Hey hophead! Let’s talk big, bold Double IPAs.
As the name implies, Double IPAs take a regular IPA recipe and crank everything up a notch. They have more malt for a sturdy backbone, and extra hop additions that result in explosive hoppy flavor and aroma.
You’ll immediately notice intoxicating tropical, citrusy, piney hop notes. Flavors like mango, orange, grapefruit abound. The extra hopping also means very high bitterness to balance the malt. ABV ranges from 7.5-10%.
Popular Double IPAs include Russian River’s Pliny the Elder, Lagunitas Sucks, and Founders Double Trouble. The style allows brewers to showcase hop varieties like Simcoe, Mosaic, and Galaxy.
The high ABV and hop assault make Double IPAs perfect for cutting through thick, juicy burgers and boldly flavored foods. Moderation is required though given their strength!
Popular Commercial Examples
Certainly! Here are 10 popular commercial examples of Double IPAs, each with its own unique flair:
- Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA – Renowned for its innovative continuous hopping method, this Double IPA offers a complex blend of piney and citrus hop flavors with a smooth malt background. It’s a well-balanced brew with a robust 9% ABV.
- Stone Ruination IPA – A true hop bomb, this beer lives up to its name by ‘ruining’ your palate with an intensely bitter profile. It features a mix of citrus and tropical fruit flavors, underpinned by a solid malt foundation, making it a favorite among hopheads.
- Russian River Pliny the Elder – A cult classic, Pliny the Elder is revered for its exceptionally well-balanced flavor. It’s a harmonious blend of floral, citrus, and pine notes, with just enough malt sweetness to round out the taste. This beer is often a benchmark for the style.
- Sierra Nevada Hoptimum – A yearly release from Sierra Nevada, Hoptimum is a whole-cone imperial IPA that delivers a bold and complex hop profile. With hints of grapefruit, rose, and pine, it’s a hop-forward beer balanced by a warm malt character.
- Bell’s Hopslam Ale – Combining six different hop varietals and a hefty dose of honey, Hopslam offers a unique and potent flavor. It’s simultaneously sweet and bitter, with a floral aroma and a warm alcoholic finish.
- The Alchemist Heady Topper – This Vermont-based brew is often rated as one of the best in the world. It’s known for its hazy appearance and an explosion of fruity hop flavors, including notes of orange, peach, and pine, coupled with a smooth, creamy mouthfeel.
- Firestone Walker Double Jack – This beer is a showcase of West Coast IPA characteristics, featuring bright citrus and pine aromas with a touch of caramel sweetness. It’s crisp, clean, and refreshingly bitter.
- New England Brewing Co.’s Gandhi-Bot – Renamed to ‘G-Bot’, this beer is an intensely hoppy yet well-balanced Double IPA. It presents a blend of tropical fruit and pine flavors with a slightly resinous, bitter finish.
- Lagunitas Maximus IPA – Maximus is like the bigger, bolder brother of Lagunitas IPA. It offers a burst of grapefruit and pine hop flavors, supported by a caramel malt backbone. It’s smooth yet potent, with a significant hop presence.
- Founders Double Trouble – This brew is a testament to the classic Double IPA style, featuring a big hop aroma and a deep, lingering bitterness. It balances the hop intensity with a sweet malt undertone, making it both challenging and rewarding.
Have you ever sipped a beer and thought, “Wow, this isn’t just good, it’s an adventure in a glass”? That’s exactly the kind of experience a Double IPA (DIPA) offers.
This beer style, a bolder and hoppier version of the well-loved India Pale Ale, is a favorite among craft beer enthusiasts. The origins of Double IPA trace back to the American craft beer revolution, where brewers pushed the boundaries to create something that stood out in a sea of traditional beers.
Today, it’s not just a beer; it’s a testament to the creativity and daring of the craft beer culture.
The Making of Double IPA
Ever wondered what makes a Double IPA so irresistibly complex? It’s all in the hops – and lots of them! The Double IPA takes the hop-forward nature of a classic IPA and amplifies it. Imagine a symphony where every instrument is a different type of hop, each adding its unique note to the melody.
