Reviewed: Wallenpaupack Smallmouth Low-Cal IPA
Official description: Our Smallmouth Low-Cal IPA has all the hop flavor you love with less of the stuff you don’t. With only 102 calories & 3g of carbs, it pairs perfectly with friends and lazy days at the lake.
Wallenpaupack Brewing Co. – Wallenpaupack Smallmouth Low-Cal IPA – 12oz can served in Rastal Harmony glass – 4.4% ABV
Wallenpaupack Brewing out of Hawley, PA is a newer brewery (est. 2017) that I was introduced to this year. I was fortunate enough to sample several beers from them recently and each one impressed. I settled on reviewing their new Low-Cal IPA since earlier this year I did a blind test of some low-calorie IPAs on the market. I would have loved to include Smallmouth in that prior test.
I’m sampling Smallmouth Low-Cal IPA from a pack of 12oz cans with canned-on dates found on the bottom that read “07/10/20”, placing these around a month old at the time of review. Into my glass, Smallmouth is crystal clear straw in color with excellent head formation that sticks around for several minutes before collapsing.
The aroma is bright and inviting with lemon balm, Mandarin orange, canned pineapple, canned peaches, and white grape. Digging in, Smallmouth has an impressive mouthfeel – oily and dense far beyond expectations. It’s smooth and silky, especially for being below 5% ABV. Overall bitterness is higher than you might expect, punching above its weight class with a deluge of spicy hops and intense lemon peel. High, prickly carbonation keeps things lively on the tongue. Smallmouth lingers in the finish with powerful white grapefruit and lemon oils. The interplay of citrusy hop oils, sharp to almost resinous bitterness, silky mouthfeel, high carbonation, and partial dryness push this into the outstanding category for any IPA but wildly impressive for <5% ABV.
Perceived Specs for Wallenpaupack Smallmouth Low-Cal IPA
Smallmouth IPA is one of the best low-calorie IPAs I’ve had to date. It captures all the wonderful things about clear IPAs (big hoppiness in aroma and aggressive bitterness flavor) but doesn’t get bogged down with sticky sweetness or high alcohol. Its effervescent body and partial dryness turn it into one of the more refreshing session beers on the market all while delivering the intense bitterness you expect from a regular strength IPA. In my opinion, this one is a masterpiece.
Check out my blind test of low-calorie IPAs.
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