Tag Archives: IIPA

Upslope!

Having an Imperial IPA from Upslope. Don’t let the plain, non-descript labels fool you, Upslope’s beers are delicious!

Tonight I had the imperial IPA. I found it to be delicious, and I really appreciate that they spent the extra money to provide it in cans. Here’s the text of my review from beeradvocate.com (overall rating 4.19/5, which is an excellent rating for any beer, and a rating I certainly don’t give out at the drop of a hat).

look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A nice two finger head that left pretty good lacing topped an orange-tan beer that was clear and had a few rising bubbles.

Aroma and flavor are quite nice, especially aroma, tons of sticky oily hops penetrate your nose like a fiery hop candle. The flavors are bold, but a bit more subdued than the aroma, with a somewhat hoppy skewed, yet balanced big beer. The hops have both soft fruity and sharp, resinous citric qualities. There’s a bit of dank that accompanies the flavorful malt backbone of the beer, along with notable spiciness.

Body is medium and sticky with resinous hops and a bitter finish. Carbonation is on the money for what I would personally want, given the rest of the beer’s qualities.

The flavors and aromas are complex, and Upslope has once again impressed me with their beer. Keep up the good work, and I’ll keep buying your beer.

And I do like that it comes in cans. Mind you I either use commercial bottles for homebrew, or recycle. But for the general public, and the overall good of the planet, cans are very easy to recycle, are very good at keeping beer fresh, and are easier to store or transport than bottles. So for this reason, I am very hoppy that Upslope decided to invest in canning technology and infrastructure for their brewery.

Great Job! 😉

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Bigfoot Found!

It’s true!!  Bigfoot found!!

Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Ale 2013 is in my local grocery store, and I picked up a four pack.  Such an amazing brew!  This is the definition of barleywine if you ask me.  Although a bit hoppier than most barleywines, I haven’t found one that I like more.  Well, Dogfish Head Olde School is pretty damn awesome too, but that one is kind of a different beast: it’s got way more alcohol, for one thing, and isn’t comparable to bigfoot ale.  Although both brews are fantastic, this post is about Sierra Nevada’s Bigfoot ale, so we’ll stick to that!

I’m going to post my original review from more than a year ago, along with my edits for this year’s vintage:

Bigfoot!

Downright gorgeous to look at, deep amber with copper notes, clear, with a great 3 finger head that lasted forever and laced the glass with sticky chunks.

More like an IPA in the nose, hops are dominant and the typical barleywine smells are secondary. Piney and even grapefruit hops are pungent. A little caramel malt and a little fruitiness provide something other than hops as a side note.

Taste is bold and again, very hoppy. Tastes more like a barleywine than it smells, but still, this one is quite a bit like a DIPA in the taste department. The hop profile is just dominant as hell, this fact cannot be hidden. Fruity and caramel malt flavors do balance out the taste more so than the smell though, and overall it’s quite nice!

The body is thick and tangy but the alcohol is surprisingly well hidden. The hops even leave a bit of a bite on the aftertaste.

Honestly, this is a fine barleywine, albeit a lot hoppier and a bit different than I’m used to when I buy a barleywine. I really like this stuff. I can’t wait to see how it mellows. I’ve put a bottle away for a year, and another for two years, will re-try it again next march (and the one after that) and report back.

I really like trying new beers, and I hadn’t had this one yet. Overall I’d list it as “must try” Excellent job, SN!

Edit for 2013: once again, they nailed it.  The original review is more than a year old, but now I’ve had 5 different years of vintages, both aged, and for the more recent years, fresh.  Every time it’s just fantastic!  Gold standard of barleywines.  Monstrous hops and tons of delicious malts, one of my favorite beers anytime, from any brewery.  If I decide to try and brew a barleywine, it will be based on this!

Cheers to Sierra Nevada for 2013 Bigfoot Ale!

 

Bigfoot Found!

