Thursday, September 10, 2009

My favorite double IPAs

Trying something a little new here, I'm going to put up some lists of my favorite beers according to type. This week, I'm listing out my top five double IPAs.

For those of you who are not familiar, this is how BeerAdvocate defines a double IPA,

"Take an India Pale Ale and feed it steroids, ergo the term Double IPA. Although open to the same interpretation as its sister styles, you should expect something robust, malty, alcoholic and with a hop profile that might rip your tongue out. The Imperial usage comes from Russian Imperial stout, a style of strong stout originally brewed in England for the Russian Imperial Court of the late 1700s; though Double IPA is often the preferred name."

While they often tend to be fairly high in alcohol content, I think they're well worth the journey for the wonderful taste and heightened revelry. Here are my picks:

Rogue I2PA - This is a fantastic beer because of its incredible hop profile, yet wonderful balance. I just recently had this at the Rogue Public House in San Francisco and it still holds true as one of the best.

Pliny the Elder - Russian River loves dry hopping and Simcoe hops, and they really come through in this masterpiece. It's really bright, grapefruit citrusy, with a little bit of skunk. Very light bodied, but still quite strong. You can often find this beer available at Father's Office.

Avery Maharaja
- I wrote a review for this a few months back, and then was lucky enough to find it on tap at the Daily Pint. Rich, tangy, and with apple tones, this is not the usual kind of double IPA I would pick, but it's a fantastic one.

Stone Ruination IPA
- I'm a bit torn about putting the ruination on here. Recently, Stone has been releasing beers like their 13th and the Black IPA that just on another level from their original stable of beers. But the Ruination, was probably the first double IPA I ever tried that really taught me what a double IPA could be, and it is still one of the best.

Anderson Valley 20th Anniversary Imperial IPA
- I reviewed this beer a few months back. It's probably not quite as well balanced as some of these others, but it certainly holds up in flavor.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Avery Sixteen Saison

Most people who check in with my blog from time to time know, I don't usually take much time out for tasting Belgian styles. But I'd been so impressed with Avery recently that I thought I'd give this a try. This is Avery's Sixteenth Anniversay Ale and as it advertises on the bottle it is light, flavored with jasmine, peache, and miel. A decent head with an extremely dry, light body, I'm not particularly attracted to the aroma, which is that characteristically Belgian spoiled fruit smell. I'm not sure how to put into words the taste that the Belgian yeast creates, but I can always recognize it when I have it. It's combination of arousing clarity within the malts and crispness in the flavor. Sweet mellow aftertones like summer jazz in a European outdoor park are what you're left with. Certainly light and flavorful, but just not my hop crazy pallette's cup of tea.

Sixteen Saison: **1/2

Friday, September 4, 2009

Blog Requests

I was talking to my brother about the blog and he was suggesting that I do a few posts about beer types and beer purchasing for a more practical approach to trying beers, e.g. where to buy the best beer on tap or in the bottle, what kinds of things to order and where, the best beers to get at Trader Joe's, etc. If you have a suggestion for a discussion topic or have something you'd like to know, email me or make a comment.