Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A Year of Craft Beer, Vol. 108, Stoudts Double IPA

Well, this is coincidence rolled all into one big beer.  Not to sidetrack you guys, welcome by the way, but tonight I wrote to someone with whom I haven't connected with (so to speak) in a long time.  I did so because of an odd occurrence.  The bottle that this beer comes in has elephants on it's label.  Elephants are her favorite animal.  And above all else, this has to be the best double IPA that I have ever had and is now my favorite in a new style of beer that I used to, in all honesty, hate.  Perhaps she will write me back!

Time to move on to the task at hand.  Double IPA's are pretty much just that!  Double the ingredients.  Which means double (or more) the grain and to which you have to add double the hops to balance the sweet of the grain.  Generally.
Take a look at that pic!  The color is a bit more red than in real life.  It's more of an amber colored beer.

This beer pours an amber colour that is very clear.  It's bottle conditioned so be careful about pouring in the mud as that will cloud it but not hurt you as it is vitamin B laden and will help with that hangover if you decide to drink more than one of these beauties!  The head is a one finger head that remains through the drink as a thin but full cap and leaves a light "Roman Aquiduct" looking pattern on the glass.  

The mild aroma is of caramel malt sweetness, plums, faint apple and notes of sodabread.

The taste is sweet caramel and hop bitterness from the start with a mild up front carbonation bite on the tip of the tongue.  As the beer flows back across your tongue dark fruit flavours intermingle with the caramel as along the sides of your tongue you can pick up a very mild granny smith apple.  Alcohol is mildly apparent along this trip and warms a bit at the end where the bittering hops engulf your tongue, leave you a little dry, and prepare you for that next delicious encounter between goddess nectar and your tongue.  Don't mind the mild black pepper that may linger in between sips, it's an aphrodesiac!

The mouthfeel is of a sweet, full beer that ultimately leaves you a little dry with a bit of a coat on your tongue.  It's rather nice.  The carbonation is lively for such a full bodied beer, but it works in conjunction with the flavours and really brings them out.  

Overall I am, even though I am relatively new to the IPA world, going to call this a world class beer and invite all to try it even if you don't like an IPA.  I feel it has qualities that can bring out the IPA lover in even the hop faint hearted.  Of course it's hoppy, but not extreme.  Not at all.  And besides, if you don't like it, you can always give the rest of it to me!

Stop drinking bad beer!  Life is too short!  Drink craft beer.  Drink wine.  Try a few mixed drinks.  Get out there and experiment goddammut!  Don't drink in excess, just try new things!


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