easier to drink. Who knows, I may even whip one up next time I’ve got a sore throat to see if it does the job. It’s certainly a more attractive proposition to drink an alcoholic strepsil than to suck on one.

 

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On The Shelf- Sixpoint Brewery Bengali Tiger IPA

By The Gentleman

 

Half the fun or should I say struggle of On The Shelf is in not only finding cool brands to feature on The Cocktail Challenge but finding cool brands that we can actually get our hands on. So many times we’ve come across something kind of special only to discover that it isn’t available in Australia or is unable to be shipped here. Luckily Brooklyn’s Sixpoint Brewery is not one of those brands and I was able to order a selection of the brewer’s fine ales.

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The Bengali Tiger IPA is one of Sixpoint’s core brews. It comes in a can, but not a dainty Coke sized can but a big 473 ml pint can. Holding the Bengali Tiger reminded me of being in France and going down to the corner store to buy street beers with my brother. Every beer there came in the same style can and for a Euro or two you got a whole lot of beer. In Australia, despite being a mighty beer swilling nation, the pint can has never really taken off for some reason, which is a shame.

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Looking across the Sixpoint line there is a degree of uniformity I like. The design of each can is essentially the same, except each beer has it’s own colour scheme and logo. It’s a very clean and effective design style. On each can the name of the beer and the brewer name are bold and really stand out so you can see easily on the shelf what it is you’re looking at and who it is by. The Bengali Tiger, as expected, utilises bright orange on its can and has a little tiger logo that is all symmetry and simplicity. It is a design that really works and shows how important organisation is in design and how effective repetition can be.

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Opening up the Bengali Tiger you get a strong hit of citrus. Pouring it out, the beer is quite a hazy orange colour that generated only a bit of head. It had quite a hoppy bitterness to it and it felt very thick in the mouth, I guess from the relatively high alcohol volume of 6.4% and the high level of hops and malt. In the after taste I definitely got some of the pine and general citrusy feel with a bit of an almost numbing sensation in the aftertaste, probably from the pine. Looking into the beer a bit more I can now better understand why the beer cocktail I made with it tasted the way it did (more on that later in the week).

 

For my first Sixpoint beer the Bengali Tiger IPA was encouraging. It looked good and tasted pretty good too, I definitely enjoyed the citrus/pine mix, and with it’s presence expanding in Australia it could be the next Brooklyn based brewer to follow in the footsteps of Brooklyn Brewery and come to capture the attention of Australian beer drinkers. It certainly cuts an impressive figure that should help it stand out on the shelves.

 

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