Dogfish Head recently added a new beer to their year-round group of beers and that beer happens to be the subject of today’s review/ Sixty-One is a “continually-hopped India Pale Ale brewed with Syrah grape must.” Dogfish certainly takes advantage of their continually hopped process at their brewery and adding grape must is an interesting addition to an IPA. This IPA comes in at a healthy 6.5% ABV.
Sixty-One pours a purplish-red and it is perfectly clear. There is a thin purplish-red head that sits on top of the liquid below. In all honesty, it looks like carbonated, watered-down wine. There is a hop nose to the beer but it isn’t sharp or overly bitter. There is some grape in the background but more than anything, a very strong earthy aroma comes out of this beer.
On the first sip I was really surprised at the amount of grape flavor that hits your tongue. The grape flavor stays through the whole drink and a hops enter at the very end. The hops are very nondescript, but come across as a bit earthy and have general bitterness. The beer finishes dry with a bit of a wine flavor.
This sure is an interesting beer, but I’m still not sure if the marriage of hops and grapes works out. The grape flavor is actually pretty nice and edges on being too powerful but the hops just don’t work for me. I would like to try a toned down version of this beer but as it sits currently, this is not one that I’ll be getting again. Continue reading
I told you that I was on an IPA kick and today I have a “newer” IPA from one of the country’s largest brewers, Sierra Nevada.Torpedo is an “Extra IPA” (according to the bottle) that comes in at 7.2%. It can be found in both bottles and cans and had a uses a new hopping technique developed by Sierra Nevada called Torpedo. A number of their beers are now being brewed with this method of hopping including Rhizing Bines.
Torpedo pours a light orange color. It has a thin white head and it is crystal clear. The nose has some slight hops but not much else. I was expecting this one to produce some much larger aromatics, but it just didn’t come through for me. Perhaps I had an older bottle or my senses were not locked in the day I tried this.
On my first taste I was really surprised to see the amount of sweetness that comes on the front end of this beer. I really like IPAs that transition to hops and don’t knock you out with the first punch. The hop flavor does come in midway through the beer and it kicks hard. The hops are very earthy and rich in flavor. There are some citrus notes in there but the main parts that I found were an earthy, dirty pine flavor. Torpedo finishes dry with some lingering bitterness.
I really, really like this one. This could become a go to IPA for me. It has all of the flavors that I really like, and while I didn’t get wowed with the nose, the flavor is solid. This is a full feature beer and the hop flavor is more complex than some I have tried recently. This beer has been out for a year or two now and if you haven’t tried it yet, you are missing out. Continue reading
Along with Elder Betty and HiCü, Magic Hat Brewing Company sent me Blind Faith, an IPA that comes in at 6.2% ABV. Magic Hat puts out a lot of IPAs as part of their IPA tour and this is one that I’ve had the chance to try before. I’m on a bit of a IPA kick right now so a free IPA made me super excited.
Blind Faith pours a deep orange color. It is perfectly clear and has a thin off-white head. The nose has a good amount of hops. The hops are pretty grapefruity with other citrus flavors in there. I guess the best way to describe them is floral and bright. I didn’t get much in the way of malt; just hops.
On the first sip I was really to find that this beer has a malt backbone. There are some light caramel flavors to begin with that lead into some bready flavors. A light hop flavor of citrus comes in and reminds you that you are drinking an IPA. The citrus is light and really warms the beer up and then a good smack of pine flavor comes in at the end to clean it all up and assert the IPAness of the beer.
I’m always a fan of a balanced beer and this one fits the bill. The hops are clean and bright and pack a good helping of flavor. The malt balance is spot on as well. While I’ve had better IPAs before, this is solid and could be a staple of some other breweries. Continue reading
So I’m kind of on an IPA kick as of late and I was recently at Troegs Brewing Company and picked up a sixer of Perpetual IPA. This bad boy comes in at 7.5% which totes the line between IPA and Double IPA. I’m going to go with this beer being in the former group, but there will be others that disagree. That’s one of the problems with beer styles, rarely do brewers not like to push the boundaries of what a style is.
Perpetual IPA pours a nice golden color and has a medium thick white head. I was actually surprised that this one wasn’t a shade or two darker and closer to an orange color, but golden it is. The nose strikes like an IPA should, hoppy and wonderful. The hops are mostly composed of pine odors with bits of grapefruit and citrus mixed in there. I really liked how this one smelled. It had a round hop aroma that was bright and ample.
There isn’t really any malt on the front side of this beer. It hits early and hard with some great hops. The hops aren’t biting in the normal hop way, they flow in and build in complexity as the drink progresses. It starts with a grapefruit flavor and then into a slightly grassy feel. It then ends on a bitter pine note. Bitter, but not biting. As with the nose, the hop flavor is round and wonderful.
I think this is an outstanding IPA. It’s a showcase for what hops can do in a beer and the different ways that they can be used. The lack of a strong bit makes this beer very approachable and super drinkable. I’ll be getting this one again soon. Continue reading
I have yet another collaboration beer for review today. This time it is the return of Dogfish Head and Sierra Nevada with Rhizing Bines. This is actually their second collaboration beer with Life and Limb being the first. According to the bottle this is “an Indian Pale Ale brewed with Bravo + 644 hops.” I had no idea what 644 hops were but apparently they are an experimental strain that doesn’t have a name yet, just 644. This bad boy comes in at 8% and has some attributes of both breweries. As another note, this beer uses Sierra Nevada’s torpedo dry hopping technique in addition to Dogfish Head’s continual hopping.
This beer pours a clear light orange color with an ample, slightly off-white, head. The nose is decidedly hoppy. The hops are bright and clean and just smell awesome. I don’t know if the Bravo hops or the 644 hops contribute to the aroma more, but whatever it is, I dig it.
A slight caramel flavor kicks off the first sip. A clean hop profile comes in that adds a good dose of bitterness, but not a punch. For a beer that has bright hops, this beer isn’t as hoppy as the nose would make you think. It is hoppy, but it says in balance with the malt body. The hops are this beer are really nice. This is a unique flavor that comes out of them that I just can’t put my finger on.
This is a very nice IPA. The hops are kept in check but allowed to exhibit their unique qualities. I enjoyed this one a great deal. I hope these two breweries keep up the collaborations as the beers have been darn good. Continue reading