Sixpoint Bengali Tiger IPA

Review Date 5/29/2012  By John Staradumsky

Good morning, friends (or afternoon, or evening, or middle of the night for that matter). I have some great news to announce. Sixpoint beers have arrived in Georgia! Actually, I had a mug of their Sweet Action a few months ago, but now the stuff is starting to show up on store shelves and on tap at my local Taco Mac location.

What’s more, when I heard the famous Sixpoint Bengali Tiger was pouring, well, you just know that I pounced on that for all it was worth. I just love a good India Pale Ale after ale, and the name alone made it a beer worth seeking out. This also gives me a chance to discuss one of my favorite food-beer pairings, too, but more on that later.

Sixpoint calls Bengali Tiger their “homebrewed IPA interpretation”. It’s obviously not homebrewed if you buy it in cans and on tap (but not in bottles as far as I know). It’s a bit on the pricey side at $9.99 a 4-pack (hate 4-packs), but at least the cans are 16-ounces each, so in total you get close to a six-pack. My draft mug was a full 20-ounce pour for a reasonable six bucks.

Bengali Tiger is brewed with 3 different hop varieties (though I’m not sure which ones) added at six-points in the boil. Add times can make a key difference, as the more time in the boil the different character you pull from the hops. Early additions of hops will add more bitterness, while late additions will add more aroma and flavor. Multiple additions can give you both.

Sixpoint Bengali Tiger has a respectable 62 IBUs and an alcohol content of 6.4% by volume. Now, back to the spicy foods. I think spicy foods and hoppy beer make a great combination. I always have. There’s just nothing like an aromatic, bitter IPA with a plate of spicy wings, especially during football season. When I took my first sip of Bengali Tiger at Taco Mac, I immediately ordered up a plate of wings to go with it.

My thoughts on the beer:

Sixpoint Bengali Tiger pours to a bright orange amber color with a huge resiny hop aroma in the nose. Taking a sip, I get a medium caramel maltiness up front, followed straight away by a resin-citrus aroma and flavor that carries the beer into the finish. An aggressive herbal hop bitterness becomes present at the last. I can certainly see why they call this beer “Bengali Tiger”; it sure has a big bite! Of bitter hops that is.

Pardon me, though, my wings are here. How are they with the beer? Why heavenly, of course. The sharp bitterness of this one really increases as it warms, and that matched perfectly with the heat of the wings. Munching a spicy wing drenched in hot sauce, a dip perhaps in cool bleu cheese, and then a sip of hoppy Bengali Tiger. It does not get much better than that.

And standard American IPAs don’t get much better than Bengali Tiger. I really enjoy this beer, and recommend it most highly. Even if you don’t have any wings to go with it.

And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.

*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.

(B)=Bottled, canned