Freetail Brewery IPAs

Was working on a deck over on that side of town, and stopped at Freetail Brewery to see what bombers they had for takeout.  There were four bombers available, and I didn’t know what any of them were all about, nor did I have the time to read about it or discuss it with the staff.  So I picked the two IPA type beers to try later that day.

Two days later, we finished the job early, so we went to Freetail for lunch and a couple of beers.  I saw that there was a third IPA in bombers for takeout, so I picked that one up too.  I guess it’s Freetail “IPA week” for me!  I’ll post the review of Soul Doubt IPA below.

The other two IPAs I picked up:

Velocihoptor (what a great name for an IPA!).

Buffalo Hump 1840 Belgian IPA

In addition, I had another round of Spirulina Wit, a delicious rye witbier with spirulina added to give it a wonderful and deliciously strange green color!  At 3.9% ABV, it’s damn easy to drink, and I could easily have several of these in a sitting.

I also tried Uglie Ollie Stout, a delicious dry Irish stout that’s full bodied, but only 4.1% ABV.  These two brews made a nice lunch (along with some delicious pizza from their food menu).

I am going to try to make it there this Saturday for the “battle of the wits” where they’ll have various varieties of their witbier for your drinking pleasure!

Cheers to Freetail!

 Soul Doubt IPA

Pours a nice amber to copper color, mostly clear, with a creamy head that left about a 1/4″ sheet of dense foam capped on top the whole way down, leaving sheets of nice sticky resinous lacing.

The aroma doesn’t blow me out of the water, by any means. It’s somewhat subdued, but I get Cara-Munich malt first, then some herbal, earthy hops.

Flavors much follow the aroma, but they stand out more, and leave me wondering why I don’t make it out to freetail more often! The Cara-Munich and aromatic malts (along with whatever crystal malts they used) make a great base, and an unusual one for an IPA. I like the innovation! It’s well hopped, but balanced very well with the moderate ABV and bold malty backbone. There’s a little citrus, but I am getting mostly heavily earthy and lightly floral or grassy hop flavors.

This IPA is very unusual, and very likeable. Just don’t expect to be getting a standard west coast 47 lbs of hops per five gallons type of IPA. This beer is well crafted and delicious, but it’s not Pliny the Younger or Heady Topper.

Cheers to Freetail brewery for this brew!

Cloning Pliny The Elder – My First Double IPA

Well I’m going to attempt a Pliny the Elder clone this weekend.   Consistently rated as one of the best beers on the planet, Pliny deserves its reputation.  With ratings of 100 on BA and 100/100 on ratebeer.com, it seems the rest of the craft beer geek world agrees.  If you’ve ever had Pliny, you’ll probably agree too.  I don’t think I’ll quite do it justice, but it’s a great place to start for my first attempt at brewing a Double IPA.

Yeast is California Ale Yeast.

Fermentables:

  • 13.25 lbs 2-row
  • 8 oz carafoam
  • 8 oz caramel-40
  • 10 oz corn sugar

Hops:

  • 1.5 oz millenium FWH
  • 1.5 oz cascade FWH
  • 2 oz cascade FO
  • 1 oz belma FO
  • 1 oz bravo FO
  • 1 oz millenium FO

quickly cool to 170F and let stand 30 minutes

Dry Hops

  • 2 oz millenium 14 days
  • 1 oz cluster 14 days
  • 1 oz belma 14 days
  • 2 oz bravo 5 days
  • 2 oz cascade 5 days

Targets:

  • OG: 1.075
  • FG: 1.011
  • SRM: 7
  • IBU: 108

Total fermentation time should be 3 weeks from boil to bottle, plus conditioning time.  I’ve gotten advice to bottle and enjoy as quickly as possible to preserve delicate hop aromas and flavors.  Makes sense to me.

This will be a unique beer for me because it’s only got first wort hops and flameout hops, and a lot of them at that.   Thanks to Barfdiggs on beer advocate for the hops schedule!