But it’s not just about quantity; the art of brewing a DIPA involves carefully selecting hop varieties that blend harmoniously to create a rich tapestry of flavors and aromas.
The brewing process of a Double IPA is like a carefully choreographed dance. Brewers meticulously balance the higher hop content with a stronger malt foundation, ensuring the final product isn’t overwhelmingly bitter.
This balance is what sets a well-crafted DIPA apart. It’s like finding the perfect harmony in a song – each element complements the other, creating a masterpiece.
Compared to its traditional IPA cousin, the DIPA is like an IPA that’s been to the gym – stronger, bolder, and unapologetically confident. The higher alcohol content, usually ranging from 7.5% to 10%, is seamlessly integrated, making the DIPA a robust yet surprisingly smooth drink.
Flavor Profile and Characteristics
Picture this: you’re holding a glass of Double IPA. Its color is a deep, inviting amber, hinting at the richness within. As you bring the glass closer, a bouquet of aromas greets you – citrus, pine, floral, and maybe even some tropical notes. It’s like a fragrant garden in a glass, isn’t it?
Now, take a sip. The first thing you’ll notice is the flavor explosion – a bold bitterness that’s expertly balanced with a sweet, malty backbone. The taste of a Double IPA is complex and multi-layered.
You might detect hints of grapefruit, pine, herbs, or even a touch of honey-like sweetness. The finish is typically dry, leaving you yearning for another sip.
Double IPAs aren’t just about the bold flavors; they’re also about the experience. The high alcohol content provides a warmth that makes each sip a cozy and satisfying experience. It’s like a friendly hug in a glass, welcoming you to savor every moment.
Double IPA Brands and Notable Breweries
Alright, beer lovers, let’s talk about some of the stars of the Double IPA world. Imagine a hall of fame, but for beers. There are so many amazing Double IPAs out there, each with its unique twist.
For instance, there’s the legendary Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA, a trailblazer with its continuous hopping method. Or how about the Stone Ruination IPA, a true palate wrecker in the best way possible? And let’s not forget the Russian River’s Pliny the Elder, a cult favorite among DIPA aficionados.
But it’s not just about the big names. Craft breweries from all corners of the globe are putting their spin on the Double IPA, creating a diversity that’s simply mind-blowing. From the bold and experimental brews of small-town America to the refined and nuanced creations of European brewers, there’s a DIPA out there for every taste.
Each of these breweries tells a story through their Double IPA. Whether it’s a tale of tradition and heritage or a narrative of innovation and daring, these beers are more than just drinks; they’re expressions of the brewer’s artistry and passion.
Food Pairings and Serving Suggestions
Now, let’s turn our attention to one of the most enjoyable aspects of beer tasting: food pairings! Double IPAs, with their bold flavors and high alcohol content, can stand up to a variety of foods.
Imagine a juicy grilled steak, the richness perfectly complementing the bitterness of the DIPA. Or, for something a bit different, try pairing it with spicy dishes like Thai or Indian cuisine; the hoppy bitterness can be a delightful contrast to the heat.
But wait, there’s more to enjoying a Double IPA than just the food. Let’s talk glassware and serving temperature. To truly appreciate the aroma and flavor of a DIPA, serve it in a tulip glass. This design allows the aromas to concentrate, enhancing your sensory experience.
And as for temperature, forget the ice-cold standard; a Double IPA shines when served slightly chilled, around 50-55°F (10-13°C). This temperature range allows the complex flavors to unfold beautifully.
Pros and Cons of Double IPA
Like everything in life, Double IPAs come with their pros and cons. On the plus side, they offer a rich and complex flavor profile that’s hard to find in other beer styles.
The bold hop character, combined with a strong malt backbone, creates a symphony of tastes that can be an absolute joy to explore.
However, Double IPAs aren’t for everyone. Their higher alcohol content means they pack a punch, and the intense flavors can be overwhelming for those new to craft beers.
