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I’ve had a pretty busy schedule lately, but I managed to find some time last night to sit down and enjoy a nice beverage.  Brewed by Carton Brewing Company from Atlantic Highlands, NJ, this was another highly appreciated gift beer leftover from last weekend’s festivities.

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Beer Name: 077-07006

Brewer: Carton Brewing Company

Style: DIPA

ABV: 7.80%

Description: Part of the brewery’s 077XX series of experimental DIPAs, this installment took the base recipe and dry hopped it with Sorachi Ace.  For a bit more information on this fun concept, you can see a quick video wherein the brewer describes the series here on their website.  For a change of pace, I drank this from a pint glass I picked up at the NERAX festival last month.

Appearance: A hazy light orangish/amber body, topped by a foamy white head.

Smell: Light tropical fruits underneath a heavy layer of zesty bitterness.

Taste: Started out following the smell, but ended up taking a few interesting turns.  Tropical fruits were present from the start and lingered right on through to the end.  Towards the middle the beer also took on a lemon zest flavor, accompanied by an aggressive spicy and resinous hop bitterness.  Underneath all this was a yeasty taste that added another sweet and somewhat tangy dimension to the beer.  Really an interesting blend of sweetness and bitterness that I can’t say I’ve come across very often.  The finish was dry and left a slight numbness on the tongue due to the bitterness from the hops and lemon zest.  Very interesting.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel was pretty typical for the style, medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation.

Hype Factor: I’ve heard a lot about Carton, but until this beer the only other offering from them I’ve had a chance to try was their Boat Beer.  I was pretty curious to see what this one was all about and considering where it came from, I was pretty confident that it would not disappoint.

Overall: After taking a few sips to really contemplate all aspects of the taste, I found that I really liked this beer and its complexity.  There was a lot of fruit sweetness and hoppy bitterness for sure, but all of it was rather distinct and served to easily distinguish this beer from any of the other DIPAs I’ve tried lately.  It kept me guessing and I really enjoyed that.  Sure did make me curious about the rest of the series as well.

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