Freckle Belly IPA | Back Forty Beer Co.

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Freckle Belly IPAFreckle Belly IPA

Brewed by:
Back Forty Beer Co.
Alabama, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Shumania on 07-20-2012

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Reviews: 22 | Ratings: 192
Photo of JacobusFavier23
3.44/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

L- Hazy dark amber fizzely beer. Slightly foamy head.
S-I'm not lying, the citrusy smell kind of reminds me of a cutter candle. Good, bad? Ehh, I kind of dig it. Sweet smell. A little cheesy though.
T- Bitter, malts, bitter again. Floral notes in the taste. Not too much else.
F- Heavy carbonation. Suits it okay.
O- I'd drink it again. But in all honesty, overall it's just mediocre. It has too much bitterness and too little flavor.

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Photo of Tone
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, copper color. 1/4 inch head of a white color. Good retention and good lacing. Smells of caramel malt, slight sweet malt, hops, earthiness, and slight yeast. Fits the style of an American IPA. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of caramel malt, slight sweet malt, hops, earthiness, and slight yeast. Overall, good appearance, average aroma, body, and complexity.

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Photo of Squire123
3.36/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Medium yellow with white cap and moderate lacing.

Aroma: Bitter hops and sweet malt.

Taste: Malt, a hint of sweetness, hops more rounded than sharp followed by a lingering hop bitterness in the aftertaste. I like the first 75% of the taste but the hop ending is a body blow that put this guy on the canvas. Up to that point the flavors of malt and hops are working well together then it all comes crashing down. The brewery calls it "a bold hop finish" which is one way of putting it.

Texture: Medium

Overall: A fairly well thought out beer that ends up hitting a hop wall which is bitter rather than bold. What starts out as somewhat complex unravels like a rops diminishing down to loose ends. Too bad, it had promise.

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Photo of Chickenhawk9932
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful light golden color with a cream colored head that leaves some lace.

Smells of pine and citrus with floral notes and some nutty malt notes.

Taste is resinous pine and bitter orange and grapefruit giving way to sweet malty backbone with notes of pecan. A very solid IPA.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.31/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

3/25/15 bottle date. Probably pushing it.

A- Amber body with good clarity. Frothy and persistent head. 4.25

S- Smells like an ESB with toasty malts and a faint aroma of grapefruit. Disappointing. 2.5

T- Again, very ESB-like or English IPA-like. An improved floral flavor though. Getting a bit off buttery off-flavor. Toasted malts and caramel. I actually like the malt-quality here. Finishes with a bit of yeasty flavor. 3.5

M- Pretty smooth and easy-drinking, albeit malt-heavy as opposed to showcasing the hops. The bitterness is there but mellow. It's a bit toasty upfront, then bitter, than finishes florally. 3.5

Wish I'd gotten a fresher bottle for assessment, but hey, a 2-month old Elevated IPA still tastes exceptional, so I feel justified in reviewing this. It's a decent beer but veers to ESB territory, showcasing a toasted bread flavor that is enjoyable but probably will offend most hopheads.

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Photo of tone77
3.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I had this beer in a bottle before, but enjoyed it much more from a can. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a dark golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of pine, some malts. Taste is balanced malts and hops, pine, light citrus, medium bitterness. Feels medium/full bodied in the mouth and overall is a solid beer.

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Photo of BigBry
3.74/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pint at the Flying Saucer in Nashville.
Pours a light copper orange color, fairly clear, with a finger width of tight, white foam. Head
quickly fades, minimal lace.
Smell of resinous pine, citrusy hops over the base of basic, bready malts.
Taste has a good base of malt, then straight into the hops, citrus, pine. Clean and refreshing.
Dry, bitter, almost lemony finish.
Medium bodied, medium carbonation.
Overall, a solid, easy drinking India Pale Ale.

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Photo of BMMillsy
2.45/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle in trade from Burg. Thanks buddy. Pours dark amber red colored with a small off white head. Aroma of straight bready and sweet caramel malts, some toffee, I think they forgot the hops here. Let’s just assume this a session barleywine going into the taste. Flavor is watered down sweetness, not a single hop to be found. Light bodied and low to medium carbonation. Well, Alabama, you have your work cut out for you. No this isn’t offensive or off putting in any way, but there’s nearly no flavor and certainly no hops here. (Note: this was bottles 6/26/14 and poured 8/7/14 so it’s not as if this is way out of date or even close). Imagine what your mash would taste like when brewing, pour it in a bottle, and call it Freckle Belly. I’ve got to note that seeing the other ratings makes me think there is severe bottle variation on this one. A fun tick as usual and hope to try again on tap, as I hear it is worlds different. Hey, if this was listed as an English IPA, it might get a better rating from me. Alas, it seems very clearly meant to be an American IPA, which it misses on by a good mile or so. Again, not offensive or bad, just nothing much going on here.

