Archive for India Pale Ale (IPA)

67 – Dogfish Head Squall IPA

Special delivery from Uncle Crappy over the summer, I finally got around to crackin this one open. 2 of my favorite things, Dogfish Head and an IPA. Hopefully I don’t get sea sick.

**I hosted a beer tasting last night at Bocktown Beer & Grill and didn’t get home till way late. If you came out, thanks! If not, chug a Bud as your penance you heathen!**

Dogfish Head Squall
brewery:
Dogfish Head – dogfish.com
beer website: http://www.dogfish.com/brews-spirits/the-brews/occassional-rarities/squall-ipa.htm
style: Imperial IPA
abv: 9.0%
serving size: 750ml
glass used: snifter
price: $11.99

Overview
I could tell you about it but instead I’ll leave it to head pimp of Dogfish Head, Sam Calagioni [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvtAD3G47i0[/youtube]

What I think
This starts out with an unusual aroma to it. It smells stale. The pour was epic so I was thinking that maybe my smeller was on the fritz. Took a step back and savored the moment because honestly it was beer porn. LOOK at that picture!  It’s heaven… but unfortunately the taste wasn’t. At first was in love with the hop punch to my face but by the time I was done with the first glass it went from “wooohooo!” to “zzzzzzzzzzzzzz!”. That’s right. Boring as all hell. The beer turned bland and I was disappointed. I’d tell you the flavors and all my usual jazz but there was none of that. It ranks up with Killer Penguin boring.

I talked to a few friends about their bottles and the overall opinion was that I may have had a bad one. I know I’m not going to like everything from a brewery but this one felt from the get-go that something was off.  Since this is such a rare beverage to get in SWPA does anyone wanna send me some to revisit 🙂

Spoon’s rating: C –


Comments (6)

64 – Lagunitas Hop Stoopid

It’s time to get a little stoopid!

Lagunitas Hop Stoopid
brewery:
Lagunitas Brewing Company – lagunitas.com
style: Imperial IPA
abv: 8%
serving size: 22oz
glass used: snifter
price: $11.99

Overview
102 I.B.U. – nuff said

What I think
It’s not as bitter as the 102IBU’s make you think it might be. I actually thought the Sam Adams Imperial Pils was much more bitter.

As you can see from the pour above this beer came out pretty much perfect. The aroma on this is hop punch to the face with mild tones of citrus. The bod was a tad on the thick side but pleasant and the hops. Sweet googly moogly was this a freaking hop DREAM. As my buddy Phil would say “beergasm”!  The hops play around with your palate and a nice malty tent fills the rest of your mouth. The finish was like that moment when you kick back, take a deep breath and say “yeah… life is good”. That’s what this beer is.

Spoon’s rating: A+

Comments (5)

55 – Bullfrog Edgar IPA

hdh55_bullfrogedgaripa

This is a gift from my brother who was in Williamsport, PA a couple of weeks ago. I know it’s difficult to buy beer for me because he’s always asking me if I’ve had a certain beer when he’s travels. My advice, grab me an IPA.  He listened…

Bullfrog IPA
brewery:
Bullfrog – bullfrogbrewery.com
style: India Pale Ale
abv: 8%
serving size: 64oz
glass used: pint
price: n/a

Overview
As the story goes, I was redesigning our I.P.A. to be bigger and better but as it came together it started to take on a life of its own. After much deliberation and several pints of our new creation we decided to name him after the master of macabre, Edgar Allen Poe, as a tribute to his aptly named short story “HOP FROG.” As Edgar fermented and spewed his almost abusive hop aroma throughout the pub, his legend and our thirst grew until finally one day, he was released into the world. We hope Edgar amuses you as much as he has us but stay on his good side because much like the story, this Hop Frog bites back!

What I think
I’m usually hesitant when a non-craft beer person buys me beer to try. I feel bad if I don’t like it because I can see their disappointment like they failed grade school. This time, someone got it right.

