I mentioned earlier this week that I rarely make it to beer releases due to massive constraints on my time caused by family, work and life. One reason that I failed to mention, but probably tops the list, is that I refuse to wait in line for beer. If a brewery is doing a big release that will generate a enough enthusiasm for a line to form ahead of time then I am probably not interested. There is way too much awesome beer available without the enormous time-sink of lines. Fortunately some breweries have adopted a new strategy to release popular beers in a more efficient and time effective manner, they sell “tickets” ahead of the release, and you can redeem the ticket anytime in a window after the beer is ready to get your beer. Lamplighter did this a couple weeks ago with their popular Galaxy hopped NEIPA Major Tom and it was very easy, I bought a voucher for a couple 4 packs online ahead of time, then the day after the beer was released I stopped by with the receipt (on my phone) and my ID, and the beer was mine with zero lines. I was also able to grab a few other special beers on my stop including Nocturne, a dunkel brewed in collaboration with Night Shift and Sneaker Wave, a NEIPA with Arctic thyme brewed in collaboration with Borg Brugghus. All three beers were stellar, I am just doing reviews of Major Tom and Nocture here to keep this article from being ridiculously long, but I highly recommend trying all three while they last!
Lamplighter Major Tom pours murky dark yellow with a small white head. The aroma is a big burst of fruity hops. The Galaxy hops also dominate the flavor, notes of pineapple, mango, kiwi along with a subtle but noticeable bitterness. This is complemented by some mild malt flavor, hints of bread dough and oatmeal. Major Tom has a rich and full mouthfeel, but drinks pretty easy and isn’t overly boozy at 6.8% ABV. The finish is crisp with plenty of lingering hop flavor. This is a very good NEIPA, any brewery would be very proud to have this beer on their menu, and it was great to get it without worrying about a line! Hoppy Boston score: 4.75/5.
Lamplighter/Night Shift Nocturne pours deep brown with a small white head. The scent is mild, featuring some roasted malts. The flavor is malt forward, touches of brown sugar, roasted nuts, toffee and dates. There is a subtle hop flavor that adds balance along with some earthy and herbal notes. Nocture is a light and very easy drinking lager, sessionable at 4.9% ABV. The finish is clean with a little lingering roasted malt flavor. This is a very good beer, tons of rich flavor but still super crushable. I hope this isn’t a one-off because I would definitely buy it again. Hoppy Boston score: 4.5/5.
Previous Lamplighter Reviews: