Purity Of Essence
High & Mighty Beer Co.

Purity Of EssencePurity Of Essence
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Style:
Lager - American
ABV:
5.4%
Score:
85
Avg:
3.78 | pDev: 11.9%
Reviews:
49
Ratings:
77
From:
High & Mighty Beer Co.
 
Massachusetts, United States
Avail:
Retired (no longer brewed)
Wants
  8
Gots
  5
SCORE
85
Very Good
Purity Of EssencePurity Of Essence
Notes:
View: Beers
Reviews: 49 | Ratings: 77 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Seanibus:
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Seanibus from California

3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours hazy orange with a huge fluffy white head. Aroma is strong and fruity - apricot, grapefruit and orange. Warm and thick. The flavor is more like a smooth APA than a lager - grainy, fruity, with orange, grapefruit, and a lingering, deep citrus bitterness. The finish gives it away, though: crisp, slight, with a distinct sulfur tang. The mouthfeel is thin and smooth. Unusual and tasty, though I find it little cloying after a while, which lowers the drinkability.

Feb 22, 2010
More User Reviews:
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Jason from Massachusetts

3.8/5  rDev +0.5%

Nov 03, 2014
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WanderingFool from Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Apr 19, 2014
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Bitterbill from Wyoming

3.23/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

My bottle thanks to Yamar 18. Thanks, Kevin!

The label on this bottle says it is 4.9% abv.

It pours a slightly hazy medium gold colour with over a 1 finger head of foam but doesn't leave a lot of lacing.

The smell is big grain that reminds me of an AAL. I truly can't smell anything else.

The taste took me by surprise. Very hoppy and very bitter. Grapefruit flavour that is more bitter than I'm used to. It has an earthy malt presence that doesn't seem to bring any balance. Some grainy notes now just showing up. Weird.

Lots of carbonation, imho...too much. The body is nice.

Interesting brew but not something I'd want to drink again.

Jan 19, 2014
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brewdlyhooked13 from Ohio

4.06/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 6/15/09, enjoyed 11/10/09

Appearance - pours a hazy golden yellow. Much head at first, six fingers easily. Big bubbles on the edges but a dense pack in the center. Excellent retention, once the head dries out, I can pour in enough to where the crown is a good inch above the rim and resting nicely. About as nice as this style can get. I didn't swirl the sediment in but I guess you could for a slightly cloudier start.

Aroma - clean, grainy, inoffensive. A touch of citrusy lemon/orange hops as this sets up, nice!

Taste - good malt depth for an APL. Robust grain, rye-like in a sense. The hops create good balance. A little citrus, very little, resolving to a dry bitterness on the swallow. There is a slight return of a lemon twang on the finish. About the hoppiest APL I've had, it's good!

Mouthfeel - slick and very crisp, with an even body.

Drinkability - certainly sessionable, quite tasty too. The hops are big but not quite as much character as I'd like. Maybe more citrus character or back off somewhat on the whole. A great effort by H&M. Much thanks to Solan (RB) for pointing me towards this one while in Orlando.

Nov 11, 2009
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Greenlabel from New Hampshire

4.13/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle just purchased from Whole Foods - and a very attractive pour at that. A hazy burnt orange color with plenty of foam - in fact, the carbonation may be a bit excessive.

Strong floral smell - citrusy and what I'd call tropical in nature. One of the tastier Lagers I've tried recently although I'd have preferred a bit less sweetness. The malt seems to dominate somewhat but the hops also make their presence known. Refreshing aftertaste.

I'd definitely buy this product again. Kudos to the brewer for stamping the bottling date very plainly in a space on the side of the label - wish more craft brewers would make it so easy to determine this date.

Nov 30, 2010
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WesWes from New York

3.17/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer pours a cloudy amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. There are plenty of yeast floaties to go around. The aroma is decent. It has a relatively bitter scent along with a pretty good smelling malt aroma. It's appears to be pilsner and light crystal malts. The taste is average. It's true. It does have a nice hoppy taste and aroma, but there is nothing else to be celebrated here. The malt taste is not that great and it's a bit too hoppy, because of the lack of balance. The mouthfeel is decent. It is a medium bodied beer with a bit too much carbonation. This is a forgettable beer. It's one and done for me.

Oct 08, 2008
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indiapaleale from Maine

3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale lager-y golden color with a nice bit of fluffy head. A nice amount of carbonation, looks drinkable...

Smell is a bit of sour malt/wheat and a bit of malty sweetness combined. Sort of earthy, maybe from the hops?