The pour was golden with more of a yellow-orange hue, not that rocky mountain clarity gold. Props on the pour since I’m doing it from a growler. Strong white 2 finger head that lasted a solid 5 minutes. The aroma is hops, hops and oh yeah hops. The initial flavor reminds me of a Loose Cannon IPA from Clipper City and was a real kicker. I could taste the complexity of various hops but I also got a hint of grapes. Yeah, you heard me, grapes. The finish has a malty smoothness with an extra hop blast. If I was going to brew an IPA this is the model I would follow. They really need to get this beer out to the masses because I can see medals in this future.

The pint glass btw I got from a church I won a 2009 Mustang 🙂

Spoon’s rating: A+

Imperial Stouts are generally known as Winter beers.  Because of their high alcohol content (in this case, 9.5% ABV), they tend to lay heavy on your tongue which some find less palatable in warmer seasons such as this.  But this beer doesn’t do that. It’s lush, yes — rich with malt and chocolate and slight hints of vanilla. With such a sweet overall balance of malt, it almost seems that the hops play a very minor role in the overall flavor of the beer. Even the roasted barley, one of the most integral ingredients of any Stout, doesn’t take over.  Ten Fidy almost seems like a beer that doesn’t take itself seriously, when it should. It couldn’t be less assuming. It is in a can, after all.Don’t judge this beer by its appearance in its package. Because once it’s in your glass, it’s a whole new ball game. Available coast to coast.  http://www.oskarblues.com/locations/

Comments (1)

50 – Southern Tier Oak Aged Unearthly IPA

hdh50_southerntierOAunearthly

Sickpuppy and myself made a trip to Bocktown in the Robinson/North Fayette area of Pittsburgh for a Monday afternoon delight. OK that just sounded bad. We are actually going to be part of the Beer Dependence Day event on July 3rd and wanted to go scope out the area and see what we will be doing. The trip quickly turned from business to OMFG look at this sweet beer selection! MANY beers we have been unable to get were all in one place.

Southern Tier Oak Aged Unearthly IPA
brewery: Southern Tier – southerntierbrewing.com
style: Imperial IPA
abv:
11%
serving size: 22oz
glass used: snifter
price:
$15

Overview
At the Southern Tier Brewing Company, vigorously hopped beer is our standard and inspiration. We continue a commitment to innovation with an aggressive offering. Oak Aged Unearthly is a manifestation of the brewer’s craft; skillfully balancing art and the forces of nature to produce a divine liquid. Delicately pour a taste of this oak aged brew into a fluted glass. Smell the enchanting aromas of the hops waft forward as your first sip divulges this beer’s fervent soul. To underestimate Oak Aged Unearthly is to trifle with the mysteries of the universe, so please consume wisely. Consider it an immoral act to blacken an ale. We suggest they don’t rely on conventional standards. Allow the darkness to consume you. Cheers!

What I think
My eyes bugged out of my head when I saw this available. Not just a couple bottles but CASES. I haven’t been able to find this in stock anywhere else in Pittsburgh. I put my personal excitement aside since that has brought me to failure before. I admit that I think the original Unearthly is OK but I’ve had better IPAs. The bartender Kris poured the beverages for us and I had to compliment her skills as she managed to get the perfect head in a snifter. Right away from the aroma and first taste this reminded me of the mind blowing experience of the first time I had Southern Tier’s Gemini. Citrus and balanced hops with a smooth finish.

The hops were not as overpowering as I was expecting but this was a treat in oak aged goodness. I did get a hint from the oak aged but the smoothness just amazed me. To me I was damn close to reaching beervana again.

Buy this beer. Age this beer. Whatever you have to do, get some.

Spoon’s rating: A+

Comments (2)

48 – Victory Wild Devil

hdh48_victorywilddevil

Victory Hop Devil is one of my favorite IPA’s of all time. Victory decided to take it one step further by messing with a good thing. The story behind this is a riot and I wish I had a recorder when, by chance, I met up with a sales rep. I’ve had it on tap but he insisted that the bottle was better. Time to find out.

