Beer Review: Victory Dirt Wolf

Victory Brewing Company is one of my favorite breweries and is, in my opinion, underrated and underhyped. Golden Monkey, Storm King, Prima Pils, they’re all amazing beers that you should seek out if you haven’t had them yet. Victory is replacing their Imperial IPA Hop Wallop – which is a very accurate name for it – with a nuclear bomb of new flavorful hops and calling it DirtWolf. Here’s their PR blurb:

Darkly heroic, Humulus Lupulus (hops) have empowered brews with bite and character since the 11th century.  DirtWolf is a tribute to these untamed vines which rise from the earth with the voracity of a “wolf among sheep.” Hops have made an assertive comeback in American craft brewing.  Revel in the best U.S. varieties of hops, in their natural, whole flower form, as they bring a vital, pungent reality to the soul of a wild element in our dangerously satisfying DirtWolf Double IPA.

Continue reading “Beer Review: Victory Dirt Wolf”

Beer Review: Founders Double Trouble & Doom

I’m coupling these two reviews into one post because Doom is just Double Trouble… after spending 4 months in bourbon barrels. Double Trouble is Founders standard double IPA that is released in mass during May and June while Doom is only available now… if you can still find it. I was lucky enough to score a bottle before everywhere in town sold out thanks to the assistance of my sister-in-law. Sadly I don’t think you’ll be able to find anymore Doom around town but you can look this up again next year and find Double Trouble wherever better brews whenever the weather is cold.

Brewery: Founders
Beer: Double Trouble
Style: Double IPA
ABV: 9.4%
IBU: 86
Calories: ~280

Absolutely beautiful rich golden color with a snow white head topping.

Pungent aromas packing citrus into every nose hair.

Woah, super bitter kick in the palate. After that initial wave of bitterness comes grapefruit hops and a slight malty body that doesn’t come close to balancing things out.

Medium body with loads of carbonation, a slight bit of alcohol, and a lingering slickness.

This definitely lives up to the name Double Trouble and the style double IPA. With all the IPAs, and various sub-categories of IPA, out there this doesn’t come close to being one of my favorites. But it is an enjoyable brew, just not one I’d be in any kind of rush to have again. If you go crazy for citrus hop bitterness then you’ll go crazy for this. Love the label on this brew but it kinda blows that there’s no back story to it on the bottle. It just has the name, style, IBU, and ABV, oh and of course the gov’t warning.

Brewery: Founders
Beer: Doom
Style: Barrel Aged Double IPA
ABV: 10%
Calories: ~400

Comes out a slightly deeper golden hue then Double Trouble did with a LOT more of that same fizzy pure-white head.

Very slight bitter aroma mixes with bourbon, vanilla, caramel, and some citrus hops.

Surprisingly hoppy taste, I expected the citrus and bitterness to be much more subdued after 4 months in a barrel. All that mixes delicately with sweet caramel and vanilla backed by a solid amount of bourbon. Resulting in a very balanced flavor.

Medium body and mild carbonation come together for a mediocre mouth feel experience.

I have a feeling that many people will find this to be a great beer I, however, do not. It’s a good beer, and an interesting beer, but we don’t need to bourbon barrel age EVERYTHING just as we don’t need to hop the crap out of everything. Also $15 for a 750 ml is $5 more then I’m really interesting in paying for something less then spectacular. Call me cheap if you want but the value is rarely there at that price. All that said I’d still encourage folks to try this once, just get a bottle to split with 2 or 3 friends next year or this year if you get lucky!

Edit: Turns out I misunderstood the rarity of Doom. As part of Founder’s Backstage Series we may never see this beer again. Sorry if I got people excited. I know O’Bryan’s in Loveland had some as of Saturday (4/27) and folks are trading them online, so if you’re really interested don’t give up hope!

Beer Review: Upland Double Dragonfly

Upland is a small regional brewery hailing from just over in Bloomington, Indiana. Upland came to the Cincinnati area last fall, without too huge of a splash on the scene. I’d had their brews before on trips to Indianapolis, they have a small tap room north of downtown, but never got around to having more since. One reason is that I enjoyed their Dragonfly IPA and pined after their Double Dragonfly double IPA, but was never able to find it… until now:

Continue reading “Beer Review: Upland Double Dragonfly”

Beer Review: Columbus Brewing Company Bodhi

Looking for a great, highly rated, draft only, IPA that you can only get in one city? Skip the plane ticket to Cali or Vermont and drive on up to Columbus instead! When I say this is highly rated I mean a 98 on both Rate Beer and Beer Advocate plus on Beer Advocate’s list of top Double IPAs this comes in at #20 making it the “best” DIPA in Ohio!

The Columbus Brewing Company has been making their double IPA, Bodhi, for a few years now and have kept it on draft only and rarely distribute those kegs outside of the Columbus area. Luckily it’s relatively easy to score in Columbus and quite a few places offer growler fills of it. My wonderful wife had a work conference in Columbus this weekend and was kind enough to pick up a growler of this for me!

Bodhi (pronounced bow-dee) is a sanskrit word from Buddhism which is roughly translated as enlightenment or awakening. Lets see if it’s hops awaken by taste buds to the same level of love that others give this beer.

Continue reading “Beer Review: Columbus Brewing Company Bodhi”

Beer Review: Bell’s Hopslam

The Midwest is not historically known for it’s IPAs but that is changing quickly. The west coast has been knocking out bitter IPAs for more than a decade, recently Heady Topper has started to put the (north) east coast on the map. As for the midwest we’ve got a few serious contenders leading the way in Fat Head’s Head Hunter and Bell’s Hopslam among others. I prefer the Hopslam because it’s much more flavorful to Fat Head’s bitterness. Hopslam is a seasonal release with a somewhat small foot print, luckily Ohio and northern Kentucky are well within that footprint!

Here’s what Bell’s has to say about it

Starting with six different hop varietals added to the brew kettle & culminating with a massive dry-hop addition of Simcoe hops, Bell’s Hopslam Ale possesses the most complex hopping schedule in the Bell’s repertoire. Selected specifically because of their aromatic qualities, these Pacific Northwest varieties contribute a pungent blend of grapefruit, stone fruit, and floral notes. A generous malt bill and a solid dollop of honey provide just enough body to keep the balance in check, resulting in a remarkably drinkable rendition of the Double India Pale Ale style.

Continue reading “Beer Review: Bell’s Hopslam”

Beer Review: The Alchemist Heady Topper

I debated posting this review because this blog is about to be what to drink around Cincinnati. Sadly the closest you can get this beer to Cincinnati is Vermont, which is not at all close. In the end I decided to go forward with this post because Cincinnatians may travel to Vermont or may be decided to try and trade for this beer, which is relatively easy to do. I scored this can by trading the recent Stone Enjoy By 11.9.12 for this. Another reason I posted this is because I am aware that many of our readers come from across the country and a few from around the world.

Continue reading “Beer Review: The Alchemist Heady Topper”

Dogfish Head Burton Baton

With all the beers available for purchase out there in the burgeoning craft beer world, sometimes it’s just nice to return to an old, steady familiar. I’ve always loved Burton Baton from Dogfish head. Not enough for it to be in my regular rotations, but enough to buy a single every four months ago and remember how much I enjoy it. More about the beer after the jump…

Continue reading “Dogfish Head Burton Baton”