This week, I went out of my way to pick up a 4-pack of You Thirsty? from Rhode Island's Revival Brewing Co., as Founder/Brewmaster Sean Larkin had explained to me that the recipe had changed since the first time I tried it in their Cranston taproom. Coming from the man himself, I took his recommendation seriously, and went into this purchase knowing I had to give a valid, unbiased, critique of this beer. So here we go! My take on You Thirsty? New England IPA from Revival Brewing Co., canned on 5/1/17.
This beer glows brighter than a pregnant woman in her second trimester. Upon holding the beer up to the light, I first noticed it’s a bright orange, very much akin to Lawson's Sip of Sunshine. It’s an attractive beer. I would call it hazy, as I can’t see directly through it, however, it’s not turbid like many “New England IPAs.” The head retention is quite nice and it leaves a decent foamy lacing. Overall, it’s appearance is great, but not up to the crude, unofficial, stylistic guidelines of a true New England IPA.
While discussing appearance, I figure I'd make some comments on the can art. Really nice color scheme, pretty “Revival-esque”. However, my eyes are drawn to the last few lines on the beer description:
“Is this juicy? Yes. Is there mouthfeel? Yes. Is this overkill? No, it’s Revival. BOOM *mic drop*”
As a consumer, I really dislike these declarations on a label. They seem pretty foolhardy and quite arrogant, but I will save judgement until I actually drink the beer.
You Thirsty? is not the kind of beer that fills the room with the smell of tropical fruits and takes you away to a remote island. It’s pretty standard in regard to its range of the aroma. Upon pouring the beer, the aroma becomes a bit more stirred -- definitely heavy handed on the the notes of candied orange and tangerine. However, you can totally smell an amount of “dankness” that is similar to most West Coast brews. I assume this is from the mosaic in the hop profile. It smells sticky and it loiters in my nose like your local, friendly, neighborhood drug dealer. The aroma doesn’t come off as stylistic of New England IPAs, but it’s definitely welcome and nice.
Flavor and Mouthfeel
The flavor definitely follows the nose. Candied orange and tangerine with a bit of mango sweetness. I’m not getting the “malt bomb” many have mentioned in the message boards, but I’m not getting "New England IPA" either. It’s sticky. It’s super palate coating. This beer sits on my tongue, palate, and back of my mouth LONG after I finish drinking it.
In all, it doesn’t taste like a New England IPA. The palate coating sensation I am getting fades to bitterness, like orange rind and pith. It has a super dry finish which accentuates the lingering bitterness. The mouthfeel has definitely improved since I first tasted it, and now leaning towards a medium body, but this milkshake does not bring the boys to the yard. It’s a decently soft beer, but it’s not like biting into a cantaloupe that slaps your tongue with shea butter.
By pointing out its bitterness, I am by no means am I calling this a "bad beer," not at all. It’s still a friggin' IPA. Hops are bitter. Hops are in IPAs, therefore, it will have some bitterness.
In fact, I actually like this beer, especially at the price point and availability. This sits in the tier of locally brewed hops that I’ve come to love. This beer sits in between West Coast and New England style, but definitely leans toward Californication over Boston’s Greatest Hits.
If I come across more of this beer and it's relatively fresh (and I am low on beer), I just might pick up another 4 pack. It is not like the critically acclaimed, fan-boy inspiring, two-can limited, bullshit that people are creaming their jeans about -- but it’s not garbage like others have proclaimed.
Honestly, I feel it would be a more accurate presentation of the contents of the can if it were billed as an American IPA, and that would give me very little to critique. But also, I can’t hate on a dude that has been in the industry as long as Larkin has who has consistenely adapted to trends over his celebrated career. This brew is a solid attempt at a hype style that could ultimately benefit from continuous recipe tweaking to make it true to style -- or with a marketing change.
Regardless, I don’t regret picking up this 4 pack, but I wouldn’t drive two hours for half a case. Luckily, I think that’s the kind of beer Revival was going for.
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