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Beer Review: Back Forty Beer Company, Freckle Belly IPA

Apr 14, 2013

Ding Points: 74.50

Pour: 90.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 70.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 70.00

Tasting Notes:

I’ve had very little exposure and experience with Back Forty beers, but when I did, I thought they were incredibly average. This is the first one that has made it across the border to GA, and predictably a DIPA. 22 oz bomber, cost me $4.99 I think. Best By 08/12/13.

Freckle Belly

Freckle Belly

Whether this is an American IPA or an American DIPA is largely irrelevant I feel, since with the level of bitterness that we encounter and the ABV, there is no way that I could categorize this as anything other than ‘American’, or ‘Double’.

Pour is a standard and attractive one, with some solid golden orange color, a medium thick, sticky bone-white head, and some retention and lace. Good start.

Nose offers some alcoholic, metallic grapefruit.Metallic bitterness dominates here. It’s not that there isn’t a sufficient malt backbone to hold it together, it’s just that the bitterness seems very raw. I fully understand the style, and the bitterness that should be here, but there seems to be a very sharp edge here that is aggressive. It’s tangy, but not in a citrus orange way, and it also exceeds a normal grapefruit bitterness too. It really gets into some metal, and it carries over into the finish and aftertaste.



Sure there is some typical, DIPA piney resin here, but it feels less sweet than many others, and is quite brutal. Unrelenting.

There’s no doubting what Back Forty is going for here, but this is a bit too edgy and stinging to fully embrace classic elements of the style. It is close, but still needs quite a bit of work before it gets into classic American DIPA country. The sweetness has to be upped to somehow support the metal.



You’re really gonna need to enjoy an abrasive, bitterness at the edges of even the DIPA style to entirely embrace this. Not horrible, but there’s not much subtle about this beer and metal is the overriding memory.

Other: 7.5% ABV, American DIPA.



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