I had hoped to meet this friend of a friend during a recent pilgrimage to Shipyard, but alas it was not in the cards. With that said, my friend from work had me in mind and brought a few gems home for me to enjoy, first on the agenda is...
Beer: Shipyard XXXX IPA (Pugsley's Signature Series)
Served: From a snifter
Location: At my house
Style: American Double / Imperial IPA
Take an India Pale Ale and feed it steroids, ergo the term Double IPA. Although open to the same interpretation as its sister styles, you should expect something robust, malty, alcoholic and with a hop profile that might rip your tongue out. The Imperial usage comes from Russian Imperial stout, a style of strong stout originally brewed in England for the Russian Imperial Court of the late 1700s; though Double IPA is often the preferred name.
You can thank west coast American brewers for this somewhat reactionary style. "Thanks!"
Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 7.0-14.0%
(In this case 9.25% abv) On to the review...
1. Appearance - Amber somewhat hazy. Modest head but what's there lasts... Lacing present.
2. Smell - Floral, hoppy, malt and a bit of alcohol...
3. Taste - Flavorful beverage, malt/carmel backbone with strong dose of piney/citrus hops at first and that 9.25 % per volume doesn't hide. Bitterness quickly turns sweet, like a bite of grapefruit with a little bit of extra sugar on the end. (Note: As the brew warms the hop flavor increases)
4. Mouthfeel - Medium body, the "bigness" of this beer pushes through, but it's not as heavy as one might think. Fair amount of carbonation.
5. Drinkability - Not for the faint at heart, goes down easily enough, but one must pace themselves with a brew like this. This is not the hop-bomb I expected, but has the warming qualities of a tasty barley wine. I'd call this a "fire side beer" great for warming up after shoveling some snow.
Drinkability Scale from 1-10: I give it a solid 9, but certainly no more than 1 in a sitting, unless I had a long night be the fire ahead of me, then all bets are off...