This December, I've been marinating my liver in delightfully hoppy double IPA (DIPA). I've sipped 8 DIPA's from Maine, 3 from California and 3 from Vermont. What did it leave me with? 1 hangover, 3 hoppy belches, 4 great beer articles, and a whole pile of DIPA that didn't fit into a convenient regional category. This week, I'm selecting the standouts from oddball bin in my fridge and putting my DIPA binge to rest. In 2017, I'll kick off the year by exploring an entirely new style. Have a safe, happy and beer-enlivened NYE!
Victory Hop Ranch Imperial India Pale Ale
Format Sampled: 12 oz capped bottle
Tasting Notes: Pours a sparkling gold with a thin, white head. Aroma has gentle lemon, subtle cream and a hot, alcoholic notes. The initial taste has a peculiar, though thoroughly agreeable, phenol character. It's like a whiff of the laboratory this alchemical liquid was born in. The hops leap out and grab my tongue, wrestling with it and slamming it against the proverbial mat. This isn't one of those mild, “fruit forward” DIPA's! No, this is an assertive hop bomb. The body is light and liquid, almost silky, which is a startling contrast to the aggressive hops. This is a sophisticated, delightfully contradictory tipple!
Two Roads Road 2 Ruin Double IPA
Format Sampled:16 oz can
Tasting Notes: Pours a burnished amber with a thick pillow of white foam. Aroma has orange zest, spicy cardamon and some toffee. Initial flavor is rounded and gorgeous, with no sharp edges. The hop flavors are gentle, with stewed fruit, dried herbs and muted citrus. It's all suspended in a warm, lovely malt base that's viscous, warm and chewy. This DIPA is comforting, soothing and gentle - words I wouldn't often use to describe this beer of this style!
Moat Mountain Call It A Day Double IPA
Format Sampled: 16 oz can.
Tasting Notes: Pours a hazy copper with a huge pouf of foam. Aroma is packed with pine, grapefruit zest and a hint of asphalt. The first taste is sharp and packed with zesty citrus flavors – candied orange, lemon peel and lemon oil. There are some other fruit flavors too – some peach and raspberry. The hop flavors linger, thick and almost oily on my tongue. What endurance! I'm sitting here, typing, and rubbing my tongue on the roof of my mouth and still appreciating a developing hop flavor. Call It A Day blends the fruity character of an East Coast DIPA with the piney bitterness of a West Coast IPA. It's a winning combination!