Baldwin FishEYE PA - Kensington Brewing Company
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Ratings: 67 | Reviews: 19 | Display Reviews Only:
3.64/5 rDev +1.1%
This "Eye PA" is certainly a looker (get it? hardy har har!) Seriously though, the pint glass in front of me looks idyllic: a very deep but highly resplendent amber beer with a fine, almost peach-fuzz layer of foam atop. It's worthy of a magazine ad and requires no airbrushing.
If you ask me, American hops and English yeast have always been uneasy bedfellows - one is vivid tropical and citrus fruits, the other is subtly suggestive of dark and dried fruits. They're coexistence is no less troubled in this bouquet; orange slices butt heads with raisins.
The referee in all this is the malt, its toastiness and toffee notes complimentary to both the resinous pine taste as well as the subtler cherry-like notes. Malty flavours of caramel squares and sticky toffee pudding basically just take over outright on the palate (perhaps to the disappointment of anyone hoping for more focus on the pineapple and pine needles).
The mouthfeel might be a bit cardboard-y if not for two factors: the grassiness and oiliness of the hops. These two textures - one dry and herbal, the other sappy and sticky - add a modest earthy dimension to a profile that otherwise would be dominated by plastic-y caramel. The bitterness is enough to sort the men from the boys but not the beasts from the men.
Kensington Baldwin FishEye PA has echoes of modern, American-style hopping but is obviously of a more traditional, British-minded perspective. My experience tells me this will make it harder to sell as an "IPA" in the southern Ontario market; claiming it an English Strong Ale or something of the sort would serve it better... though it'd be a shame to waste such a good (bad) pun.
07-10-2013 21:26:49 | More by biegaman
3.55/5 rDev -1.4%
473ml can poured into a mug. ABV 6.5%.
A - Poured a clear dark burnt orange with a 1cm light beige head. Very good head retention and lacing.
S - Caramel, citrus, some pine, earthy. As it warms there's a slight metallic note in the background.
T - Caramel, some toffee notes, citrus (grapefruit and some orange peel), earthy hops. Lots of bitterness but it's well balanced with the malts. The bitter aftertaste is short lived.
M - Medium carbonation, medium-heavy body, mostly dry finish.
O - Looks great but otherwise its a decent serviceable IPA.
07-05-2013 01:58:54 | More by decimator
3.36/5 rDev -6.7%
Poured from a tallboy into a shaker pint, the beer is a dark amber-copper coloring with a tall, frothy, big bubbled, off-white head. Vibrant. Nose of pineapple and passion fruit sweetness, tangy caramel backbone, and floral highlights. Flavors of caramel on the forward tongue, roasted and slightly tangy, with a resiny, bitter hops streak at the end of the palate. Slick and slightly oily in mouth, with a roasty sweet aftertaste. Slick, slightly dry finish. Decent brew. A little all over the place, but tasty and interesting.
06-27-2013 23:17:48 | More by GarthDanielson
3.84/5 rDev +6.7%
A pleasant find at the local LCBO... Surprising it made it this far north, but certainly glad it did.
A - Pours a nice amber, finger of head with decent retention and some nicr sheeting lacing.
S - Sweet citrus, earthy pine and cedar, caramel, toffee and a slight metallic finish.
T - Follows the nose, sweet citrus, sugared grapefruit, earthy cedar and a touch of metallic notes. The finish is more bitter with mandarin rind and a touch of caramel.
M - Medim bodied, smooth and surprisingly wet.
O - A pleasant addition to the IPA selection locally and something I would both recommend and grab more of. Easily sessioned and well worth picking up. Here's to hoping they stock this regularly.
06-22-2013 03:13:16 | More by andrenaline
3.73/5 rDev +3.6%
473 mL can from the LCBO; no freshness info - but that's not terribly concerning because these haven't been on the shelves for very long. It's encouraging to see another beer from the folks that brought us Augusta Ale - not exactly a personal favourite of mine, but still a good beer that I've returned to on multiple occasions. I haven't had an IPA in a few months now, so hopefully this one will satiate my hop addiction. Served slightly chilled, and poured into a pint glass.
This brew pours a beautiful amber colour, slightly hazy and topped with about one finger of puffy, off-white head that quickly recedes into a thin, creamy film. It also leaves a solid ring of thick lacing behind, coating the sides of the glass. Enjoyable aroma that doesn't stray far from the mean - pine sap and orange citrus notes, with some bready malts and caramel detectable just beneath the hoppy surface.
Enticing enough so far, I suppose, but the taste leaves me wanting. The malts are more profound here than on the nose, providing a pleasant caramel sweetness that underlies the far more noticeable hop bill. Earthy pine needles, pink grapefruit and orange pith become more prominent toward the finish, which is fairly astringent and bitter. Medium-bodied with mild carbonation, and an oily feel that makes this brew's aftertaste cling to the tongue after each sip, extending its presence.
This is a well-made beer that I don't have any real complaints about, other than the fact that it offers nothing particularly novel or exciting. I had a hop craving and this brew stood up to the task nicely, but while drinking it I discovered no features that really stood out. I'm a big fan of the mouthfeel, though, which really makes this stuff seem more drinkable than it probably should be at 6.5%.
Final Grade: 3.73, a serviceable B grade. Like Augusta Ale, Kensington's Baldwin Fisheye PA is a solid representative of its style, but I'd hesitate to call it an outstanding one. It's not a bad beer - quite the opposite, in fact. It's a textbook American IPA that I wouldn't hesitate to suggest to someone looking for a good baseline introduction to the style. Worth a shot.
[Updated Jan. 4 2014]
Another can, this time compared side-by-side with Mad Tom, Boneshaker and Red Racer IPA. I've had a few cans of this over the past few weeks and have come to appreciate it a little more - this is not an attention-grabbing IPA at all, but it's quite tasty, well-balanced and sessionable for the style. Good stuff, and something I'll probably return to again.
06-21-2013 06:35:35 | More by thehyperduck
3.53/5 rDev -1.9%
On tap @ Bar Hop.
A - Pours a medium amber with a thin film of off-white head.
S - Good bitter hop punch with citrus and pine. A fairly substantial malt bill adds notes of caramel and a good amount of sweetness.
T - Very balanced, as the nose indicated. Lots of sweet, caramel malts and a moderate bitterness with grapefruit, pine and some earthy flavours.
M - Medium body. Light carbonation.
11-24-2012 18:44:43 | More by TheSevenDuffs
3.58/5 rDev -0.6%
Cask Days 2012. Latest Kensington offering of higher IBU product. Bubbly head on orange body. Some orange citrus taste, not bad a beer, maybe better on tap. Medium mouthfeel, a bit of astringency. Decent drinkability for hopheads. 70 ibu. Some caramel, but the hops are the show.
10-30-2012 01:18:36 | More by Sammy
Baldwin FishEYE PA from Kensington Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 67 ratings.