4 Sons The Great One IPA

Is this named after The Great One, Wayne Gretzsky? As far as I can tell, it is not. This is brewed in California, and there is no mention of hockey on the label. In fact, the label is completely dominated by the 4 Sons logo, and it's not a great one. It is, however, one that will likely appeal to the youth market (hipsters).

Amber, a little hazy, and topped with a patchy, but not a sticky head. This beer will not leave lacing, and that in itself is noteworthy for an IPA. I like a stickier head than this. The aroma is a seared malt and citrus hops, so it is actually starting off well as far as the smell goes.

First sip is sweet, mandarin oranges, grapefruit, a stiff cracker malt, and a little bitterness. I'm also kind of happy to see that I was wrong about the lacing - it's runny, but pretty good. So too is the sip. The mix of flavors are strong and more bold than crisp, but it's a strong stand for just a sip.

Tip-in is agave sweet with a crusty malt and the orange/grapefruit supporting cast. The middle is a curious sizzling on the roof of the mouth with a bitterness swirling in the middle of the mouth while, again, that chorus of flavors (though muted) continues their song underneath. The finish is a strange kind of artificial sweetener aftertaste and a bitterness with the malt simmering off.

Bottom Line: Easily distinguished from pretty much any other IPA I've had, but not necessarily better.

2.5/5

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