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Rick Franckhauser's picture

Judge's Review: 83 Rating - Hawaiian Lounge Juice by Highland Brewing Co.

July, 2018
Judges Rating: 
16 / 24
6 / 6
35 / 40
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
18 / 20

Hawaiian Lounge Juice by Highland Brewing Co. was judged as a Fruit Beer, BJCP category 29A, with Double IPA as the base beer.

The beer opens with some catty, dank hops that are overcome by the floral perfume of passion fruit. The mango makes an appearance in the aromatics coming across more like peaches. A sweet candy-like note from the alcohol comes in as the beer warms up a little. The aroma is inviting and has some nice complexity but lacks the intensity expected for a DIPA. Light golden color with good clarity that is topped by a big white foamy head.

The flavor provides much of what is found in the aroma but the hierarchy is altered. A tart character is first on the palate with just a touch of spice. The catty dank hops are there but much less aggressive than they were in the aroma. The mango and passionfruit show up at the end. The balance leans toward bitterness but there is quite a bit of sweet malt in the finish, which seems intensified by the sweet impression of the alcohol. Medium body with moderate carbonation and creamy mouthfeel combine to lend an impression of a fuller-bodied beer. The carbonation is just high enough to clean off the palate.

This is good beer but as a Double IPA it lacks the overall hop intensity expected. The level of malt and fruit sweetness shift the balance away from what the style calls for and impede the overall drinkability, a hallmark of the style. Stylistic interpretations aside, I really enjoyed the beer.