Hop Stoopid NHC Challenge

Hop Stoopid Clone Challenge – NHC

I was just having a hop stoopid, one of my fav DIPAs.  We kinda drank most of the homebrew, and we’re waiting for more to be ready, so I’m having some commercial brews.  I’ve already reviewed hop stoopid here, but it’s always worthy of discussing it again.

I’ve always loved this beer from the very first time I tried it.  It’s very clean in its bitterness and is near perfection for a DIPA if you ask me.   It’s also a major bargain, well worth the price!  DIPA lovers, if you haven’t tried this one, TRY IT!

The above link is wonderful.  They give you tons of info on how they make hop stoopid.  Plus, they are asking you to bring your home brewed versions for them to taste and discuss!  I’d love to go to their suite at the NHC and submit my version to their head brewer!

The link also has recipes for both all grain and extract.  DAMN COOL of Lagunitas to do this!

I want to try a version of this for my first IIPA.  I need to come up with some simcoe hops first, but rest assured, this one will be brewed by me sooner or later!

Cheers to Lagunitas!

 

Hats off to Avery Brewing for supporting Homebrewers!

The link says it all

Avery Brewing Homebrew Recipes

Is that friggin’ cool or what?

Next time I go to Gabriel’s I’m going to pick up some Avery and review it here.

Cheers to Avery Brewing!

Quality over Quantity: Pliny The Elder / Pliny the younger

I admit I’ve never had Pliny the Younger.  But I’ve had plenty of Pliny the Elder.  It’s friggin’ amazing!

Great Documentary on the Russian River Brewing company:

Breckenridge Small Batch 471 IPA

One of my favorites from Breckenridge Brewery, 471 IPA is a nice IIPA/Imperial double.  Coming in at 9.2%, it’s got some kick too!

Light orange in color and almost clear. Head was pretty good at one finger, and lasted. Lacing was good. It’s certainly a pretty color, and not the typically color you’d expect from a DIPA.

Hops and citrus dominate the nose, along with a touch of pine.

Tastes bold and fresh, very darn tasty. Piney hops is the predominate flavor, but citrus (grapefruits, lemon peel) and a light fruitiness come through as well. It’s kind of sweet and has a nice light malty background too. A light spiciness finishes things off.

Feel is quite light and refreshing for a double IPA, yet the body is still medium and amply carbonated. The finish is semi-dry and slightly oily with fruity hops.

I like various Colorado breweries, and this beer racks up another winner for Colorado!   It’s a pretty good price for a four pack too.

Hop Stoopid!

A great beer from Lagunitas, Hop Stoopid is a great IPA that hop heads will probably love!

“102 IBU 4 U” on the label.

Orange and pretty clear. One finger head and good lacing.

A rather unique smelling brew.   Tons of hoppiness and loads of citrus.  Very clean smelling.

Definitely bitter, but very clean tasting.  Fruity and citrus flavors complement the bitterness. Not much in the way of maltiness. A fair degree of sweetness.  Clean tasting.

Pretty good medium body feel. Medium carbonation. Long lasting bitterness. Alcohol warming.

Drink is good and the beer finishes clean.  I was surprised that my Busch drinking brother found this one tasty!  The clean hops profile, without pungent maltiness, makes this beer very drinkable.

Highly recommended for hop-heads!

Great Divide Hercules Double IPA

Tried a new one today, Hercules Double IPA from Great Divide brewing!  Very tasty, and recommended for all you DIPA fans!

Orange and pretty clear with a pretty good head and lacing.

Aroma is clean and hoppy, piney, resinous, citrus (lemon, grapefruit, oranges), and floral.

Flavor is again quite clean for a DIPA.  Good clean bitterness, orangey citrus, lemon peel, heavy grapefruit peel, piney hops, and a surprise sweet malt balance that leaves you wanting another sip.

Body is full and slightly syrupy, not a real quick or easy drinker.  Alcohol is warming but well masked.

I’ve had a lot of IPAs of late, and I have to say this one is refreshingly different.  Quite enjoyable, but don’t expect to get out of your chair once you’re finished with the bomber!

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