It’s my wife’s birthday today, and to celebrate, we’ve been working around the house. She’s continuing to work on staining our staircase and other things, and I’ve been working on different parts of the house. I needed a break, and decided to crack open a beer. This is one of the beers my friend Betty sent me around the first of the year. She visited the brewery and decided to send me several of the ones she tried. I already had their Bad Santa Cascadian Black Ale and wanted to have the Double IPA while it was still pretty fresh.
Location: Poured into a pint glass at my home in Bloomington, IL.
Numbers: 9% ABV, 90 IBUs, 18° Plato OG, ~310 Calories
Ingredients: Malts: two-row malt, Munich malt; Adjuncts: white cane sugar; Hops: Magnum hops, Citra hops, Mosaic hops, Centennial hops, Cascade hops
Appearance & Aroma: It’s dark golden in color and slightly hazy with a lot of carbonation in it. Despite all of the carbonation, it has a thin, fluffy, white head. It also has a huge, bright citrusy aroma with a bit of grassiness to it.
Taste & Feel: The body is medium-full, and the mouthfeel is smooth and a bit oily from the hops. The flavor up front is very citrusy with a lot of hop bitterness and not a whole lot of sweetness. The bitterness gets bigger in the middle along with some big citrusy hop juiciness. In the finish, the hop bitterness eases back a little bit as the big citrusy juiciness opens up into a brighter mix of citrusy and grassy bitterness with some flavors. The bitterness lasts for a couple minutes in the aftertaste.
Food Pairing: This is a pretty bitter beer with lots of citrusy and grassiness. I had it with Mexican food, and it was a pretty good pairing, although the bitterness was still pretty pronounced. Therefore, I think I’d pair this with something even heartier, like a burger or thick pizza, where the cheese could mix with the hop bitterness a bit and the meat or bread could cut through it.
Overall Impression: The first thing I noticed was the awesome citrusy hop aroma, so the flavor was no surprise when I took a sip. However, I was hoping for a bit more hop flavor to balance out the bitterness. In the middle the bitterness was pretty sharp, and continued through the finish. I enjoyed the hop flavors, I just wish the bitterness wasn’t so harsh. Overall, it was a good beer, but you have to be ready for the big bitterness.