28 October 2013

Upstate fake-out

My bottle of Sainsbury's Tap Room IPA was deposited by a houseguest (cheers Thomas!) and bears the mark of "Tap Room Brewing Company" of Rochester, New York which sounds immediately makey-uppey. Two seconds' research reveals that this does indeed come from Rochester's North American Breweries megaplant, birthplace of a zillion other American "craft" brands.

It's a big boy at 6.3% ABV and a clear dark orange colour. No qualms about the aroma: all lovely lemon sherbet and orange pith. The hops calm down a bit on tasting. Big sweet malt notes take over so the sharp citrus becomes altogether fluffier mango and mandarin smoothie, with just the merest tang of bitterness on the end. After the initial hit it gets more muted, however, and I was finding it a bit heavy and dull by the half way point.

In summary, it hits all of the places you expect this sort of American IPA to hit, but for me it lacks the finesse of the more established brands: your Sierra Nevadas and your Goose Islands. If it were as cheap and cheerful as the Sainsbury's own-branding suggests I might go for it again, but more likely I reckon I'd trade up to something with a bit more hop action.


  1. Thomas Carroll8:57 am

    It's in fact the same price as Sierra Nevada, Punk IPA, Meantime IPA and Goose Island. Would have needed to be a lot better to compete with that lot.

  2. It's stronger. That probably carries them a long way in the competition stakes. Thanks again!

  3. Professor Pie-Tin3:40 pm

    Apropos of nothing to do with American IPA's but Mrs Prof PT and I are heading over to the Dam later this month for our annual IDW,Gollem,Cafe Belgique and ‘t Arendnest tomfoolery with a side order of Pokey LeFarge thrown in.
    Do you have a favourite hotel you stay in ? Everything seems a bit on the expensive side at first glance particularly as we're probably going to be too mullahed to care much where we sleep.
    Thanks muchly.

  4. A favourite? Oh yes, the Krasnapolsky.

    A hotel that we go back to regularly? No. We take whatever looks like good value in the end of town we're looking for. The NH City is handy for the beer district. We've got good offers in the NH Doelen as well.