Winter is back, readers, and this beer writer is tried of fruits, berries, and funky adjuncts. With the sun setting at 4 PM, I'm done with fluff and back to basics, which, at this point in the year are, #1. Alcohol and, #2. Hops! What better way to resume appreciation of more convention beer styles than to taste some Double IPA? This week, we'll focus on a sub-genre of Double IPA that's close to my heart: New England Double IPA. This style emphasizes the fruity, floral aromas and flavors of the hop, without the much of the corresponding bitterness. New England Double IPA's are often comparatively dry and quenching, without the syrupy, heavy body that characterizes many other examples of Double IPA. Cheers!

 

Shipyard Finder New England DIPA

Format Sampled: 16 oz can

ABV: 6.4%

Availability: Purchased at Hannaford

Tasting Notes: Pours a slightly hazy orange with a thin, white head. Aroma is filled with juicy citrus and spicy pine. Initial sip is so imbued with hop oils that it nearly slides down, leaving a rainbow slick of grapefruit, spicy orange peel, and funky herbs. After the fruit, a hint of bitterness kicks in at the back of my tongue, combined with a pleasantly astringent, woody flavor. It's a lovely balance to the initial fruit. The aftertaste is light and filled with spritz – emphasizing the sweeter aspects of the fruited character. The body, overall, is moderate. It's light enough to sip with a meal but substantial enough to satisfy alone. This is a solid, straightforward example of the style!

 

Liquid Riot All Is Illusion Double IPA

Format Sampled:16 oz can

ABV: 7.8%

Availability: Purchased at Aurora Provisions

Tasting Notes: Pours a cloudy golden with a thick pillow of white foam. Aroma is a fiesta of mint, honey, and candied orange peel - mouthwatering before my first sip. The initial flavor continues singing the same song the aroma started, harmonies of mint, herbs, and citrus mingle with a tempting prickle of bitterness. There is a mild, honeyed sweetness, perfect to augment and enhance the explosion of citrus and floral flavors. For all the sweetness, the body is surprisingly light and quenching. This delicate, floral double is gentle enough to enjoy with food and fascinating enough to drink solo. Amazing balance!

 

Mast Landing Brewing Company Jonah Double IPA

Format Sampled: 16 oz can

ABV: 8.1%

Availability: Purchased at Aurora Provisions

Tasting Notes:  Pours a rich, cloudy amber with a thin, white head. Aroma has camphor, caramel, honey, and orange. Initial flavor is presented with a brief, piercingly bitterness, which is quickly overwhelmed by a tidal wave of herbal and floral qualities. Guava, pineapple, mint, tangerine – all swirling together like a cosmic tie-die print! Underlying the botanical character, a faintly sweet malt backbone structures the entire flavor experience and is joined by a low level of bitterness. The aftertaste is rich in tropical fruit. This may be the most profoundly hoppy of the three!

 

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