Tasting Notes: Tesla Hop-Charged Lager from Sixpoint Brewery

tesla-medallion-chyeaTasting Notes continues its examination of the recent boom of American-brewed Lagers by taking a look at Tesla Hop-Charged Lager from Sixpoint Brewery (Brooklyn, New York).

Tesla Hop-Charged Lager is the latest offering to come out of Sixpoint Brewery’s Cycliquids Series, a constantly rotating lineup of beers where brewers experiment with new styles and/or create new takes on past releases.  Tesla is an Imperial Lager boasting juicy notes supplied by “big doses of American hops” and a “clean snappiness of a cold-fermented, meticulously-lagered beer.”  The finished beer officially weighs in at 7.1% ABV and 49 IBUs.  Tesla is a limited release that is available now in 6-packs of 12 oz. cans.  Look for this brew on the shelves at your favorite craft beer retailer in Florida, Alabama and throughout Sixpoint’s distribution area.  Now to the fun part.  Let’s get our sip on and scribble down some Tasting Notes!

Tasting Notes for Tesla Hop-Charged Lager from Sixpoint Brewery

Appearance: Tesla pours up a deep, rich gold color that tapers from light oranges to electric yellows from the top of the body down.  When held to direct light, the yellows build with intensity to brighten the beer’s golden hue.  The body is clear and displays a very lively carbonation level.  The carb bubbles slingshot up to feed two fingers of pristine, white foam built off the gentle pour.  The beer proudly presents the signature head retention of a fine Lager.  The head eventually falls to a lasting finger that diligently notches the glass after each and every pull.

Aroma: Living up to its name, hops fuel this Lager with incredibly clean citrus, tropical and floral notes.  Mango, pineapple and tangerine embrace a sweet floral character that is almost nectar-like.  Although pronounced, the hops are not overly aggressive in the aromatic profile.  This allows pops of bready malt and Lager yeast to surface from time to time.  Lovely and beautifully presented here.

Taste: The hops absolutely spearhead the charge as the beer hits the palate.  That said, they are not nearly as bellicose as I may have initially – and unfairly – feared.  Grapefruit zest, orange and lime are all accounted for to provide those juicy and refreshing citrus hop qualities.  A touch of pine and grassy tones then add an earthy hoppiness and dankness.  The hops wrap up with booze-soaked tropical notes of pineapple and mango.  These hop notes may account for the majority of the experience, but they are by no means over the top or at the level of stripping the enamel off of your teeth.  A Zen-like balance tempers those hops with lightly sweet malt notes of bread and cracker.  American hopped?  Affimative.  Trademark Lager balance?  Achieved.

Mouthfeel: This Lager is medium in body with a medium carbonation level to it.  Bitter on the palate with just a tinge of sweetness weaving in to dexterously counter.  Alcohol certainly has some size to it at 7.1% ABV, and that does present itself with a gentle heat on the throat and in the belly.  The beer dries out as much as it can, but a bit of hoppiness stubbornly lingers.  Aftertaste is all grapefruit zest.

Final Thoughts: Sure, I will admit the tagline of “Hop-Charged” may have had me a bit worried that this offering may hide its Lager qualities behind an overly hopped experience.  I am elated to say that my worries were unnecessary and unfounded.  Tesla is most assuredly hop-forward, delivering a bitterness that is on point and showcasing beautifully clean flavors and aromatics.  That being the case, the beer does not forget that it is indeed a Lager and it retains a level of crispness thanks to a seemingly remarkably achieved balance.  My only gripe is the elevated ABV level that may shift this beer from the daily drinker category to more of a sip and savor brew.  All in all, Tesla is wonderfully put together with just enough of Sixpoint’s “Mad Science” personality provided to keep the beer unique and fun to drink.  Prost!