Oct 25, 2016

AleSmith Double IPA

A batch of AleSmith Double IPA recently appeared on a local shop’s shelves, a good five months after their bottling date. That’s not an extremely long time for a beer to be awaiting its rotation on display, but with the “drink now” mentality of many of the boutique hops in use the past couple of years, it’s long enough for flavors to start fading. And considering the following quote from the brewery’s description of the beer, this one should probably be consumed as soon as possible:

A sturdy malt backbone balances out the profound hop bitterness to create a refreshingly assertive and vibrant beer that offers an unapologetically bold expression of fresh American hops.

Luckily, this particular bottle of Double IPA, seems to have held up well enough. Tropical fruits (tangerine, orange, pineapple and grapefruit) still dominate though don’t quite come across as fresh as could be. The beer packs a punch in both the hop bitterness (105 IBU) as well as a warming finish (8.5% ABV) before calling you in for another sip. The flavors present here definitely fit within the modern interpretation of the style as loads of fruitiness fill the mouth while pine and leafy hop notes step out of the spotlight.

I wanted to mention the timeframe of this bottle because it’s becoming more and more indicative of the hoppier beers I’m finding on shelves. Back in the day finding, a sixer of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale that had been sitting for 6-7 months wasn’t a big deal — beers were heartier then. Modern IPAs (double, imperial, etc…) which are using more delicate, shorter-lived hop varieties are brewed for much quicker consumption. This extended time in storerooms or warehouses is only going to get longer as more and more beers are made available from the increasing numbers of breweries.

This bottle of AleSmith Double IPA probably wasn’t enjoyed as fresh as it should have been, but it still displayed a solid amount of hop character.