Taste is slightly metallic combined with a spiciness from the hops. The carbonation adds a nice dynamic to this beer as it is very thirst quenching and crisp due to the nice bubble action. A bit more hoppy than many of its counterparts but not anything to write home about...that being said its the best damn American Pale Lager I've ever had!!!

Very drinkable in the 22 oz. format.

Jun 27, 2009
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gueuzeonhigh from Maine

4.21/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a slightly cloudy straw-amber with a frothy long lived head. Head welled up into a sculptured cloud-like appearance. Laced the walls of my glass.

Very slight flower-like nose.

Flavor is almost that of a pale ale rather than what I'm expecting from a lager. Nevertheless its a nice palatable up front and center bitter hops with a light almost transparent "background". I wish there was a hint of yeast to flesh out the one dimensional hops only character.

Nevertheless the entire flavor makes this beer a definite summer-time thirst quencher served chilled. The ABV isn't so high that a pint will hamper one's metabolism.

Mouthfeel is a very cordial stance-- not particularly robust or "active", but a nice smooth "low-profile" character.

Drinkability- Given the ABV I can enjoy this beer without the adverse effects of the alcohol.

I like this brew. I will enjoy a few more pints!

Apr 23, 2010
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NJpadreFan from New Jersey

3.97/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

High & Mighty- Purity of Essence

High & Mighty finally made it to NJ. 1 of my favorite Mass. breweries.

A- Light clear copper brown with a huge frothy head. Thick chunky lacing.
S- Big pungent pine hops infuzed into a lightty roasted cereal malt.
T- Sweet somewhat light bready malt with a nice bitter oily pine hoppiness. Sweet buttery malt really shines through.
M- Light sweet creamy malt with a good dose of bitter dry hops.

Overall- Quit nice and easy to drink. $5.50 for a bomber, good price for a good beer.

Sep 03, 2009
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation from Iowa

3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Purity and simplicity are the two wings with which man soars above the earth and all temporary nature."

--Thomas Kempis

Radiant tangerine with honey colored highlights. Munich malt adds a slightly darker color to this *pale* lager (that it didn't really need). The upper third of the pint glass is occupied by a wonderfully sticky chunk of foam that is yellowed bone in hue and is beginning to deposit small chunks and tattered sheets of lace.

The aroma is balanced between pale malt and musky-fruity hops. High & Mighty says that noble hops are used, but it smells like something English is in there as well. Fuggles maybe. I'm not sure if the above style is the best fit, but my tastes buds are always a better judge.

Purity Of Essence is well-brewed beer that doesn't come close to knocking my socks and/or shoes off. It's on the simple side and lacks personality, but then that's true of most of the world's pale lagers. The thing that saves it from mediocrity is a surprising amount of leafy hoppiness. The German hops make it taste... well... German. Or maybe Czechoslovakian, if Saaz are in the house.

Because my Munich malt detector is pretty sensitive, it picks up just a hint of the tell-tale toasted, earthy nuttiness. The hops are lemony and grassy, with an estimated IBU count of... 40ish. A ripe apricot fruitiness makes it seem as if ale yeast was used. The finish is bordline snappy and crisp, which is a definite plus.

The mouthfeel is appropriate for the ABV and will be rewarded as a result. It has a sneaky light creaminess and stays buoyant all the way to the gently bitter end of each mouthful.

In the final reckoning, Purity Of Essence is better than Beer Of The Gods, the only other High & Mighty offering to have entered my glass. I wouldn't mind drinking this one again, especially if it was right out of the hopper. Thanks to damienblack for the bomber.

Sep 18, 2009
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Billolick from New York

3.08/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 ounce bomber, Bottled on dating of "June 4, 2008" on the side of the label. Funny looking beer, sort of cloudy, brownish amber, fast departing light tan head...chemical smelling nose, not off to a good start here...things don't really improve too quickly..taste is all over the place, and I don't mean that in a good way..chocolaty malts are the highlight, then I get some vegetable type off notes....did not love this one...one and done for me..would not get this one again

Nov 17, 2008
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ppoitras from Massachusetts

3.73/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle purchased at Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 2 3/4" off-white head over the clear golden brew. Thick pillowy head is going nowhere fast, with sporadic chunky lacing. Aroma is minimal and balanced. Taste starts lightly citrus, goes pale malt sweet for a bit, back to some tartness at the close coupled with a bitter aftertaste. Mouthfeel is smooth, with drinkability a little challenged by the tart and bitterness clashing some. Overall a nice drinker.