Victory Wild Devil
brewery: Victory Brewing – www.victorybeer.com
style: India Pale Ale
abv:
6.7%
serving size: 22oz
glass used: tulip
price:
$10

Overview
Bold, spicy, menacingly delicious HopDevil takes on an entirely new dimension when subjected to a wild yeast fermentation. A sharp, sourish edge has been added by this fermentations that plays into the caramel sweet malt deliciously and creates complex interplay with citrus accented hops.
American IPA w/ Brettanomyces.

What I think
Sickpuppy bought this to share and tried to kill me with the cork (I will get you back) so I missed the initial pour and head. The appearance was slightly lighter than a HopDevil with a fruity, hoppy and funky aroma. Seriously, funky is the best word I can come up with. It truly was something haven’t come across before and the taste left me perplexed. It had more character than the draft and was smooth with a bit sour. I took a second drink and started to get citrus upfront that would start to mellow out. There was very little bite and then I would pucker. See what I mean, it was all over the palate road with a smooth and mellow finish. It felt like an extreme ride from Cedar Point.

Spoon’s rating: B+

Comments

46 – Dogfish Head Burton Baton

hdh46_dfhburtonbaton

Either you love it or hate it when Dogfish Head experiments with flavors. Me, I love it. Correction, I luuuuuurve it. They won’t release a beer for the sake of saying they brewed something new if it didn’t pass a rigorous tasting first. My palate rests in their brewing.

Dogfish Head Burton Baton
brewery:
Dogfish Head – dogfish.com
beer webpage:
http://www.dogfish.com/brews-spirits/the-brews/occassional-rarities/burton-baton.htm
style:
Imperial IPA
abv:
10%
serving size:
22oz
glass used:
snifter
price: $5

Overview
A blend of oak-aged English strong ale and our 90 Minute I.P.A.. Citrus notes from Northwestern hops meld with vanilla notes from the oak.

What I think
I was blessed with a perfect night to cook on the grill some dead cows so it was only fitting I hit my collection of IPA’s. I’ve eyed up this bottle for awhile and finally bit the bullet when I was at the store last week. The pour could only be best described as beer porn. Creamy 2 finger head and crisp amber body glistening in the sun. The aroma was mild floral and faint citrus. The taste was… OK here I was worried because many Imperial IPA’s I’ve had lately would punch me in the palate with strong alcohol flavor. For a 10% ABV beer it was extremely balanced. I picked up mediocre maltiness which was a huge plus because it didn’t overpower the hops nor succumb to high alcohol. The finish was smooth and malty. Savor this one, don’t slam it.

If you’re a fan of the Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA there is a 99.9% chance you’ll love this. If you don’t like the 90, shut up and drink it anyways 🙂

Spoon’s rating: A-

Comments (3)

36 – Rogue Yellow Snow

Rogue Yellow Snow

I was in Studio A (notice the official bottle opener) to visit sickpuppy when he busted out a bottle of this with a snicker. You’re going to find out why.

Rogue Yellow Snow
brewery:
Rogue Brewing – rogue.com
style:
India Pale Ale
abv:
6% (that’s loosely based on Plato being 15. Thanks sickpuppy & Phil)
serving size:
22oz
glass used:
Dogfish Head
price: $12.00

Overview
Pale golden in color with a hoppy fruity aroma. Big hop flavor up front complemented by medium body and hoppiness mid-pallet. Finishes with a characteristic lingering bitterness.

Yellow Snow IPA was originally introduced for the 2000 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

Yellow Snow is Rogue’s tribute to winter sports everywhere—downhill skiing, snowboarding, cross country, ice hockey, ice fishing, snowmobiling, and even curling.

What I think
I was always boastful that there wasn’t a Rogue beer that I didn’t like. Recently I had the Juniper Pale Ale and loved it. When sickpuppy had give me this bottle to try and not hoard it for himself I knew something was up.

It poured like a typical IPA. Copper color to the body and a frothy head accented with a delicious aroma of hops. How could this possibly be bad? Yeah, take a drink sport and get ready for grapefruit overload and hops. Quite possibly one of the worst combination since I chugged the Chelada. My mouth puckered and started to punch me from the inside out to finish it. I couldn’t tell you the body feel on it because my palate was screaming unfair punishment. The torture ended with a hoppy finish.

