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Czig_Meister_4th_Anniversary_IPA

Cizg Meister - Fourth Anniversary

9

Aroma

9.1/10

Eye Appeal

9.2/10

Mouthfeel

8.8/10

Taste

9.0/10

Pros

  • Very drinkable 10% ABV
  • Mild bitterness
  • Juicy and dank

Cons

  • A bit in your face
  • Tricks people into drinking it too fast
  • They'll only make it once

When Czig Meister Brewery in Hackettstown, NJ announced its Fourth Anniversary beer this spring I was very excited.  Last year’s anniversary release was one of my favorites of their multitude of offerings, and I told them that every time I was in the taproom.  Last week, on release day, I was there shortly after the brewery opened.  Then, something happened.  I sort of forgot about how excited I was, and somewhere during the weekend I unconsciously popped one open and slugged it down.  For some reason, it barely registered beyond thinking that it was pretty good.

A couple days later I opened another Fourth Anniversary, sat down to really pay attention to it, and a similar thing happened.  I liked it, but I didn’t get excited about it.  Perhaps these are the pitfalls of high expectations, or maybe I still wasn’t paying attention.

Turns out, it was the latter.  I wasn’t paying attention.  It wasn’t until I sat down to write this review that I realized what it was that I was missing.  I’d forgotten that this was a huge, imperial NEIPA at 10% ABV.  My mind was still on the Third Anniversary beer and its 8.5% ABV.  This year’s version seemed a little harsh compared to last year’s, because I overlooked that this year’s beer was stronger and bolder than last year’s.

Suddenly I understood.  This was not a slightly harsh 8.5%, this was a ridiculously smooth 10% NEIPA, thick and creamy, busting with Citra hops, dank as all get out and dangerously drinkable.

Fourth Anniversary pours a thick, opaque orange that traps the surrounding light inside of it.  The aroma is full of tropical fruits, like mango, pineapple, and citrus.  Underneath the fresh citrus is a dank funk that is just as evident in the flavor.  The mouthfeel is smooth and viscus, with a little spiciness, but none of the hot booziness that is so often found in imperials.  This NEIPA is downright scary at 10%.  The flavors are so well balanced, the interplay of fruitiness and dankness creates something darn near tropical fruit juice, except with booze.

Sure, it could be more refined.  Perhaps it doesn’t need to knock you over the head quite so hard, but in the end, this is a beer brewed for a celebration.  That’s exactly how it drinks, tricking us into thinking it’s juice, making us forget about the 10% ABV.  Sounds like a party to me.

Purchase this beer without worry, but get it fresh.  At three days old, it was perfect.