Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Day 29 (8/22/2011) Kingpin Double Red Ale by Bridgeport Brewing Co.
I have to say that I was not particularly looking forward to this one.
For one, I'm not much of a fan of red ales. They always seem malt forward in a way I don't particularly care for: more candy sweetness than the complexity found in other malty styles that I do like. The second is that its reviews on both sites (and particularly on Ratebeer) are frankly just not very good.
The last factor had nothing to do with the beer itself. For the past couple of weeks, our big old home has been experiencing backups of its basement drains. Before this weekend it was just stormwater. To my delight, the backup this weekend was the type that carried toilet paper and other goodies with it. Gross, huh? I thought so. So, after spending some time in the basement with the plumber yesterday evening trying (unsuccessfully, I must add) to clear our drains, the last thing I wanted was a beer. I grabbed the one I wanted to drink the least in my fridge so something I was looking forward to wasn't wasted on my crappy attitude.
Not a good context for this beer to be reviewed, huh? I suppose in a perfect world it would have blown me away; changing my opinion on red ales forever while simultaneously all of my drains magically cleared themselves for free. Unfortunately not.
Kingpin pours a typical color for its style: a dark, almost copper, amber color with about an inch of creamish head. It leaves uneven splotchy lacing as it quickly recedes. The smell is what I expected as malty breadiness and sweet fruit scents meet my nose. It has a lot of the candy sweetness that I was worried about. For a supposedly super duper hopped beer, I'm sadly getting almost no hop notes.
Luckily the taste is a tiny bit more balanced than the smell, with it running from the familiar fruity sweetness to open up, followed by bready malts and finally a slight hop finish. Not bad, not good. Just sort of there. It isn't terribly complex at all.
It has a medium body and medium-low carbonation with no alcohol burn present.
If I had to throw one description of this beer out there, it would probably be 'meh'. It's not bad enough for a drainpour by any means, but it definitely would never inspire me to open another bottle of it. It is a very simple beer, overwhelming any hops that may be present with malty sweetness. The claim of being 'triple hopped' seems ridiculous after drinking this and it makes me think it might be the same marketing gimick used by many macro brewers. I give Kingpin Double Red Ale by Bridgeport Brewing Co. a C+.
Style: American amber/red ale
Beer Advocate: B-/B-
Acquired via a generous Beer Advocate in Oregon. Not distributed out this way.