Four In Hand IPA - World Brews
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Ratings: 136 | Reviews: 53 | Display Reviews Only:
2.21/5 rDev -27.8%
4 pack of pint-volume aluminum cans acquired at a nearby Whole Foods for a scant $5.99 USD plus tax. 6.3% ABV confirmed. "Four in Hand I.P.A." Expectations are quite low given the brewery; I'm quite acquainted with their other offerings and picked this up knowing what I was getting into because Every Beer Gets A Chance. Brewed by World Brews, Rochester, NY. Self identifies as an IPA, so that's what I'm reviewing it as.
Served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live.
Served cold, straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated. No freshness date is visible, but the Whole Foods I got it at has a pretty high customer influx so I'm not worried about the turnover.
A: Pours almost entirely foam in the glass. Quickly recedes to a still seemingly overcarbonated six finger thick head of beige colour. Something of a soft complexion. Light weak lacing. Fairly frothy. Decent thickness. Some creaminess. Fluffy and appealing in a general sense. No bubble show.
Body colour is a clear yellow-gold of average vibrance. No yeast particles are visible. Translucent. Bubble quantity seems right; aside from the head I don't suspect overcarbonation. It's a bit pale and more gold-hued than most beers in the style, but for the most part it's en pointe. Generally appealing.
Sm: Pleasant if mild floral hop character. Pale malts. Some tropical fruit notes and light bubblegum - both hop notes despise. A bit buttery. Maybe some diacetyl. Cane sugar. A sticky and wet aroma. Not unappealing, but I'm a bit turned off by the hop choices. It does come off too sweet for the style.
It's rather mild in terms of strength. Certainly not a powerful aroma.
The diacetyl is a definite off-flavour, but it's not outrageous or particularly overt.
I can't say I'm looking forward to trying it, but it's an inoffensive aroma that might be appealing to fans of the style. A bit below average perhaps. I'm not understanding the low ratings for this so far. No yeast or alcohol is detectable.
T/Mf: Tropical fruit and cane sugar with some heavily sweet candied notes. Diacetyl butterscotch. Caramel (also dicatetyl-esque [if you'll excuse the pretension inherent in that phrasing]). Way too sweet; one could call it cloying. Not enough hop bitterness (and you'll rarely see me say this in my reviews); it needs more hop character to balance out the hoppy sweetness with some much needed bitterness. Any hop character that's there is just the crappy tropical fruit and bubblegum that I hate along with some overly restrained unevocative floral hops. Some bready malts. Strangely limey and thereby reminiscent of a crappy Mexican/Spanish adjunct lager. Staggering amounts of caramalt; why not pale malt for the body?
Ugh. I find more and more wrong with it as I go along. Yes, the balance is horrid, it's simple, and there's no subtlety at all. But overall I think it's largely inoffensive in spite of its poor execution. It's a failure as an IPA, but style aside it's not awful.
Off flavours: Diacetyl, cloying sweetness, maybe even a bit of a metallic note - but this last note isn't really that noticeable.
No yeast character or alcohol comes through. Flavour intensity is mild/average. Flavour duration is average.
Sticky. Smooth and wet. A bit oily. Maybe a bit buttery; the diacetyl comes through here as well. Artificial. Thin and weak. Doesn't help facilitate the flavours all that well. Carbonation is off. Doesn't suit the flavour profile well. Poorly executed for the style.
Dr: A strange thought occurred to me while drinking this: I bet if I blended this half and half with Palate Wrecker, it'd make a pretty decent IPA - at least better than either of the constituents.
Honestly, it's not terrible - but it's pretty bad, and certainly unremarkable. Price doesn't affect my reviews, but there are better IPAs at this pricepoint available in this market. And frankly I'd sooner have other budget beers in more simple styles that are harder to screw up before I'd have this again. I appreciate the market sector World Brews is trying to fill, and if they're able to bring this to market to satisfy some IPA fans while keeping costs low, then more power to them.
It's not an egregiously offensive brew, nor is it undrinkable. Could I chug a can if I wanted/had to? Absolutely. But for those who are after a flavorful or balanced brew - or a passable IPA - will be disappointed. I definitely wouldn't get this again, but I'll also definitely finish the three remaining cans from my four pack. Stop drain-pouring, and start appreciating that there are sober kids in India, you posh pretentious bastards.
It should offer more bang for its buck in terms of ABV given the low quality and budget price.
06-19-2013 04:04:43 | More by kojevergas
2.14/5 rDev -30.1%
Appearance: Pours a clear, sunny, medium yellowish color, with a white finger of head.
Aroma: faint citrus, sweet malts, sugarcane. Though muddled, its okay.
Taste: this is where things start falling apart. First off, it must have the IBUs of an American Pale Lager because there's no bitterness at all, missing a major IPA component. Secondly, its sweet...thanks to no bitterness, the sweetness just comes of as completely lacking any balance or definition. Some of the sweetness is citrusy, but its not enough to really pass it as an IpA.
Mouthfeel: its a little sticky and medium bodied, overall feeling decent, but lacks character.
Overall: looks good, smells okay, tastes bad, feels decent. It's a mess that only a its mother could love.
06-17-2013 00:43:07 | More by EgadBananas
3.5/5 rDev +14.4%
Pours a transparent amber with a big fluffy white head.
The smell is citrus hops, quite subtle.
Taste is light and a little bitter, not much to it. There's a tiny but of citrus flavour.
Mouthfeel is light with quite high carbonation.
Overall an easy drinking lighter ipa,good value for the price 1.50 a 16oz can.
05-06-2013 03:41:55 | More by Dave1999
2.75/5 rDev -10.1%
Bought this at Whole Foods because I was looking for a nice beer for the NFL Draft and it was just $6.99. Was thoroughly unimpressed. It's labelled an IPA but despite being from northern California is decidedly unhoppy and pretty flavorless. It's a good beer for the price if you're looking for a cheap beer, but if you want a good IPA look elsewhere.
04-26-2013 05:45:26 | More by KUmitch
District of Columbia
2.2/5 rDev -28.1%
Bought a four pack of 16 oz cans. My interests were piqued with the interesting label and the attractive price; ~$5 for a four pack at Whole Foods. Majorly disappointed. It pours very clear, akin to a light lager. The nose and taste were pretty much on par with the appearance: metallic nose with no floral notes and a wet, stale finish. It reminded me of a macro beer = great idea/intentions, but poor finish overall. I have three more of these in the fridge, so I will give it another try to see if it was just a one off. Pretty bummed as this had appeared to be a great buy.
03-27-2013 14:19:30 | More by Jaynuze
2.83/5 rDev -7.5%
This was not undrinkable but it definitely defied my expectations of an IPA in ways that I can't forgive. The appearance and aroma are neither here nor there, but what I'm looking for in an IPA is a hop blend that is 1) more assertive than the malts 2) mult-dimensional in its flavor character and 3) pleasurable. This failed in all three regards so badly that I'm thinking it was simply a bad batch or possibly expired. I'll buy it again in a few months from a different store in order to give this beer the fairest review possible.
02-26-2013 03:44:24 | More by droomyster
Four In Hand IPA from World Brews
72 out of 100 based on 136 ratings.