It’s no secret we’re a fan of Highland Brewing Company. We also greatly appreciate their efforts to raise the game withe each new beer they release. The beer we have on deck today, Southern Sixer IPA, is no different.
First, a little background. Highland draws a lot of inspiration from the surrounding area. They are huge proponents of the land and advocates of conservation, protection and raising awareness. Often that awareness comes in naming a beer. From Highland: Southern Sixer, like Highland’s other seasonal beers, is named for a protected feature of the Southern Appalachian landscape. Close to home, “Southern Sixers” refers to a group of Southern Appalachian mountains over 6,000 feet in elevation. Conserving this area’s land and water retains its true value and beauty.
Six hop varieties were also used in this beer; Equinox, Mosaic, Columbus, Cascade, Chinook & Simcoe. ABV? 6%. IBU? 60? Can you get it in a 12 pack? Nope. 6 pack? Yep! You can tell the gang had a lot of fun with the number 6 – kinda like a Sesame Street episode for adults. Can you imagine that day at the brewery? Picture it, a staff meeting, in bursts Count von Count from Sesame Street, music begins seemingly from no where, “Today’s number? 6!” sings the Count. The second verse is something about the fight against gingivitis. Then in a cloud of smoke, he’s gone. If that’s not a sign from the heavens, I don’t know what is. The result, Southern Sixer.
So, the beer. This beer pours a dark golden, nice head that dissipates but is easily agitated. On the nose I immediately find tropical fruits, resin, some cattiness, citrus and pine – there’s a lot going on here but there should be given the hop bill. On the tongue the first thing I noticed was a bit of pepper spice towards the end of the sip. However, the aroma plays forward on the palate leaving a bit bitter as it coats the mouth.
Final snobs: This tastes like more than a 6% beer. There’s a ton of flavor here and if you’re a hop head, this one is for you. To the folks at Highland Brewing Company, well done!