Watch out where the Rogue goes, don’t you drink that yellow snow.

Spoon’s rating: D-

Comments (4)

20 – Avery Maharaja Imperial IPA

This is one of the gems I brought back from my trip to Oswego for Silent Bob’s wedding (i know I still haven’t posted pictures) When I select beers for HDH I try to make it something that I haven’t already had on the show. I have drank Avery products before but being a huge fan of the IPA style it was a dream to see the wide availability of this in NY state (since it’s NEVER in Pittsburgh).

First off, I hate foil. It serves no purpose to me on beer besides to get into my beer and mess with my fillings. Yeah you know the feeling!  Fortunately for this beverage i was able to look past that as the label is one of the most well designed ones I’ve seen. The nose is that of a citrus/grapefruit with a hint of pine and hops. My first thought for an Imperial was high alcohol aroma but that wasn’t the case.

The head was fantastic. Fluffy cloud or pillow would be the best explanation. If serving at a bar, a hop leaf would be a killer addition. The whole way down it left beautiful lacing on my glass. The taste… well, OHMY FREAKINGLORD.  Yeah, that’s right. It had a full body of balanced heavy malt and hops and didn’t make me pucker. The finish was smooth and no lingering aftertaste which is always a concern for me when drinking Imperial IPA’s. Oh yeah, this gem is an A in my book.

Official spoon rating: A

On a final note, due to a considerable amount of time recording audio and video for SIDT I have been unable to keep up with HDH. Never fear as we have wrapped up recordings for now and you should see this back as a weekly feature. Plus I’m making a run to 3 Sons to see what all i can do for the fall/Oktoberfest season.

prost!

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16 – Oskar Blues Gordon IPA

Pens pre-game (Pens lost 3-2 and the cup 4-2) tonight was at Mad Mex in Cranberry once again and to keep the pattern going it was another IPA. Gordon IPA is from the Oskar Blues brewing company in Colorado. The thing you need to know is that they are the pioneers of successfully putting craft beer in a can. That’s right, in a can.

It was difficult to judge the color of the pour due to the dim lighting in Mad Mex but the head was about 2 fingers. The aroma on the beer was generous of hops but what got me was the taste. you’ll notice the hops right away but it’s not overpowering. There was malt but not too much sweetness and amazingly the finish I had on it reminded me of chocolate raspberry candy. I know, weird eh?

I have had this from the can before (this was on draft) and honestly it’s a world of difference. No doubt that I will take the draft over the can but the canned product is still delicious. I will have to try this one on tap elsewhere just to make sure the taste wasn’t a residual from a previous beer that the restaurant had in stock.

Buy it if you can but try to find it on tap.

Links
Beer Advocate
Brewery website

Comments

15 – Great Lakes Commodore Perry IPA


Didn’t think I’d get it in did ya? What do you expect when the Pens are playing in the Stanley Cup Finals? *SHEESH* They won tonight btw, 3-2 🙂

Great Lakes has always been a favorite brewery of mine since I started into craft beer. Yeah i know, it’s close to where I’m from but that’s not why I enjoy them. Trust me there has been plenty of junk beer brewed in the Great Lakes area of PA/OH/NY. Honestly I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad beer from them.

My first experience with the IPA came a couple weeks ago when I went Cornholing. Since we had some  leftovers I decided to throw a couple in my fridge for later so I could revisit when my taste wasn’t tainted with Yuengling.

The Commodore Perry pours a light to medium golden body (which is uniquie for IPA’s I usually drink) with a healthy head. For the lacing addicts I’m currently half way done with my glass and it’s keeping a hold with strength and grace. The nose on this threw me off. Under a blind smell test I would have sworn this was a Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA. A floral of hops and malt. The taste was very interesting which kept me investigating. Most of the time I have a lingering taste of hops in my mouth but this one has a nice malt finish to take away from the bite of the hops.

final verdict: If you’re a fan of IPA’s and you like the mild sweetness of malt then you should waste no time in picking up a 6 pack.

Great Lakes website: www.greatlakesbrewing.com

cheers!

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