Additionally, because of their complexity, they can be a bit of an acquired taste. But for those who love them, Double IPAs are a thrilling ride through the world of hops and malts.
Ratings and Reviews
In the digital age, the voice of the people is louder than ever, especially when it comes to beer ratings.
Websites like RateBeer and BeerAdvocate are treasure troves of information, where beer enthusiasts from around the globe share their experiences with different Double IPAs. These platforms are not just about rating beers; they’re communities where people share stories, tasting notes, and recommendations.
The ratings on these sites are a great indicator of a Double IPA’s popularity and quality. Beers that consistently score high are usually the ones with a well-balanced flavor profile and a unique character.
But remember, taste is subjective! A beer with a lower rating might just be the one that perfectly suits your palate.
Double IPA in the Craft Beer Community
Double IPAs have a special place in the heart of the craft beer community. They’re often the highlight at beer festivals, where enthusiasts gather to celebrate and discover the latest and greatest in the beer world. These festivals are not just about tasting; they’re about sharing knowledge, experiences, and, of course, good times.
The impact of Double IPAs goes beyond just drinking. They have inspired many homebrewers to experiment and push their brewing skills to the limit.
The quest to create the perfect DIPA has led to a plethora of innovative brewing techniques and hop combinations. This spirit of experimentation and the sharing of knowledge are what make the craft beer community so vibrant and inclusive.
FAQs About Double IPA
Let’s clear up some common questions about Double IPAs:
What makes a Double IPA different from a regular IPA?
A Double IPA typically has a higher hop concentration and alcohol content, resulting in a more intense flavor and aroma.
Is a Double IPA very bitter?
While they are generally more bitter than regular IPAs, the bitterness is well-balanced with malt sweetness, making them complex and enjoyable.
Can Double IPAs be fruity?
Absolutely! Depending on the hops used, they can have citrus, tropical, or even stone fruit flavors.
Are Double IPAs always strong in alcohol?
Most Double IPAs have a higher alcohol content, usually between 7.5% and 10%.
How should I serve a Double IPA?
Serve it slightly chilled, around 50-55°F (10-13°C), in a tulip glass to enhance aroma and flavor.
What foods pair well with Double IPAs?
They go great with rich foods like grilled meats, spicy dishes, and robust cheeses.
Are Double IPAs good for beer beginners?
Due to their bold flavors, they might be overwhelming for new beer drinkers. Starting with a regular IPA can be a good introduction.
How long does a Double IPA last?
It’s best enjoyed fresh. Over time, the hop flavors can diminish.
Can Double IPAs be part of a healthy diet?
In moderation, they can be part of a balanced diet. However, be mindful of their higher alcohol and calorie content.
Why are Double IPAs so popular in the craft beer scene?
Their complex flavor profiles and the skill required to brew them well make them a favorite among craft beer enthusiasts.
As we reach the end of our flavorful expedition into the world of Double IPAs, it’s clear that these bold brews are more than just a beer – they’re a celebration of the craft and creativity inherent in the brewing world.
From the intricate balance of hops and malts to the diverse flavor profiles that challenge and delight the palate, Double IPAs embody the spirit of exploration and innovation.
Double IPAs are not just a beverage; they’re a journey. Each sip takes you through a landscape of complex aromas and flavors, from the sharp bite of hops to the comforting warmth of alcohol. They represent a daring attitude in brewing – a willingness to push boundaries and explore new horizons.
For those who appreciate them, Double IPAs are a testament to the art of brewing. They showcase the skill, passion, and artistry that brewers pour into every batch. And for the craft beer community, they symbolize a shared love for something that’s not just good, but extraordinary.
So, whether you’re a seasoned Double IPA aficionado or just starting to explore this dynamic style, there’s always something new to discover.
Here’s to the brewers who craft these magnificent beers and to the enthusiasts who appreciate them. Cheers to the bold, the brave, and the beautiful world of Double IPAs!