A Storm's A Brewin'

Brewery and Country of Origin: Keegan Ales of 20 St. James Street, Kingston, NY, 12401, USA

Date Reviewed: 10-02-14

On the face of it, the name of this beer sounds like an addictive internet meme that incorporates the harsh shore destroying nature of a hurricane with the adorableness of a little kitty. Not sure how that would pan out, but what we do know is that we are currently at peak hurricane season, which typically runs annually from June 1st to November 30th. So far this year has been fairly calm compared to recent years like 2012, 2011, and 2010 all of which are tied for third for being the most active hurricane seasons. Though last year there were no major hurricanes and only two which were named (Humberto and Ingrid). This was the first time in almost 2 decades that there were no major hurricanes, and the first time since 1968 that there were no hurricanes of at least Category 2 strength. So far this year, there has been only one major hurricane (Eduoard), but it never made landfall. The actual name, "Kitty" has been used three times in the history of named storms: a 1949 category 3 Typhoon that moved over Japan and Russia, a 1971 tropical depression over the Arafura Sea north of Australia, and a 1973 storm which remained in the Indian Ocean. Though none of these storms made their way to the shores of North America and they all happened more than 4 decades ago, Keegan Ales, located in the Catskills of New York State, have either deliberately or perhaps more likely, inadvertently named an IPA after them. This year, if the hurricane season reaches the letter K (which usually happens), the storm will be named Kyle, which actually seems pretty boring compared to many of the other names that have sprung up lately, like Cristobal, Humberto, Dorian, or Ernesto. Still, storms have been given names in some form or another snice 1945, when forecasters recognized the need to clarify what storm was being discussed when multiple systems were present, and how to warn the public of approaching danger if persistent storms were a threat to shore communities. Originally started as a concept by the Queensland Government, the early name lists included names derived from Greek and Roman mythology, as well as common female names. Though the practice of using exclusively women's names was eventually used in other countries as well, the trend ended in the late 1970s, when the World Meteorlogical Organization (a UN entity) took over the naming process. In 1979, the WMO created six new lists of names which included both and female and male Spanish, French, and English names. These lists rotate and change with each year, with the names of particularly destructive or deadly storms (such as Katrina, Fico, Sandy, Washi, Yolanda, Andrew) being retired from use. As far as this beer is concerned, we're not sure if the name Kitty will ever be used again, but this is a perennial offering, so you can enjoy it outside of the hurricane season... which is good.
Date Sampled: 6-07-14 At: Manomet Beach, Plymouth, MA 02360, USA
Beer Style: American IPA
Alcohol by Volume: 5.50%
Serving Type: 12 oz Bottle, 16 oz Tumbler Glass
Rating: 3.24


Hurricane Kitty pours fairly smoothly with an average amount of carbonation action, producing a half inch tall foam head with a good amount of creamy texture, a high density, a lower than average retention, and an off white tan color. This beer has an amber color which glows fairly bright in sunlight and has a limited amount of shine due to a slight haze caused by the inclusion of some very fine sediment. There is no settling of this and the beer displays a good amount of effervescent effect. There is a medium full amount of lacing on the glass.


This beer's aroma is complex with a strong presence of bitter floral hops of the IPA foundation mixed in with a medium roast malt secondary giving off a caramel sweet roasted like note. The aroma includes a somewhat noticeable alcoholic tinge which is not typical for a beer of less than 6.00% ABV. There is also a hint of nuttiness and a subtle but detectable earthy and wood like undertone. This aroma is medium high strength overall.


This is a medium bodied brew with an average viscosity, a low weight, and a somewhat above average amount of carbonation. This beer finishes very dry with a steady lingering cooling effect. There is no bite from the alcohol, and this beer is slightly refreshing and mostly crisp, even on a hot day at the beach. This beer has a lighter feel than normal for the style and is pretty easy to drink overall.


As you would expect from this American IPA, this beer is full of floral hop flavor in a fairly bitter package. This is somewhat balanced by a medium roast sweet toffee like malt which helps to serve up a biscuity secondary note. Piney and spice like hops dominate the overall flavor, which finishes dry with a fairly malty aftertaste and a good amount of bitterness. There is thankfully no alcoholic taste as indicated in the aroma.

Our Take

Generally speaking, this beer is much more tame than an actual hurricane. At 5.50% ABV, this beer is hardly tipping the alcoholic strength scales. But if you are in the market for a well balanced casual beer which pretty much goes well in every season, then why not give this a try. This is a fairly malty ipa which doesn't fail to deliver on an adequate hoppy experience. Unfortunately, this beer's overall middle of the row way doesn't make it a particularly memorable beer, and for that reason, you won't think of it as anything more than average. This beer looks darker than a typical IPA, and the inclusion of caramel like malt is indicated by both this beer's appearance and its aroma. This is not as hoppy as those looking for a really flavorful IPA will want, and though there are some malty notes, this beer isn't a complex beer when it comes to its flavor profile. Still, this is a good beverage which would make a great option for those in need of a casual drinking beer which offers a well balanced experience that can be enjoyed with a variety of meals. And like the hurricane season, this beer's IPA and red ale like characteristics bring in a transition between summer and fall.