I’m always a fan of single-hopped beer, as it’s a great way to profile that hop variety. This beer is no exception – the only hops used are Simcoe, a west coast hop variety. This particular beer is retired (but the normal version, the filtered type continues to be available year-round). Double Simcoe IPA from Weyerbacher weighs in at 9.0% ABV, squarely into Double IPA land and nearing Triple IPA land.
I picked this up on a whim, as I enjoy Simcoe hops and thought that this would be a good way to explore the nuances of that hop. There was a lot of sediment (yeast) in the bottle due to it being an unfiltered beer, but that adds to the creaminess and head retention of the beer itself (and the head on this beer is truly massive). It produces a hazy look to the beer, and of course there are some “floaties”, but none of that is an actual detriment to the beer itself.
Poured as a very dark amber (rich mahogany) with massive white head every time. Wonderfully grassy and prickly pine Simcoe flavor that transforms into a citrus cacophony while finishing creamy. Wonderful DIPA that doesn’t overwhelm you with a barrage of hops, and allows its Simcoe flavor to truly shine. The unfiltered version adds creaminess to the mix. Isn’t a hop explosion as most DIPAs are – but actually is a quite nicely balanced DIPA, although it would disappoint the hop-heads. Demands to be a beer to be savored, to ponder on the variety of flavors that comes from a single type of hop.
Hopside Down is an interesting India Pale Lager (really an American Pale Lager) that also doubles as a spring seasonal for Widmer Brothers. This was sampled in 2013, and was released as part of their Rotator IPA Series (or at least “IPA” inspired, like this one is). Weighing in at a healthy 6.7% ABV, this is definitely one of the hoppier and stronger lagers that you’ll ever find.
Crisp and refreshing, lacking the malty beefy body that you would expect from a traditional IPA. Nice peppery hoppiness makes this a superb lager that I would be happy to drink throughout the summer, especially as it has plenty of drinkability and the hoppiness & bitterness are just as strong as a traditional IPA’s. The flavor is mellower and somewhat muted. That’s a tradeoff, but in the hot sun, it’s the better end of the bargain.
Nice grapefruity/citrus flavor profile, even if it’s a bit ethereal at times. Solid beer, but nothing exceptional.
Behold, the first ever beer I’ve found with this blog’s namesake as part of its label. It’s made expressly for pouring into your pie hole! Now, that alone would probably guarantee that this beer gets a fantastic review. But as always, I remain impartial.
The Great Pumpcan from MadTree Brewing Company based in Cincinnati, Ohio is a 7.9% ABV Pumpkin Ale. I didn’t notice this release last year (2014), but picked it up in 2015 when the cans reached the Columbus market.
Being hopped with Fuggles hops means that Pumpcan will have a mild and pleasant bittering flavor from the hops. The hard part is that it’s a pumpkin ale. There are basically three styles of pumpkin ales – you have the “gourd types”, the “pumpkin pie types”, and the hybrid styles that mix the two. I haven’t really enjoyed anything that land on the extreme end of this scale (Pumking from Southern Tier falls under the “pumpkin pie” to the extreme). I’m hit by a pleasant earthy pumpkin (gourd-type) flavor at the outset of every sip. However, the adjuncts used in this brew: molasses, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice don’t mix very well for me. It ends up being a toasty malty, medium-bodied and dark flavored ale. A balanced entry (you get the gourd at the start and the pie flavors at the finish), but not one of the better ones I’ve had. In general, I just don’t quite enjoy pumpkin ales, but would be able to polish one of these off.
Overall Rating: 75