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A raft of beers from the unfamiliar Prague brewery Sibeeria arrived locally late last year. I bought a couple as testers, to see if it's worth trying the rest.

Sour IPA is a favourite style and 0801 is the sour one in their IPA Tone series. You get your money's worth with a half-litre can, filled to the very brim. The beer is only 4.1% ABV and a translucent medium lemon yellow in the glass. It smells sweet, not sour, like a fruity fizzy soft drink. Galaxy, Azacca and Idaho 7 are the responsible parties, hopwise. That's present to an extent in the flavour too, but the main feature is a lovely tart bite, right from the opener and leaving a sherbet-like buzz on the lips. It's surprisingly full-bodied too, fully justifying sipping through it, but if you want to quaff it as a thirst-quencher, that could work equally as well. I took my time, enjoying the clean orangey spritz with the tangy background. My archetypal sour IPA will always be the much-missed Wayfarer from Eight Degrees and this has a pleasing amount in common with it.

Experiment 2 brought a west coast IPA in the same series, called 0105. Immediate suspicions here as it's hazy in the glass. 6% ABV is a little lightweight for this sort of thing, and the can also tells us that Azacca and Amarillo are involved: hops I associate much more with softer and sweeter IPAs. But enough about the theory, how's the practice? The aroma is on point, all fresh and punchy with the requisite elements of citrus and pine. The flavour doesn't quite deliver, however. As expected it's quite soft and rather fuzzy in an un-west-coast way. That means there's a lack of bitterness, which is unforgivable. But even aside from stylistic concerns, there's a general blandness about this -- it's not even a good example of any other style. There's a lime cordial sweetness with no more than a squirt of lime juice and a thin coat of pine resin for balance. I guess the malt side is to style, providing sufficient residual sugar to balance a bitterness which never arrives. This is not a bad beer, but it's very much not what I'm after.

I won't be rushing out to clear the shelves of Sibeeria's other beers. I will come back to them, should they hang around, however. What I've learned today warrants a cautious optimism.