Rick Franckhauser's picture

Judge's Review: 86 Rating - Milky Way Galaxy by Pontoon Brewing

February, 2020
Judges Rating: 
21 / 24
6 / 6
34 / 40
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
17 / 20

Milky Way Galaxy by Pontoon Brewing is being judged as BJCP category 31B, Alternative Sugar Beer with category 22A, Double IPA, as the base style.

The aroma opens with a pronounced sweet grapefruit joined by additional citrus reminiscent of clementine. Subtle honey malt comes through as it warms. Nearly opaque in its haziness. The beer was not identified as a NEIPA but appears to be one. Orange gold color topped with a big creamy off-white head. The flavor brings more of a tart orange and grapefruit character with a touch of pine resin and a little pineapple. Firm bitterness but not to the level typical of a Double IPA and overly so for a NEIPA. The lactose is serving to subdue the bitterness and providing a touch of sweetness. Some mineral chalkiness is present, which helps extenuate the bitterness. The finish is moderately dry with a pithy citrus character. The aftertaste lingers with blood orange. Medium full-bodied and somewhat creamy mouthfeel. Moderate carbonation levels with a carbonic bite lingers as does the mouth-coating stickiness.

The beer seems closer to a NEIPA other than the increased bitterness levels and mineral harshness would indicate. A Double IPA with lactose is somewhat of a conundrum as the lactose counters the crisp dry finish and overall drinkability, which is the hallmark for a Double IPA. Style issues aside, the beer does provide a nice big hit of citrusy hops in the nose and flavor. The lactose seems to round the beer out and keep the hops from being a one-man show. Overall, an enjoyable beer for hop lovers who want a fuller creamier body.