Lights Out by Southsea Brewing Co.

Monday, 22 August 2016

Beer Name: Lights Out

Brewer: Southsea Brewing Co., Hampshire, England

Date Sampled: 22nd August 2016

ABV: 5.2%

Serving Type: Bottle

Location Sampled: Home

I popped into Southsea Brewing Co. for my first visit around a week ago (read about that here) and since then I've had four bottles of their beer sat looking at me, begging to be tried! But the combination of a busy working week and too many beers to get through (not really a problem), means that it wasn't until today that I finally got a chance to try one of them.

I know very little about Southsea Brewing Co, only that I started following them on Facebook back in October 2015 when they announced that they would be moving to a new brewery in Southsea Castle. I believe that until that point they were successfully brewing at home but due to increase in popularity they had needed to spread their wings. Since then its been fascinating to follow their journey over the various social media outlets, especially when they started to unveil products and branding. The current range includes Lights Out (Black IPA that I review below), Low Tide (Pale Ale which I will probably be tasting later this week), Casemate IPA (I'll be picking some up soon) and Searchlight (a Smoked Porter that I tasted when I went to their shop and it's a belter). They've also posted on Facebook today about a new brew coming soon, Heavy Artillery, a Double IPA coming in at 7.2%.... someone's bringing out the big guns!

So today's tasting was of Lights Out, a Black IPA which is bottle conditioned and stands at 5.2% ABV. As expected, the beer pours very dark and, with no real head to speak of, it almost resembles a glass of slightly flat cola in the glass.

Having not had a Black IPA before I was not sure what was to come next but it's an experience I'll definitely look to repeat!

The nose is all black treacle, far less delicate than the Pale Ale's that I've been drinking so much of recently. It suggests that the beer to come is going to be a bit of a brute but that is not the case.

It brings a lovely smooth mouth-feel and starts with a lovely floral hoppy flavour. But before you get comfortable with what appears to now be a tasty but simple IPA this takes a turn for the more complex as it moves towards smoked almonds before finishing with a toffee flourish.

Whilst very easy drinking, it's definitely 'beefier' than some of the beers I've been drinking lately and the aftertaste and mouth-feel after drinking was reminiscent of how a Pinot Noir might leave you. It's a great beer that is incredibly well balanced despite the complex flavours and would be a great stepping stone for people wanting to explore the world of beer beyond the currently dominant pale ales.

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