Life and Fate I
Life and Fate I - 8% ABV
Double India Pale Ale
Root + Branch Brewing (Copiague, New York)
I'm very excited to try this beer because it is:
1) My first beer from New York
2) From a giveaway win
3) From the first beer mail I've ever received.
Plus, the can art is really rad, and if you've stuck around for long enough, you know that I'm a sucker for cool can art. Root + Branch has a simple, black and white design on its can, with a grainy picture above the beer names. It reminds me of an old science textbook. Plus, the beer gets its name from Life and Fate, a 1960 novel by Russian Author Vasily Grossman, and there's a brief quote on the side of the can.
Gotta love those details.
When I poured this beer, I had an interesting experience. It poured a medium golden, clearish color, similar to a typical American IPA. But when I looked up descriptions from others who drank this beer, I kept seeing a much hazier, light yellow color — what you'd see in most NE IPAs. I reached back for the can and realized there was about 1 cm of beer left in the bottom, took a quick sip of the beer to make room in my glass and BAM there pours the hazy color.
At the bottom of the can, all the bits of beer that contribute to the hazy color and a more creamy mouthfeel had settled out. I guess I've learned that I should always pick the glass that will fit ALL 16 oz of the beer, rather than just grabbing the one that fits most of the pint. (Somehow, though, there were no floaters? After realizing the strange color, I honestly would have expected a few.)
Now that we have our nice, hazy beer completely poured, I will say that this beer has an amazing nose on it. Tons of sweet citrus, a lot like mandarin, and maybe even a little mango? The first sip is also delicious.
This beer starts with an orange dreamsicle creaminess, with a sweetness that reminds me of vanilla, and the mouthfeel compliments those flavors. It's smooth and medium bodied, with that middle of the road thickness I could actually see pouring those last few dregs from the can.
The small sips also end with a slight bitterness, but nothing too assaulting. It still feels true to what I'd normally want out of a NEIPA, and for 8 percent and a Double IPA, it doesn't taste too boozy.
That being said, I've seen a few people describe this beer as "crushable" on various beer forums, but I wouldn't totally agree with that assessment. You could technically crush this beer because it's still a lighter fare, but it's not necessarily "refreshing," and that's what I look for in a crushable beer. It leaves your mouth a little dry, and I'd much rather savor this beer.
I'm really glad that this giveaway included two tallboys of Life and Fate I, and I'm looking forward to trying the two other beers from Root + Branch.
Overall rating: 4.2/5