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Judge's Review: 80 Rating - Sparkly Princess by Holy City Brewing

July, 2018
Judges Rating: 
18 / 24
5 / 6
32 / 40
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
17 / 20

Sparkly Princess by Holy City Brewing is a sour IPA which doesn’t really have a true home in the BJCP 2015 guidelines. The closest fit is probably 28B Mixed Fermentation Sour Beer. Despite the lack of a home, it has become an increasingly popular style that is popping up all over the place. It’s also one of my favorites and one I’ve brewed a number of times. This beer pours a deep golden color with orange hue and a large head that fades quickly. The lack of a head is normal for sour beers, and the initial foamy head is likely due to the hops and higher carb. The slight haze is a little out of place in sour beers, but whereas most have a lengthy souring process, kettle sours are produced faster beers and some haze is commonplace. Unfortunately what kettle sours gain in speed, they lose in complexity as they tend to be pretty one-noted and this one is no different. It has a simple lactic-like lemon-y character from the kettle souring, which makes it a fairly open field to let the hops play and add complexity. The hops add a nice fruity aspect of watermelon, cantaloupe, papaya, pears and some lemon candy. While the hops make the beer more interesting, they get enveloped by the sourness, coming at the front and the back, swallowing them up before they can leave a lasting impression. There is a moderately low bitterness that comes off a bit more than expected, cutting into the sourness and exaggerating the dry finish. Behind the hops and sourness, there is a limited malt character that is lightly wheaty/doughy and minorly crackery. Overall it’s a nice refreshing beer, but would like the hops to pop a bit more in the aroma/flavor to make the beer stand out and less so in the bitterness to prevent from clashing.