Saturday, March 3, 2012

Dry Dock Double India Pale Ale review

Dry Dock Double IPAHow many hops can you pack into a Double IPA? Dry Dock seems to know how to put a lot of them into their brand. Their Dry Dock Double IPA has at least 7 varieties of hops in it: Chinook, Cascade, Columbus, Centennial, Crystal, Challenger, and Citra. All of these add up to about 90 IBU and a lot of hop flavor. I believe this beer was formerly called Seven Seas Double IPA due to the 7 "C" hops.

This is one of Dry Dock's customer favorite brews and comes both on tap and in 22oz bomber bottles. I had a preview taste of this brew during a tour I took of Dry Dock Brewing Company in Aurora and was lucky enough to be given a bottle to take home for further review. A big THANKS go out to Gary Valliere of Dry Dock who not only gave me a personal tour of the brewery, but also who turned me onto this big, bold hoppy brew.

I've become a fan of big hoppy IPAs and this brew looked like one that was right up my alley. My first taste of this was very inviting and I was anxious to try more of this Double India Pale Ale.

Appearance: The majority of double IPA's I've had have one thing in common, they look copper orange in color and have a billowy white head. Dry Dock Double IPA met the description exactly. The brew was very clear (no haze), was well carbonated, and had a nice sticky white lacing that held tight to the glass.

Aroma: I took a big whiff of this out of the snifter globe glass and simply went "Ahhhhhh..." - there was a lot of grapefruit citrus, pine and other tropical fruits in this nose. No doubt about it, this had a lot of hops added. Even with my eyes closed I could have easily guess this was a big IPA. Nice. Just what an IPA should smell like. I could tell it was much more than just pine and citrus, there was also a mild spice tone and also a bit of earthiness too.

Taste: Right up front the bitterness hit me on this one. The underlying malt base was hidden at first and then came out later in the tasting. The malts were modestly sweet and the beer went down coating my tongue with some citrus, bitterness and fresh flavors. There wasn't any after-taste and it drank fairly easily for a double IPA. For a beer that was 9% alcohol by volume, it didn't seem to have a big bite initially, but after a half a glass you knew it was potent.

Overall: This beer ranked up in the top 20% of IPA's that I've had. It had everything that I wanted in a big IPA: a great nose, a decent balance of hops and malt, and a lot of flavor. Get ready for a mouthful of full hop flavor and a good blend of light to medium malt. For hop heads out there, I'd highly recommend this beer as one you'd go for often. Few beers in Colorado are made as well as this one. If I lived closer to Aurora, I'd be visiting Dry Dock Brewing Company often.

I might suggest pairing this beer with big bold and spicy foods. I could drink this with some Chinese or Mexican cuisine easily, or perhaps some hot wings or BBQ.

Disclosure: This was a complimentary beer given to me directly by the brewery. I was not paid for this review.

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Related articles:
- Dry Dock Hefeweizen review.
- A photo tour of Dry Dock Brewing Company.
- The 2009 Ho Ho Ho Slapdown at Dry Dock Brewing.

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