Happy Monday Nerd City! I want to talk about a style of beer that people either love or hate, it has polarized more people then the Phantom Menace, I am talking about Double IPA’s or Imperial IPA’s. It’s a full on blitzkrieg of hops in your month that you don’t get with a normal IPA. When brewing beer hops & malt act as the Yin & Yang of beer; malt adds sweetness to beer and hops add bitterness. Most beers are balancing act between the two. Double IPA’s however are full on bitter tongue bruising hop over load. It used to be hard to find a Double IPA because for a short time in the early 00’s there was a hop shortage and hop prices made it hard for a brewery to make a cost effective Double IPA. Now they are becoming increasingly available year round. I will list my top 5 (This is just my opinion and according to my ex-girlfriend it doesn’t matter)
5) Great Lakes Brewery: The Lake Erie Monster. Great Lakes is one of my favorite breweries, the beers they make are always spot on for the style. I got excited to see their interpretation of a Double IPA and it did not disappoint big hop flavor with soft caramel malt flavors.
4) Southern Tier: Unearthly IPA & Inequity . Unearthly has big grassy hop flavors with soft citrus notes that is surprisingly well balanced for the style. I also wanted to mention Inequity because it’s a twist on the style. It’s a Black Double IPA, they use black malt similar to the malt used in stouts to give it a darker color but the citrus hop flavors are not masked by the darker malt.
3) Three Floyd’s: Dreadnaught & Apocalypse Cow. “I love the smell of hops in the morning, it smells like victory” Nick Floyd. Dreadnaught is a slick oily citrus hop assault a well crafted hop bomb from Three Floyd’s. Apocalypse Cow is another twist on the Double IPA, they use lactose sugar that adds a creamy texture to the the onslaught of hop flavor.
2) Lagunitas: A Little Sumpin’ Extra. It’s cool to see a west coast breweries take on a Double IPA, west coast breweries are known for making hoppy pale ales. Big grapefruit citrus hop flavors with a creamy malt. I really enjoyed this beer because it was real easy drinking for a Double IPA, the 8% ABV was well hidden.
1) Bell’s: Hopslam. The Double IPA every hop head dreams of. It comes out once a year and beer geeks squirrel away as many six packs as their fridge will allow. If I could I would dress this beer like Sailor Moon and marry it in Las Vegas. Hopslam is hopped to the gills but has this pleasant creamy finish.
Honerable mentions: Left Hand Brewery Twin Sisters, New Holland Double Hatter, Two Brother’s Heavy Handed, Founders Double Trouble & Dogfish Head 90 & 120 minute.
Till next time, Cheers!