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.

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