Scott Birdwell's picture

Judge's Review: 91 Rating - Hexotic by Area Two Experimental Brewing

December, 2019
Judges Rating: 
21 / 24
5 / 6
37 / 40
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
19 / 20

Hexotic by Area Two Experimental Brewing was judged as a Fruit Lambic (BJCP Style 23F). The label declares this is a “Wild Ale Brewed With Six Tropical Fruits.” The beer pours slightly hazy, not shocking for a wheat-based beer with wild yeast. It has a deep straw hue, and, like many sour beers, poor head retention. The head dissipates very quickly. You can smell the sourness and fruit aromas at the same time. The aroma is reminiscent of SweeTARTS. One can immediately pick up on the sweet, enticing tropical fruit notes, but then the tangy, tart Brett character asserts itself. Other than the tropical aspect of this, it mirrors many Belgian lambics I have tasted. Very well done. Once you get to the tasting part the beer, it follows the same pattern: Tangy sour mixed with enticing sweet tropical notes in the finish. The fruit/sour balance is excellent! Hexotic is a little more full-bodied than you might expect from a lambic, but then you learn that this wild ale packs a wallop at 8 percent ABV, and you understand! It is surprisingly smooth despite its strength. Though it features poor head retention, the beer is well-carbonated. It finishes surprisingly smooth with little to no astringency.

This is one of, if not the best, American-brewed sour beers that I’ve tasted. I’m very impressed. They've nailed the sweet/sour balance extremely well. The tropical fruit notes contribute to the complexity. Well done, Two Roads! If sour beers are your thing, seek this one out!