Nose: VERY hoppy and bitter, presents a forward woodsy/piney aroma, slight citrus, slight floral.
Mouth: Heavy, almost creamy. Unfiltered. Hops presentation at every step. Predominately the woodsy pine of Simcoe Hops. Has bitter citrus tones, slightly sour too, finishes slightly chocolatey.
One of my favorite IPA’s. Strong hops presence but not overwhelming. No pucker factor. It’s not totally balanced, very hop biased but it’s smooth. This is a sipping beer though. Goes great with dessert or if you just want a nice brew for a relaxing evening.
Simcoe hops. Widely regarded as a pungent, piney, earthy hops with attitude. A favorite of hop heads everywhere. The only thing is, it has a high alpha acid percentage and low cohumulone content so it’s not a mellow hops at all. It’s sour and bitter and can be very overwhelming for those who aren’t very “into” hops. But unlike many other varieties, the low cohumulone content means that this is acidic and a bit sour but it’s not overwhelmingly bitter. Conflicting, I know. However, it is possible to not be mellow and not be overwhelming at the same time. Like The Force, there can be balance. Lemme esplain!
See, IPA’s are India Pale Ales and that’s honestly just a name. IPA’s are Pale Ales. They are just prepared in a specific way for India markets. This is no longer necessary thanks to modern refrigeration techniques. However, the IPA style dates back farther than the original, earliest recording of mention of an IPA in 1835. It pretty much dates back to the time when England decided that India was a cool place to go and get rich. See, beer is sterile. Alcohol is a major reason for that. However, it’s not the only reason. Hops was thrown in to the mix in the 1500’s as a bittering agent. But what they realized is that hops actually has antibiotic properties and will annihilate many of the bad bacteria that turn beer skunky and undrinkable. So, to make sure the ale could survive the trip to India without modern icebox tech available, the pale ales that were popular in England were heavily hopped. This method allowed the IPA’s to “cellar” aka, store, for 2 years, or more if conditions are favorable. Since it’s a hot, long trip to India by sail, this is an ideal brew to export. Because of this, if an IPA is too harsh for your palette when you first get it, let it sit around a couple months. Especially if it’s unchilled. Stick it in a dark corner of the basement and let it gather some dust. It’ll mellow as it ages.
This Simcoe Double IPA though, I’ve aged it and I’ve been so eager to crack one open that I’ve drank it warm. It’ll give you the shivers warm ’cause it’s bitter and piney presence will come through, no doubt. The nice thing about this brew is that it’s a hearty malty taste that presents with that citrusy, piney taste. But it’s not an orange or a lemon or anything. It’s more floral, like a slightly unripe pineapple.That’s all in the hops. Since it’s a pale ale, the maltiness is not very powerful. So for a hop head, this is a good brew. It’s balanced and finishes clean. Unless you’re one of those nutjobs like gamecat235 who I think would prefer to chew on hops buds instead then this is going to be on the slightly underwhelming side.
As an IPA though, this is a fine example of the breed. Is it the best I’ve ever had? No. Honestly, the best IPA I’ve ever had came from this same company, Weyerbacher. I would have rated that IPA higher than the current Holy Grails of Russian River’s Pliney pair of IPA’s. But the current examples of the Simcoe IPA and the Last Chance IPA from Weyerbacher don’t measure up to that original IPA I fell in love with and gave Weyerbacher a special place in my heart. This Simcoe Double IPA though, it’s a very good example of what an IPA is. It shows maturity in the brew and skill in the brewmaster. It can be hard to find and when you do, it can be expensive but trust me, it is worth every penny.
As far as Weyerbacher goes, in my “educated” (read: drunkard) opinion, Weyerbacher is every measure an equal to Russian River. That’s saying something because Russian River and their brewmaster I hold in extremely high regard. That guy is a wizard or God helps him out or something. ‘Cause if beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy then God drinks beer from Russian River and Weyerbacher.