Thursday, January 30, 2014

Victory DirtWolf

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Chad9976 (1052) - Albany, New York, USA - JAN 30, 2014
I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. It had an enjoy by date of 5/24/14 and cost $3.69 ($0.31 per ounce).

Appearance: Bright white golden hue, clear with carbonation visible. Pours an average sized, white, frothy head which retains and laces well.

Smell: Intense earthy and spicy hops. A combination of resin, garlic and cannabis.

Taste: American double/imperial IPAs tend to belong to one of two general classes of sub-styles, though in recent years other sub-styles have emerged. What’s unique about Victory DirtWolf is that it doesn’t seem to conform to any of these niches, though it has elements of each. A very spicy, herbal, earthy brew that’s plenty tasty and enjoyable for its uniqueness.

There’s a lot of hops throughout the entire palette here. This brew uses an interesting combination: Chinook and Simcoe created for the dank, resiny, earthy spiciness while the Mosaic and Citra hops create for some juicy aromatics. Strong bitterness for sure, especially at the beginning with a dry bite on the tongue. Not much in the way of malt character per se. This isn’t an especially sweet beer even though it’s got plenty of malt body to support the assertive bitterness. There’s notes of juice concentrate around the middle, though it fades fast as some herbal garlic or onion notes emerge right on the finish. Indeed, an interesting palate, and definitely one that’s delectable - but nothing quite earth-shattering.

Drinkability: Seems like it’s been a while since I had a double IPA that was truly crisp. Victory DirtWolf, though a big beer at 8.7% ABV, drinks like something more accessible. It’s a pretty full-bodied beer, but the mouthfeel is crisp and it’s easy to drink in larger gulps. There’s only a moderate spicy aftertaste from the hops, which is surprising considering how potent they are while in the mouth. 
Grade: 8/10