Sep 30, 2009
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smcolw from Massachusetts

3.27/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Hazy because it is unfiltered. The color is a light amber. Very impressive, rocky head with superb lace on the glass side.

Strong "refrigerator" smell; mild malt in the background--even milder hop essence.

The flavor is an improvement over the smell. Lots of flavoring hops. Slightly alcohol-ish in the background of the reasonably dry malt. This is a thin beer with lots of carbonation.

It's kind of a one-trick pony--not much complexity here. Still, for a malt liquor, it is better than most.

Sep 07, 2008
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DrJay from Texas

2.99/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Quite hazy, orange colour. Very high carbonation, which filled half the glass with eggshell coloured foam even with a careful, slow pour. A bit of clumpy lace. Nicely balanced aroma, with toasty and doughy malt, a bit of caramel, fruity and earthy hops, citrusy. Bitterness was balanced up front, but became stronger and more harsh in the finish. The flavour was citrusy to start, grapefruit, with malt sweetness kicking in mid-palate. These flavours fell away towards the end and didn't provide the balance the bitterness required. Carbonation was too high and didn't give it a crisp character. The texture seemed off because of this, and even a slightly creamy quality didn't really compensate. I was nervous about the carbonation from the pour and my fears were realized. I had more hope after getting a good smell, but things just didn't come together.

Jun 18, 2010
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Risser09 from Pennsylvania

4.24/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into a snifter - Fridge temp - Bottled June 4th, 2008

Appearance: Pours a cloudy copper color with dull red highlights. The cream colored head rises 1/2" and shows decent retention. A little bit of lace clings to the glass.

Smell: Pine hops mix with some floral aromas over top of a fruity malt base. Lager yeast and candi sugar. Cherry, plum, and some orange make a finish.

Taste: Cherry and other fruits are first out of the barrel. Bitter hop resin follows and lingers around. Caramel malt is underneath it all. Crisp and bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: A little bit fruity and mostly hop bitterness. A tad of booze at the end. You wouldn't think of this beer as a lager.

Drinkability: Quite nice. Well balanced and smooth drinking. Being unfiltered made a nice touch. A pleasure all around.

Mar 20, 2009
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Domingo from Colorado

3.51/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The style this beer is listed under isn't doing it any favors. This is a an American take on a kellerbier. I doubt it's open fermented or anything, but it's definitely an unfiltered urtyp lager.
Pours a really hazy khaki color with a lot of foam. Lots of suspended yeasts in this one.
The smell is pretty hoppy. Mild lager yeast, a hint of breadiness, and tons of grassy old world hops.
There's a really distinct fresh spearmint flavor that the hops are giving off that keeps coming back in each sip. Like other kellerbiers I've had, the hops really seem to thrive with the suspended yeast. In this case, I'm guessing they're hopping it extra liberally, too. A little bit of bready malt creeps in, but the hops and the yeast are the stars of this one.
Mouthfeel's thicker than I prefer and splitting a bottle of this was nice, but I don't think I would need a full bottle to myself.

Not bad, but probably not worth seeking for those who aren't kellerbier nuts. Still, you really have to respect what this beer is and what they were shooting for.
It's a neat idea that just wasn't directly up my alley.

Feb 21, 2010
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SFLpunk from Vermont

3.45/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22 oz brown bottle with bottled on date (June 4, 2008) poured into an American pint glass.

Appearance: Almost tawny amber hue with nice white head. A very thin layer of white remains after settling. It's unfiltered, but duh, it says that on the label.

Nose: Orange is immediately noticeable, and sweet malt, sarsaparilla, and Indian spices register.

Palate: Carbonation is moderate to high. Agitation reveals a lot of dry-hop characters and a little dustiness. There is an umami character here poking out between bursts of bitter hops (leaning on the pine-y side of things, not the citrus side). Nice and bitter, decent body, with a red kool-ade note right in the mid-palate.

Notes: Although this beer is sufficiently bitter and gets points for that IPA-esque extremeness, it seems to lack something in the middle. I get a strong nose, and an initial bitterness on the palate, a quick mid-palate of fruit and then immediately on to bitterness and dry hops again. I wish there was more in the middle.

Sep 05, 2008
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albern from Massachusetts

3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm not the biggest fan of HaM brewery in Holyoke, MA. I had a conversation with the brewers from Paper City at the ACBF in Boston and they told me that HaM uses their facilities. The Purity of Essence is a fine looking beer, in that it is an orange tawny fairly cloudy beer, with a creamy foam head that does retain and settles into a more soap like foam around the edges. A bit of lacing too.

