Friday, January 27, 2012

Left Hand Twin Sisters Double IPA

I haven't had an IPA (let alone a beer) from Colorado in a long time. That's kind of funny because Colorado has a huge craft beer scene and beers from that state definitely have their own collective taste and appeal (not quite west coast, not quite east coast). My brother gave me this bottle for Christmas and since it's a hoppy beer I thought I should drink it before it gets any older.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (606) - Albany, New York, USA - JAN 27, 2012
I haven’t had that many IPAs from Colorado, but something I’ve noticed about the ones I’ve had is they tend to be very malty for the style. Not sure what it is about that state, but they seem to like their IPAs thick, sticky, syrupy, and sweet as opposed to crisp, citrusy, and refreshing. Left Hand Twin Sisters Double IPA is probably the epitome of the double strength version of the style from the land of the Rockies, and it’s certainly one to get behind.

I poured a 22oz bomber into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Extremely hazy (opaque, actually) bright shade of orange. No carbonation visible but it does form a good sized eggshell colored frothy head which retains and laces very well.

Smell: Overtly malty for a beer of the style with strong confectionary notes of caramel and toffee. There’s plenty of pine aromas, too and a subtle fruit juice concentrate scent in the background.

Taste: Tasting the malty side of a double IPA first is not something I’m used to, even with almost 800 beers under my belt, but that’s the case with Left Hand Twin Sisters Double IPA. It starts out with a strong bitter, but delivered in the form of a thicker, softer, almost syrup-like body. Sweet, confectionary flavors of caramel and butterscotch begin the palate. There’s plenty of pine sap flavor to be found as well, and it helps with the transition to the very bitter second half.

The later part of the palate emphasizes the wide variety of hops used in brewing this beer. There’s a sweet fruit flavor akin to pure fruit juice concentrate instead of the usual fruit pith or peel itself. There’s even a chocolate-like taste of dry bitterness. Overall, I prefer my IPAs less malty than this, but this is a nice change of pace.

Drinkability: Weighing in at 9.6% ABV and 77 IBUs, Left Hand Twin Sisters Double IPA definitely is a big beer on paper. The thick, almost chewy mouthfeel certainly backs up that sentiment too. The body is soft and fairly tepid - it’s not crisp, and it’s entirely too sweet to be refreshing. The hops linger, but the sweetness does, too, creating for that strange, but pleasant hop syrup sensation. The alcohol is blended extremely well with the brew as there’s no alcohol warmth or other distracting presence.
Grade: 8/10

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