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10-06-02

Beer Review #309 Double D IPA

10-06-02I have yet another Double IPA up for review today. Don’t kill me, I just can’t help that I like big beers. As James Spencer of Basic Brewing Radio says, “I like big beers and I cannot lie.” Today’s beer comes from the Old Dominion Brewing Company. I first had this beer several years ago at the Good Beer Festival but at the time, they did not bottle it. I’m happy to report that they now bottle it and I am better for it. This Double IPA comes in at a nice round 9% ABV.

Double D IPA pours a nice orange color and has an off-white head. Unlike some DIPAs, this one is perfectly clear and looks beautiful in the glass. The nose is rich in hops. There are a lot of hop aromas a beer can have and this beer sits firmly in the grapefruit/tropical hop world. I didn’t get any pine on the nose in this one. In my book, any good DIPA should have a nice malt body to balance out the hops and the malt even comes out in the aroma for this beer.

On the first taste you get hit with two things:

  1. A great malt flavor that has some nice bread/toast components
  2. HOPS

The malt is nicely balanced but the start of the show is the hops. The hops are bright, fresh, and crisp. There is a really good citrus flavor that follows through the entire beer. A slight pine flavor comes in at the end and helps dry everything out nicely. Unlike some hoppy beers that feature bitterness, this beer really has a lot of hop flavor. It just sings through the beer and provides some great flavor notes for your tongue to enjoy.

This is hands down one of my favorite DIPAs. I’m so glad that they started bottling this beer. There is a great balance to this one. The malt is present and flavorful and the hops are clean and bold. There really isn’t a thing to dislike on this beer. Dominion has three different beers featuring pin-ups and this is by far my favorite. (more…)

Beer moods

A post over at The Brew Club got me thinking about something I am going to call beer moods. In the post, Scott reviewed Sam Adams Latitude 48 IPA and shared some thoughts about his experiences with IPAs. He said,

The Dogfish Head 60 was among my first craft beers, and quite frankly, I wasn’t ready for it at all!  As a matter of fact, I found it so much of an assault on my senses, that I wrote off the whole IPA scene until just last year.  What a shame.

The reason this caught my eye is that I was in the same boat when I first starting drinking craft beer. From my interpretation, IPAs are the beers that “hook” a lot of craft beer drinkers. I wonder why so many craft beer drinkers start with an IPA instead of ramping up to them. Why start at the extremes? An IPA is a aggressive beer with an acquired taste. Sure some people can take to them right away, but for many, they take time to appreciate.

In my own experience, I had someone who loved craft beer and guided me to learn the different beer styles. I was quickly a fan of IPAs but I really didn’t appreciate the first several that I had. There are some styles of beer that I like and crave more than others.

This is where the beer moods idea comes in. I really love hoppy beers sometime. Right now, I’m on a hoppy beer kick. But there  are other times where I don’t want anything hoppy. I want a malt forward beer or something with some spices. I seem to randomly go through these changes and I don’t understand why. Last year around this time I was on a Belgian beer kick. The strange part is that the moods kick in quickly and seriously deter me from trying the previous beer mood style.

Am I the only one who goes though these beer moods? If you do, what mood are you in now and how does it affect your beer drinking?

Beer Review #40 2 Below Ale

Yet another New Belgium seasonal beer. I can’t help it, I generally like everything that comes out of that brewery. I was also super excited to find a seasonal brew in Lubbock, Tx. If you have been reading this blog for any period of time, you should know my struggles with finding seasonal beer in Lubbock. And for those of you who are new, Lubbock, simply put, is a hole. There is a complete lack of beer culture, but oddly enough they enjoy expensive wine. Go figure.

Anyway, I grabbed up a sixer of 2 Below as soon as I saw it. As most New Belgium Brewing Company beers have, the label was interesting looking. A nice picture of some freezing pipes with icicles coming down off of the top. Now onto the important part, the beer. It pours a light amber in color with a nice white head. The aroma is nice and strong with tons of floral hops. There isn’t much else to be found on the smell, mostly just hops and maybe some malt if you are really looking hard.

The taste is an explosion of hops, in a good way. The malt and the hops are balanced perfectly. The hops are clean and crisp. On the back-end of the beer there is a slightly bready flavor. You can also expect to finds hints of pepper and other spice in there as well. Unlike some hoppy beers, the hops goes through the entire beer and not just at the back.

2 Below has a light to medium mouthfeel with great carbonation. It is very drinkable but I kind of wanted something darker and richer tasting for a winter beer. The beer comes in at 6.6% ABV so it is not a “weak” beer but I want some more alcohol in my winter beer. The whole warming idea of a winter beer doesn’t really happen at 6.6%. It really is a great beer and I would highly suggest it if you have the chance. Again it is not my favorite winter beer, but it is a solid beer for anytime of the year. (more…)