David Sapsis's picture

Judge's Review: 91 Rating - 602 Brew by Helio Basin Brewing Co.

August, 2018

602 Brew

Judges Rating: 
21 / 24
6 / 6
38 / 40
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
18 / 20

602 Brew by Helio Basin Brewing Co. was judged as BJCP Category 18A, Blonde Ale and served in a kolsch stange glass at 46F.

The beers pours a brilliant, glistening gold, with stark clarity; a nice, thick, foamy whitecap forms of mixed-size bubbles but shows only modest stand.  A lovely, lightly bready and grainy nose dominates above a light floral hop character that also has some herbal/minty notes. A distinct sweet but light fruit/honeysuckle character emerges as the beer warms and is outgassed. 

The flavor starts malty-grainy with a firm but balanced bitterness; flavors of pear and dried flowers dominate the mid-palate forming a nice counter to the lingering and herbal hop facet that lasts well into the late profile. The finish is dry but rounded. Mouthfeel is a little high, but common among craft brewers making these beers with almost solely North American base 2-row malt, so it's naturally high in protein content. The relatively low conditioning contribute to this thickness, but the dryness of the finish helps a lot to keep the beer from coming off as too filling.

The beer really shines in its light malt front end, well-balanced bitterness, and subtle fruit and herbal components all packaged with a clean and dry finish. My only quibble really is the CO2 level, which could use a charge. Not really a starter beer at all, this Blonde Ale hits the mark with character -- maybe a tad forward on the flavor and bitterness front for some, but would squelch thirst and provide great counterpoint to some spicy tacos al pastor. Salud!