Being fairly new to this collection of bloggers I decided that I would take a stab at writing up a review on Sun King Grapefruit Jungle. This beer has previously been written about on this site here and here. This is one of my favorite beers from this brewery, a brewery I am often quite critical of. The previous write-ups are an enjoyable read, and I think my sentiments are somewhat a blend of the other reviewers. But here is my take on this annual Sun King release.
Pour: Poured from a can into the Sun King can glass. I know that IPA's should go in a tulip, but I can't let the can glass go unused here. As you can see from the picture, there was a little spillage due to the can glass not providing ample space for the entire pour. The only way I've found to get a Sun King beer into the can glass is to try and pour the beer so that there is no head...which is a shame. *Note to Sun King...make this glass just a little bigger. Anyway, the beer pours a nice copper/orange color and it so badly wants to have head, but the glass didn't really support that very well.
Aroma: I can smell the beer from about 2-3 feet away. The aroma is that pungent. Loads of citrus. I get mostly tangerine and grapefruit on the nose.
Mouthfeel: It's an IPA so I expect it to be right where it is. It is a medium bodied beer. It's not light or watery and it's not nearly full bodied. The mouthfeel also provides quite a bit of sticky resin which does take its toll on the palate.
Taste: This is where the beer gets wild. Get it? Wild? Jungle? Ok, so I'm not a comedian. Anyway. The flavor profile is very citrus forward. Grapefruit, tangerine, and maybe a touch of that sweet and tropical passion fruit which keeps this beer from being a total bitter bomb. The malt bill also prevents it from being out of control. That being said, it's definitely not a balanced beer. The hops very much overpower everything...and I love that. There are enough sweet flavors to temper the harshness of those bittering hops. It leaves each sip with a subtle dryness which creates the need for the next sip. It's a hop bomb in every way.
Overall: This is probably my favorite Sun King beer. It's overpriced, as are all Sun King beers, but it's still probably the best IPA in the local market. I do wish that they would make it a year round beer, but for a variety of reasons they haven't. Additionally, I'm not of the opinion that the beer changes from year to year. This year's cans taste exactly how I remember the cans from 2011. I've also had it on draft and there is no discernable difference to me draft 2014 vs. draft 2011 vs. draft 2013 (etc.). Maybe my palate isn't as sophisticated...or maybe beer geeks just allow things to get in their heads to question consistency. One thing Sun King does extremely well is that they produce consistent product. This is no exception to that.
I would give this a 4.5/5. It's a great beer.