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Photo of Cavanaghty
3/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Amber with almost no head and no carbonation.

Smell: Mild smell of hops and citrus.

Mouthfeel/Taste: Smooth medium bodied. Taste was mostly bitter, but it is a mild tasting IPA.

Overall: Not horrible, good for a beginner to IPAs to ease into them.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.32/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

22 oz bottle, Best By: 10/1/13 stamped on label.

Copper color, nice thick foamy off white head, good lacing. Aroma is on the milder side for an IPA. Earthy notes. Taste is well balanced, biscuity malt and hop forward finish and lingering taste. Pleasant flavors. Medium body and carbonation.

I think this was was first beer from Alabama, although while visiting Georgia.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.84/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle. I looked up where this is from, and it appears to be quite near a place I just read about in a Charlie Leduff book - coincidence? Probably.

This beer pours a mildly hazy, medium golden amber hue, with two flabby fingers of puffy, densely foamy eggshell white head, which leaves a decent array of layered, descending cloud pattern lace around the glass as it slowly ebbs away.

It smells of sassy orange, grapefruit, and lemon citrus pith, lightly resinous pine needles, bready caramel malt, a touch of dry yeast, and further floral, earthy hops. The taste is more fairly bitter, but somewhat hollow blended citrus and waning pine hop esters, a pastry-tinged biscuity caramel maltiness, a touch of hard water minerality, and an extended perfumed floral essence.

The carbonation is soft, in a frothy sort of manner, the body a steady medium weight, and mostly smooth, the hops lurking about, but not really taking any pound of flesh. It finishes off-dry, the fruitiness of the hops and the lingering malt doing well to make nice with the weakening bitterness.

A pretty agreeable IPA, one bordering on DIPA territory, in theory only, as the flavour and alcohol perception don't quite play out that way. More malty that overly bitter in its bristling hoppiness in the end, which is no big deal - all it means is that I'd be more prone to keep the next one for another day.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a light copper-hued body, fairly clear, with a finger-high stack of white suds.

Smell: Resinous, pithy, cuttingly citrusy top layer of hoppiness over the base of basic, bready malts.

Taste: Pale malts with a bent of breadiness. A quick nibble of crisped sugars before taking the dive into the hops, tasting pithy, citrusy with a spicy, pine-like kick to it. Medium-plus bitterness. Dry, bitter, somewhat citric finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Overall: A solid, sufficient India Pale Ale.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.79/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A pretty nice IPA- new to the Atlanta area, so nice and fresh. Pours a honeyed amber with a somewhat short head. Nice aromas of pine and citrus with a somewhat sweet malt base. The taste is similar, with a really nice dose of bitterness that seems equal parts pine and citrus pith, and enough malt to keep everything balanced. My only complaint is that the finish is pretty short- it just drops off after the pleasant start. Overall, though, a very pleasant IPA.

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Photo of HoppySailor
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This IPA is brewed about 20 miles from my hometown in Alabama. It is for that reason that I am very skeptical about it. About the only IPA I could find the last time I was back home was Torpedo from Sierra Nevada. Not that Torpedo is bad, but it was the ONLY IPA I could find at all.

When I was told about a local restaurant/brewery offering an IPA, I rolled my eyes. Upon reading some reviews here at B.A., I decided to go to Gadsden, AL and make the purchase. I remain skeptical, but here we go.

12 Ounce bottle poured into a cheap, dollar-store snifter. Bottle says "best before 5/16/13.

A- Pours a hazy copper with about an inch of off-white foam. Head starts to dissipate quickly, lacing is evident immediately. Very nice looking brew.

S- The smell is more malt than hops, with a sweet, fresh-baked bread aroma. There is a slight, and I mean slight, smell of citrus. Otherwise unremarkable for the style.

T- Oh my! The bitterness is right where you want it for an IPA. This is somewhere close to Sculpin or Bell's Two Hearted on the taste. Too bad the aroma is not as impressive. The very first thing I taste is a malty biscuit sweetness, but that is immediately replaced with bitterness of grapefruit and hops. The finish is very bitter, almost like Green Flash. This IPA is more or less a West Coast style, but Bama is on the Gulf Coast and Gadsden is in the mountains, so maybe this is a style of its own.

