Reviewed: Sixpoint Party Piñata Sour IPA
Official description: [From Sixpoint’s website] This one is filled to the brim with goodies. We packed as much pineapple and coconut flavor into this crazy complex beer using our proprietary Sour IPA techniques. Get ready to crack one open for the full Piña Colada experience. [From the beer label] Sour India Pale Ale brewed with pineapple, toasted coconut, and vanilla. Brewed with milk sugar & hopped with Idaho 7, Sabro, & Citra T-45. 8.4% ABV
Sixpoint Brewery – Sixpoint Party Piñata Sour IPA with Pineapple, Toasted Coconut & Vanilla – 12oz can served in stemless snifter – 8.4% ABV
Many beers come through the Full Pint’s test kitchen, but few sound as bizarre as Sixpoint’s Party Piñata. It seems Sixpoint has thrown in everything but the kitchen sink on this recipe. I’m intrigued already, so let’s take it for a spin.
Served from a skinny 12oz can with a paper label, Party Piñata is a slightly hazy orangish color topped with a thick head of off-white foam. The density of the foam is unusually thick with a whipped cream texture. So far this beer is looking great.
Bringing up the glass, Party Piñata has an outrageous tropical fruit nose with gobs of pineapple juice and ripe mango. There’s a tiny hint of coconut in there to create a pretty solid Piña Colada character that the beer aspires to. Big aroma hops seem to be either drowned out by the sweet and sour punch of pineapple juice or just maybe they just casually blend in. Either way, it doesn’t smell like any IPA I’ve tried before. There’s way more pineapple in the nose than say Pineapple Sculpin or Stone’s Vengeful Spirit.
Digging in, this beer is immediately crazy and I love it! Huge pineapple juice continues to dominate along with mango and more pronounced coconut. Sweetness is at a 6/10 level while acidity is nicely tempered to a 5/10. Bitterness seems to have been forgotten along with way as this is sitting at a 1/10 level. That allows the tropical fruit character to really take hold. A zippy, quick finish then has you begging for more. The balance here is phenomenal allowing you to enjoy every detail. I was bracing for some sticky sweetness from the lactose and out-of-place vanilla character. Neither comes into play thankfully.
The mouthfeel is where Party Piñata really shines with a soft creaminess that is likely a result of the lactose addition. There’s also a salty buoyancy to the beer that gives it a bright, refreshing quality that I would not expect from a milkshake IPA, which this seems to have as its base. And it’s not until I was writing up this review that I realized Party Piñata is 8.4% ABV, dangerously drinkable for its strength. There’s never a hint of alcohol sting.
Party Piñata hardly resembles an IPA in any sense of the term. Aroma hops are difficult to pick out and overall bitterness is almost at zero. Still, Sixpoint takes what seems to be an excellent New England-style IPA or maybe milkshake IPA base recipe and has loaded it up with fruit juice to the point where it tastes like a cocktail and a really good one at that. I think casual drinkers will be wowed as this beer really practices what it preaches. And hazy IPA lovers will be happy to find this to be an absolute juice bomb. I’m not sure how the souring aspect is accomplished as Sixpoint mentions “proprietary Sour IPA techniques” in the website description. Whatever they do, the end result is like no other beer I’ve had.
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