Embracing Paradox with California DIPA

Double IPAs are strange beers. They're doubled versions of IPA's, an already brash and “loud” style of beer. DIPA's contain larger quantities of alcohol, hops, and malts than “regular” IPA, and these create unique flavors that suggest different drinking strategies to fully experience.

1. Drink it fresh! The ephemeral essential oils and acids that make hops so delicious are fragile and degrade rapidly even sealed in a can in the fridge. It's not wine – drink it as soon as possible!
2. It's all about the cans. The two biggest enemies of hop flavors are light and oxygen. Cans are more effective in excluding both, so if you've got to choose, consider opting for a DIPA that's canned.
3. Don't be cultured. The aromas of fresh hops dissipate rapidly. To get the freshest and most direct hop hit, sip the DIPA right from the can! Or, if you're trying to be cultured, try a brandy-snifter, with a big bulb and a narrower nose to concentrate the fresh hop aromas.

With these tips in mind, we're going to taste some California DIPA's. Cheers!

Knee Deep Brewing Lupulin River

Format Sampled: 22 oz capped bottle

ABV: 8.0%

Tasting Notes: Pours a bright amber with a thin pure white head. Aroma has grapefruit, pine, peach and pineapple. Initial flavor is a paradoxical mix of astringent, floral coffee, tropical fruit, and grapefruit pith. There is a firm, assertive bitterness after the fruit that lingers on, teasing my tongue. There's a marvelously delicate structure of sweet malt holding up all the hoppy ornamentation. The malt is slightly toasty, with a gentle, honeyed sweetness, and flashes of brown sugar. The body is moderate and slightly syrupy.

Sierra Nevada Hoptimum

Format Sampled: 12 oz capped bottle

ABV: 10.4 %

Tasting Notes: Pours a clear amber with a bone-white head. Aroma is dank, herbal and sweet. Initial flavor is roundly sweet, with apple, pineapple, and bitter herbs. The body is viscous, sweet and makes the lovely bitter hops stick to my palate like an embracing herbal blanket. Tasting partner, Kyle, says the hop flavor "hits like a ton of bricks." It's not all bitterness though. There are notes of lemon custard, caramel apples and fruit gums. This is a forceful herbal elixir with a heavy body, massive floral bouquet, and fuming alcoholic intensity. This is a beer to sip from a snifter in front of a raging fire, contemplating deep thoughts.

Firestone Walker Double Jack

Format Sampled: 12 oz capped bottle

ABV: 9.5 %

Tasting Notes: Pours a dark gold with a thin white head. Aroma is resinous with pine, basil, citrus and honey. The first sip frankly bitter, astringent and herbal- like a hop tincture! But it quickly rounds into balance with honey, pine, and oak joining the herbal hops. The body is thick and quite smooth. The thick body, relatively dry flavor profile and abundant wood flavors recall a single malt whiskey. This is another forceful, complex, contemplative beverage!

Last modified onTuesday, 13 December 2016 13:44