06 Jan Sigma Resinlord IPA
Sigma Resinlord IPA
Sigma Brewing Company
EADO, Second Ward, Houston
West Coast Triple IPA
Packaging: Draft, 4 pack 16 ounce cans, delivered by Hop Drop
The terms IPA and craft beer are nearly synonymous to the uninitiated, and it’s beers like Sigma Resinlord that we have to thank for that.
“Oh you’re into craft beer? So you like IPAs, and all that weird stuff with cucumbers in it, huh? I always wanted to drink a salad! Shit’s weird man — I’ll take another Bud Light Platinum, please. Thank ya very much.”
You see, hops weren’t always added to beers in metric tons. Beer drinkers weren’t all clamoring over the next big release, or trying to sniff out which hops were in a beer. Prior to 1965, the style IPA didn’t even exist, much less the term craft beer.
Fritz Maytag, the owner of Anchor Brewing Company in San Francisco, was looking to make an English Pale Ale using American hops back in the 60s, and he wanted to try something different. “What the English discovered was that if you put hops in the beer as it was aging [instead of in the boil], you could get the aroma portion of the hop into the beer, but you wouldn’t get any of the alpha acids that create the bitterness,” per the current Anchor brewmaster Mark Carpenter.
Some friends that had the hook up on the hops recommended a new American hop variety for Fritz’ beer. It was Cascade, a hop that was developed by the USDA program at Oregon State University and came out in 1971. He listened, and Liberty Ale was born. The beer was named to pay homage to the 200th anniversary of Paul Revere’s legendary horseback ride, and IPA would take the nation by storm.
Ken Grossman at Sierra Nevada busted out the Pale Ale in the 80s, and in the 90s Vinnie Cilurzo at Blind Pig busted out Inagural Ale, the first ever Double IPA. The world still wasn’t ready for hops, and that’s largely due to the West Coast arms race that followed.
Stone, Green Flash, and Ballast Point began using the IBUs in a one-upping contest in the 90s, and that led to the national perception of what hops and IPAs are – this uber-bitter, melt your face beer. While those exist, and some of them are pretty dang good, the world is just now beginning to really embrace hops to the point that I can hand an IPA to a BMC drinker (if it’s the right IPA and the right adventurous person) and they’ll not only oblige, but enjoy it.
So why am I giving this West Coast IPA lecture when you came to read about Sigma Resinlord IPA? Because it’s a triple IPA, it’s of the West Coast variety, and it’s a monster of a beer! Sigma Resinlord IPA is brewed with Columbus, Chinook, and Simcoe hops – all OG West Coast hops.
The can art resembles something from the Hells Angels cut, their leather vest with rocker patches on the back. While this is probably a coincidence, the black, white, and green label just screams West Coast BAMF in a way that intrigues me with caution. When we asked the guys at Sigma if there was any interesting back story with the name, or any particular significance with the artwork, they reminded us that beer’s supposed to be fun. “Haha, not really. We just thought it would be a fitting name for such a novelty of a beer. It’s pretty ridiculous and over the top in every way, so it seemed like that name was appropriate for it.”
Since West Coast IPAs are distinctly more bitter, and double and triples are higher in ABV and malts, I expected a beer that was gonna kick me in the teeth, take my lunch money, and tell me it’d kill me if I said a word about it, but that wasn’t the case with Sigma Resinlord IPA. Well, not entirely.
It poured a deep amber-gold that was nearly clear. It sported a tawny colored head that stuck around as long as the history of hops.
The first whiff of Sigma Resinlord IPA stunned me a bit. It was all floral, tropical fruitiness with a hint of sweetness. It smelled like candied grapefruit, and I expected a straight malt bomb. I was wrong.
Each sip of Resinlord bursted with tropical fruitiness, but it’s in a restrained drying way, that’s vastly different than the NEIPAs of late. The sip starts off almost… Dare I say… approachable? The monster 11% ABV is sneakily tucked beneath pineapple and melon notes from the hops, and the finish lingers in a bitter, slightly-spicy way, but again, it’s not nearly as aggressive as I expected. The malt is present and stands up well to the fruitiness in a slightly sweet way, but it’s not a malt bomb, it’s not boozy, and it’s not super sweet.
This Sigma Resinlord IPA is no Hell’s Angel – more like a freaking ninja. I don’t know if the words West Coast IPA, Triple IPA, and crushable all belong in the same sentence, but here I am typing it, and here you are reading it.
Any time I hear about a Triple IPA or bigger, I can’t help but think of Karbach’s 5th Anniversary Quintuple IPA. It was a total malt bomb with roughly the same amount of alcohol. While that one was boozy, sweet AF, super malty, and pretty dang bitter, Sigma Resinlord IPA is like it’s quiet kid cousin that learned from the mistakes of those that came before it.
Sigma Resinlord IPA was the first can release for the gang over in Second Ward, and if y’all are as smart as I think, it’s all gone by now along with Nude Tayne if there’s any left. Hit up the homies at Hop Drop to get some cans delivered because they got the goods per usual. Use code “BEERCHRONICLE” for 10% off your beer delivery. They have some Nude Tayne too!
Sigma Resinlord IPA
Overall, I wish I ordered more of this one. I only got two cans of Sigma Resinlord IPA, but my beer budget is maxed after spending a grip on my latest batch of home-brew. Anyhow, as a super sneaky beer, this is the IPA that I didn’t think was possible, and I absolutely love that. No, this isn’t the beer for your BMC buddies, and it’s not the one to knock back a sixer while you man the grill, but it’s also stunningly more approachable than the stats had me believe originally.
What’d you think about Resinlord? Let us know in the comments below or by rating it with a single click of the stars. Beers to you, Houston!
Mike WrightPosted at 14:45h, 06 January
Good review! I want some! Wish they sold to some retailers.
Beer Chronicle TeamPosted at 00:10h, 10 January
Man, we do too. For now, heading to the brewery or having Hop Drop deliver it will have to do!
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