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.
Storm King is an American double stout that might strike some as being more of a black DIPA. Definitely a stout for the hop-heads. Made exclusively with grain – doesn’t have coffee or chocolate flavors. Heavily carbonated, bitterly hoppy, but finishes clean. Worth searching out if you’re not a fan of stouts that overly rely on coffee or chocolate notes (despite its reliance on hops here).
Nugget Nectar from Tröegs Brewing Company is labeled as “Imperial Amber”, but that’s really more like “American Amber” and some people might classify it as an IPA (or red IPA). It weighs in at 7.50% and is hopped with a variety of hops, then further hopped with Nugget hops (obviously, therefore the name). It’s basically a hopped up / stronger Hopback Ale and is a spring seasonal release. It usually gets released near the start of the year (January-March) rather than when you’d think a traditional spring beer would be released. A nice way to start warming up along with the weather. Doesn’t age very well, so drink it fresh. One of my favorites, but I don’t mind skipping it some years.
Lovely light (ABV-wise) porter from Tröegs. Pitch black with a quick-dissolving white head that laces the sides of the glass, this is the way a porter should look. Still a decent amount of hops despite being aged for roughly a year. Still a robust chocolate malt backbone that stands up to the hops. If you like your porters hopped – Reckoning is a good choice. Excellent choice as a sessionable porter as well.