Monday, May 23, 2011

Weyerbacher Double Simcoe IPA

Hey look who's joining me via Skype this time! Chris Steltz of Chris is one of the biggest BeerTubers out there and we've actually been trying to set up a Skype review and interview for a while, but due to our schedules it's been difficult to make happen.

Just like most Skype reviews, we're reviewing a beer from that person's locale - Weyerbacher Double Simcoe IPA, made in Easton, PA (Chris is in Harrisburg, PA). This is a double/imperial SINGLE HOP IPA. You don't tend to see those too often. Chris explains the significance of the Simcoe hop in the video as well. Be sure to come back tomorrow for an interview with Chris.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Chad9976 (630) - Albany, USA - MAY 23, 2011
You know you’re among the elite of the craft beer community when you can describe what effect different hop varieties have on beer as far as individual aromas, flavors, and amount of bitterness. I’m not quite there yet, so I have no problem letting the breweries make those distinctions for me. However, I am impressed when a brewery makes an India Pale Ale using only a single hop variety and even more impressed when the result is a great beer. That’s why I’m giving Weyerbacher Double Simcoe IPA a good review - it’s got everything I expect and want in a double IPA and the fact it only uses the Simcoe hop makes it even more impressive.

I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Wow, this is very dark even for a double IPA. Very dark burnt umber to straight brown body. Massive hop haze, although I do notice some carbonation around the edges. Forms a good sized, dark tan, frothy head which retains and laces very well.

Aroma: Extremely piney, so much so you can practically smell the stickiness. Citrus and toffee aromas are also prominent.

Taste: The first thing you notice about Double Simcoe IPA is just how darn bitter it is. Clocking in at over 100 IBUs, the bitterness hits the tongue with a thud and never lightens up. The hops linger and create a an overt sense of dryness. The palate is balanced with a rich sweetness. As much as the beer smells syrupy, the taste is even more so. Pine, resin, toffee, caramel and a hint of citrus make for a great mélange of bitterness and a rich, confectionary sweetness that sticks to the teeth.

While my description may make the palate sound complex, it’s actually very repetitive, but with plenty of energy from beginning to end. The dryness does get a little cloying as well, but that’s more on me than the beer.

Mouthfeel: Thick, sticky, and soft with minimal carbonation. Full-bodied to be sure.

Drinkability: Despite the high bitterness, it’s balanced out by the sheer drinkability. The beer glides across the tongue and goes down smooth. The 9% ABV seems higher than it drinks as I would’ve pegged it at <7% if I was drinking this blind. This is an ideal beer to pair with a hearty, fatty dinner - especially anything with pork on the grill. I don’t think I could drink more than one bottle on its own, though.

Overall, an impressive, unique and fun double IPA. Not among the upper echelon of the style, but a very good beer in its own right.

Grade: 8/10

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