M- Starts with carbonation bite, but turns oily and soft before/during the swallow. Leaves a bitterness on the back of the throat that makes me feel thirsty for more.

O- I am very surprised and impressed. The last time I had a beer brewed in Alabama, it was brewed in my closet and it made a few people sick. I still have not eaten at Back Forty Beer Co, but after trying their IPA, I might just give them a shot on my next trip down from Baltimore. I hope to see this brew sitting next to DFH and Bells in Maryland sometime soon. It is a great representation of the craftmanship of the folks from back home. I am certainly glad I didnt have to trash it!

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Photo of BeerMark
4.75/5  rDev +29.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Took home a growler of Freckle Belly IPA from Back Forty Beer. Purchased from Hop City in Birmingham. After trying the bottled version, I was looking foward to trying the draft. All I can say is that it does not dissapoint. Freckle Belly IPA is one of the best IPA's you'll ever taste. It's malty, hoppy, and delicious. There's an oily mouthfeel with citrus notes. This beer is very drinkable. Keep up the good work Back Forty Beer! Alabama is becoming an IPA lovers paradise.

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.13/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: clear honey colored. White and frothy head. Thick messy lacing. A gorgeous brew.
Smell: 5 types of hops and it pays off. Pine, fruit, and citrus (plagiarizing from the b40 site but, that nails it. Redolent hops and nicely balanced with the malts.
Taste: much like the nose while just falling short of measuring up to it. Nevertheless, a standout.
Overall: my first b40. Tried it mostly because their "right up the road". Also I gotta admit I'm a little weary of the zillion ipa's poppin up everywhere. This was a very pleasant surprise.

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Photo of maleman
4.15/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

A -Poured from a bomber into a pint glass dark amber with a thick, creamy, off-white, two-finger head that receded into a tight cap. Thin slick lacing.

S - Nice and hoppy with a touch of grapefruit and a bit of pepper.

T - Big ole biscuits! Pepper with a touch of tinny alcohol.

M - Medium-bodied, with a good bit of aftertaste following the aforementioned alcohol.

O - Great smelling, great looking beer that only fell slightly short of very good in the taste department due to the tinge of alcohol versus a grassy finish typical of my favorite genre.

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark orange color with a finger of cream colored head. Leaves a small amount of spotty lacing. The aroma is mild, with some slight orange zest and sweet malts. Taste is a big step up. Crisp sharp bitterness with orange and touches of tropical fruit. Sweet malts break things up and add a touch of balance. Feel is lightly crisp, some oiliness, medium carbonation.

Overall, it's a nice, pleasant, drinkable ipa.

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Photo of GPHarris
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a - this is bottled in a 22oz bottle. poured a two-fingers thick light tan and bubbly head into a snifter that left a thin ring but billowy sheet throughout. the body was a bright amber color. good looking beer.
s - overwhelmingly grapefruit and other citrus hops.
t - grainy and bready with a hint of piney and grapefruit hops.
m - medium thickness.
o - solid AIPA and B40 is really turning out some good beers since they moved to their own brewery.

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Photo of cvm4
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

3rd review & over 3 months since the first.

A - Pours a really dark amber with a 2 finger eggshell head. Good lacing

S - Deep citrus hops on the nose.

T - Strong hop bite followed by grapefruit & orange peel. Develops into a pine like hop that is bitter at the end.

M - Medium bodied & carbonation.

O - Hop bite is tremendous. Definitely a hop lovers beer here.

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Photo of Mojo
3.43/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a hazy burnt copper with a one finger off white head and extensive, elaborate lacing. Smell is very citrus and some malt. Mouthfeel is just about perfect accented by the carbonation. Taste is a pretty much grapefruit and hops with the hops overpowering the sweetness up front. I'd like the malt to be a little more prominent so as to balance this out a little better. Nonetheless I enjoyed this offering.

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Photo of Shumania
3.41/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bottle at the whole foods in Birmingham. Interesting that this is the first review. Poured into a small glass in the hotel room.

A: pretty copper orange with a small head and good carbonation.

S: citrus and grassy pine. Nice but not overwhelming.

T: good citrus flavors on the front followed by a strong malt backbone.

M: good carbonation, abv is hidden well and fairly easy to drink.

Overall this is a nice IPA. Nothing that will wow you but is solid and I would be happy to drink a couple of these in a night.

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Freckle Belly IPA from Back Forty Beer Co.
3.67 out of 5 based on 192 ratings.
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