Thursday, 31 May 2012

Weyerbacher Brewing Co. Double Simcoe IPA

Good evening all. After a lengthy self-imposed hiatus I'm finally back! The exam season is over- along with my degree- so I'm now officially unemployed and awaiting the results of my finals. What better way to pass the time than by reviewing a load of interesting beers to make up for my recent lack of posting? Tonight's libation is Double Simcoe IPA, a Double India Pale Ale (DIPA) from Weyerbacher Brewing Co. (Pennsylvania, USA). Regular readers will know that I'm a big fan of IPAs and DIPAs, and when I saw this offering resting in the fridges behind the bar at the Cask Pub and Kitchen a couple of weeks ago, I had to purchase a bottle to see if it lives up to its reputation. Now for the familiar words that I haven't uttered in well over a week- review after the pic....

Double Simcoe IPA (9.0% ABV) pours an amber colour with a thick white head that dissipates to a patchy covering over the surface of the glass, accompanied by a lazy stream of bubbles rising from the bottom supporting the head nicely. The aroma is composed of tropical fruits, citrus fruits, resinous pine, earthy/herbal notes, a slightly vinous quality and some mustiness/funkiness. With this much Simcoe on show the hop becomes very reminiscent of Motueka and similar new world aroma types, with the citrus fruits taking precedence and the pine and herbal aromas lurking not too far behind. Probing the aroma further brings up barley wine-style sweetness (caramelised and hoppy) and an aroma not too dissimilar to BBQ sauce (more specifically muscovado sugar). Very interesting stuff so far! The taste delivers more of the same thing, with the resinous flavours dominating the palette and the citrus fruits taking a back seat, accompanied by a caramelised sweetness and a grape aftertaste. The finish is certainly bitter, which is to be expected from such a large dose of hops, but it's not too cloying and the dryness invites more sips to be taken (which is always a good thing!). The earthiness is also not as noticeable in the taste as it was on the nose, and the alcohol content makes itself known with an ethanolic flavour that lingers after the initial hop burst has diminished. The mouthfeel is slightly thick and the beer is well carbonated, which cushions the blow from the hops slightly and creates a more balanced, well-rounded drinking experience. For a 9.0% DIPA it's immensely drinkable, which was an unexpected yet very welcome surprise. Overall, this is a fantastic example of a DIPA that would serve as a perfect introduction to the style. It packs enough hops to clearly differentiate it from the comparatively subdued American IPAs, but it doesn't overload the tastebuds with bitterness and still lets some of the malt base flavours permeate through. Highly recommended, I'd happily get this beer again in the future.

Until next time....

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