Reviewed: Finback Surroundings IPA
Official description: IPA dry hopped with El Dorado, Lemon Drop and Sultana.
Finback Brewery – Finback Surroundings IPA – 16oz can served in Rastal Harmony glass – 5.5% ABV
As I mentioned in my Other Half All Galaxy Everything review, it seems that Hazy IPA has gone so mainstream in New York that all IPAs are now assumed to be such. Take Finback Surrounds IPA, which on the label says “india pale ale” and is listed on Untappd as an American IPA under an officially managed account. Pour the can into a glass, though, and it’s completely turbid. I wonder what it’s like to be a clear IPA lover in New York with each IPA on tap and in stores a total crapshoot.
I’m reviewing Finback Surroundings from a 16oz can with a canned-on date of 12/28/20, which places this beer around 2 months old at the time of review – the downside of reviewing East Coast IPAs living on the West Coast. I love the modern graphic design and smaller label that only takes up only half of the can’s surface area.
Into my glass, Surroundings is a turbid, translucent, glowing straw color with initially some sudsy bubbles that end up building into a gorgeous, soufflé-like head that rises up over the edges of the glass without spilling over. Aroma-wise, Surroundings brings out an unusual mix of lime zest, lemon bar, and lemon custard-filled doughnut. As it warms, there’s more of a minty or even menthol-like hop-driven aroma. (This is the first beer I’ve tried with Sultana hops, I believe.)
Digging in, Surroundings is lighter-bodied than expected. Despite its mid-range stats, Surroundings tastes like a 4% Session IPA. Herbal bitterness is present but held back substantially as is malt-driven sweetness. Both register around a 2 out of 10 intensity. Mineral flavors are mid-range with prominent calcium and talc. The end result is a surprisingly refreshing beer that punches far below its weight class.
Perceived Specs for Finback Surroundings IPA
Surroundings does a great job exhibiting some special aroma hops to produce an unusual mix of lemon and lime dessert notes. The flavor somewhat matches with substantially less body and bitterness than expected. The mineral flavors, which often ruin Hazy IPAs for me, are mid-range and lean toward calcium and talc rather than concrete slurry. Though I’m unabashedly not on board the Hazy IPA train, I appreciate Surroundings and its unusual flavor profile.
VERDICT: 85 pts (VERY GOOD)
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