The aroma is unique, fairly subdued, and quite enticing. Sweet malts, orange rind, perhaps wet leather, and a very hard to pin down spiciness as well. The taste is respectable, but that's as far as I'll go. It is quite drying in the finish, there is a tea like, sharp hoppiness, some bready malts in the backbone, with some tart florals in the body. The beer is a bit biting, but it lacks the oily hop esters to be especially interesting. The beer isn't particularly sweet, floral, or estery. There might be some spiciness in the beer, a bit peppery. This is a medium bodied beer, unfiltered and not characteristic of an American Malt liquor, which is a good thing. It is better made than that, and it is more like a dark lager. The mouthfeel and aftertaste is quite dry.

Jul 30, 2008
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TheManiacalOne from Rhode Island

3.38/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a mug glass.

A: The beer is a light orange/gold color with a large white head that quickly and leaves a spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is faint but contains light malts, citrus, grain and some hops.

T: The taste starts out with sweet flavors of citrus and caramel that are followed by a decent hops presence for the style and a touch of spiciness. The malt character is on the thin side but exactly where it should be for this type of beer. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Flavorful, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this is a decent beer with some flavor and substance that make it worth drinking for a while.

Nov 30, 2009
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sholland119 from Pennsylvania

2.88/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A mighty disappointment from my perspective.

This beer pours a hazy amber with a solid white head and just a bit of lacing. So far, so good. Aroma has solid pine hops and hint of malt. A little light in aroma but not bad.

Taste, though, is just not appealing. Bitter hops all the way through and not much else. I love my hops but this is too deeply bitter for my liking. Mouthfeel is, again, remarkably bitter.

This one was not for me. I don't know that it is classified properly here but I don't enjoy this as an example of any style I am familiar with.

HV

Nov 11, 2008
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lordofthewiens from New Mexico

3.97/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 650ml bottle, bottled Jun42008. Served in a pint glass, the beer was a hazy orange/brown color. The head was spotty, and dissipated quickly. It had a nice citrus aroma as well as a little malt presence. Orange taste, which persisted. Nice tang to it. Good beer, refreshing.

Aug 23, 2008
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harpus from Alabama

3.25/5  rDev -14%

Sep 11, 2013
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jwc215 from Arizona

4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber:

Pours hazed golden (It's unfiltered) with a fluffy/rocky large white head. Some patchy lacing sticks.

The smell is lemony, grapefruity, floral, slightly musty, with grainy and bready notes.

The taste is nicely hopped (citric- lemon/orange - and floral), though with a grainy sweet and underlying tart balance. Finishes refreshingly dry.

It has a creamy, but crisp, light-to-medium body. Dryness lingers. Slight alcohol shows.

Even with slight alcohol showing, it is very easy-drinking and refreshing. Hoppy, but balanced. Well-done! Reminds me more of a kellerbier (with an "American" influence...and a nice one at that!

Jan 17, 2010
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Bounty628 from Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purity of Essence has a very noble ABV coming in at 6.50%. The beer does pack a nice little punch especially since it comes in bomber bottles and the alcohol is allowed to shine through a bit during the tasting.

The beer pours a rather light yellow color that features a bit of haze when poured into the pint glass. There is a creamy, off-white head that builds at the top of the pour and that same off-white head turns into a nice off-white lacing that is retained from pour to finish. The carbonation is quite noticeable in this pour and dances along visibly despite the sort of golden haze within the glass.

The smell is rather unique when poured and there is a sort of sour malt nose mixing with a sort of grassy to grainy complexity. There is a hint of floral undertones at play within the smell that are accentuated by a kick of a certain sort of spiciness within the pour, as well.

What is perhaps the biggest surprise once the beer is tasted is the amount of hops that are packed into the taste. Though they were not highly up front in the nose the hops sure to come through in a big and friendly way within the taste. The higher ABV of 6.50% does come through in the taste and matches to a sort of earthy taste in a rather different way. There is a bit of the grassy nature noticed in the nose that also comes through in the taste but still the hops seem to really hold their own within the pint glass. This is a very different taste and is one that might not be enjoyed by all. To me it is a nice break from something that is overly traditional and the individualism expressed by High & Mighty in this taste is to be applauded.

Purity of Essence has a nice drinkability to it but is probably best served having one bomber perhaps with a spicy meal and then calling it quits. This is not a session beer and is probably best served as an "on-occasion" beer or when something truly different is desired. If you wanted to serve this beer with another beer, it would seem as though a big-IPA post Purity of Essence would probably be your best bet.

Jul 24, 2009
Purity Of Essence from High & Mighty Beer Co.
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 77 ratings