Reviewed: Lawson’s Finest Super Session #7
Official description: Super Session #7 is designed to be a light and refreshing beer with low alcohol, yet the full hop character of a Session IPA. Each beer in our Super Session series is brewed with the same malt base and specialty malts but features a different single-hop variety. Super Session #7 is brewed with copious amounts of Idaho 7 hops and has tasting notes of apricot, orange and black tea.
Lawson’s Finest Liquids – Lawson’s Finest Super Session #7 Idaho 7 IPA – 12oz can served in stemless snifter – 4.8% ABV
I recently returned from a trip to Vermont that included a pilgrimage up to Lawson’s Finest Liquids (Waitsfield, VT). On my previous Vermont beer trip, Lawson’s didn’t have much of a tasting room to visit. Now, they have a state-of-the-art, absolutely gorgeous brewhouse that is a sight to behold. This new facility just celebrated its first anniversary. In addition to the main tasting room with high ceilings, a stonework fireplace, and exposed wood rafters; they have a gift shop with a color-coordinated beer fridge where you can grab cans to go.
Going back through some old reviews, it turns out Lawson’s has been excelling at this niche style for quite some time. Back in 2013, I raved about their 3.8% Spring Fever Session IPA. And two others, Super Session #2 (Amarillo hops) and Super Session #8 (Mosaic) are in RateBeer’s Top 50 for the category.
And one last item of note. Can we give Lawson’s some kind of award for not using the words “beer,” “brewing”, or “brewery” in their name? Bravo.
I’m reviewing Lawson’s Super Session #7 from a 12oz can that I picked up from Lawson’s directly as a 6-pack. On the bottom of the can is an easy-to-read packaging date of 8/8/19, which places it at around 3 weeks old at the time of review. Into my glass, Super Session #7 is slightly hazy golden in color with thick, cream-colored foam that sticks around for several minutes before collapsing. Vanilla cake, freshly-baked honey rolls, and dusted French bread bring out the malty aromas. Simultaneous hoppy notes of honeydew melon, pineapple, tangerine, and even something like habanero pepper round out this enticing nose.
After a few sips, this svelte IPA punches much harder than expected with powerful, resinous kettle hops. Bright citrus rind and Brazil nut flavors pile on aggressively. The body, in turn, is chewy and rich beyond belief for its weight class. Dense bread crust and snappy pale grains provide firm balance so that overall bitterness isn’t too overwhelming. The mouthfeel is silky smooth with an aggressively bitter aftertaste that lingers for several minutes. With all that fat maltiness and hop resin kick, Super Session #7 ends up being a filling beer – the polar opposite of most others in this segment, which taste like watered down IPAs. I’m in awe.
Perceived Specs for Lawson’s Finest Super Session #7 Idaho 7 IPA
Super Session #7 is the best Session IPA I’ve ever had. What a treat! Lawson’s Super Session base recipe works particularly well with the Idaho 7 hops it seems. I also tried Super Session #8 (the version with Mosaic hops), but it felt weak and watery by comparison – not unlike most other session IPAs I’ve experienced. That just goes to show how exceptionally delicious the Idaho 7 version turned out. #7 punches well above its weight class tasting like a 6 or 7% IPA with powerful bitterness and fat maltiness to match. It’s miraculous to have so much flavor packed into a 4.8% vehicle. I wish I had brought home a whole case.
I’m a big fan of Pizza Port Ponto, Founders All Day IPA, and Stone Go To IPA. Firestone Walker Easy Jack and Karl Strauss Mosaic Session IPA are also recommended.
* * *
The Full Pint is a fully independent website dedicated to bringing you the highest quality reviews of today’s craft beer. Our team has no financial conflicts of interest with the beer industry in order to give you the least biased information out there in today’s craft beer world. Please use the comment section below for general comments about this beer and/or our review. If you would like to see a specific beer reviewed or have general comments on reviews, please email info(at)thefullpint.com. For more information on how we review beer read here.