Archive for the ‘American Double IPA’ Category

I recently missed an appearance of Dogfish Head’s 120 Minute IPA at a beer pub, so I’ll have to make due with the 90 Minute IPA I found in my local supermarket (which really has a great beer selection).  It’s an Imperial IPA (or American Double IPA, your call) which means that I should expect all the hoppiness of an IPA, but more aggressive and in your face.

It’s a clear copper/gold color in the glass with a yellowish cream-colored head that slowly fades and leave substantial lacing on the glass.  The smell is more citrusy than hoppy with a bit of malt coming through.  It’s not nearly as hoppy as I expected.  I can certainly taste hops, but they’re not kicking my teeth in or anything.  The taste really mirrors the scent with the addition of just a hint of pine on the back end.  It’s a pretty smooth drink, not too boozy or too carbonated.  Despite not particularly liking IPA’s, I quite enjoyed this.  I’ll definitely have to track down some of the other IPA’s Dogfish Head makes.  This is a good beer to try if you’re attempting to ease yourself into hops.  I’d drink it again.  (And the brewery has a steampunk treehouse!)

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A couple evenings ago, I had been hanging out with a friend, talking about beer.  Her favorite beer is Great White and when she found out I hadn’t yet reviewed it, she suggested we stop by Billco’s on the way back to Napa to try one.  I walked in, fully planning on having one glass of Great White and then returning home.  As we waited at the bar, I scanned the wall of taps to see if anything jumped out and grabbed me.  Well, hanging out on the top row was a little inconspicuous round red logo…Pliny the Elder.

Pliny is brewed by the Russian River Brewing Company in Santa Rosa, CA and is considered one of the best beers available.  Beer Advocate Magazine rates it A+ and calls it “One of the best DIPA’s on planet earth, ever.”  In beer circles, this is on everyone’s list of beers to drink before you die.  I would have been a bad Beer Chick indeed if I passed this up.

Before drinking this beer, I actually hadn’t read much about what to expect from it.  I kind of like to experience a beer without any preconceived notions of how it should taste.  It poured a beautifully clear orange/gold with a fluffy white head.  I was very surprised when I smelled this beer.  There was a strong hop scent and…something else…  The smell was so unfamiliar to me that I was a good ways into the actual tasting of it before I figured it out.  Pine!  I’ve never had that smell or taste in a beer before (or at least not as strong as this), so it was certainly unusual for me.  There was also some subtle citrusy notes to it.  Oddly, it wasn’t as bitter as I would expect from something so hoppy…and then I found out later that it’s rated at 100IBUs.  So the bitterness is masked quite well by everything else going on.  It’s moderately carbonated and has a slightly astringent mouthfeel.  Overall, while IPA’s aren’t my favorite style, this is a nice beer to drink.  For those of you who like hops, this is a very nice beer.  If you have the chance to try this one, do!

Just a side note:  I realize I’ve been drinking an awful lot of IPAs for someone who prefers other types of beers, but it seems IPAs are the unofficial state beer of California, so I guess I’m stuck for awhile. =)

Today I opened up a bottle of Hop Stoopid by Lagunitas Brewery.  It’s on my list of breweries to tour while I’m in the Bay Area.  I’ve been told that the hops on this one tend to hang out for awhile after drinking.

Color-wise I was expecting something along the lines of an IPA, but this poured a real golden yellow with a thin white head that left some pretty good lacing.  The smell is overwhelmingly hoppy.  The hoppiest beer I think I’ve smelled.  Some background notes of citrus.  Holy crap.  I thought I’d had hoppy beers before, but this is just stoopid!  It has a bit of sweetness, but nothing can really compete with the hops.  The hops do linger for a bit, but they’re not homesteading or anything.  As much as I’m not a fan of IPAs in general, this wasn’t bad.  If you like a good IPA, you should definitely give this a try.  My cousin, an IPA fan, drank this beer with me and enjoyed it quite a bit.