Enjoyed on 2/28/2011
Brewery: 7 Seas Brewing
Location: Gig Harbor, WA
Beer: Ballz Deep Double India Pale Ale
Presentation: 16 oz. – Can
Style: American Style Double India Pale Ale
A mash tun packed mostly with Pale Ale Malt and several different varieties of Crystal malt provide a firm, slightly sweet malt flavor while copious amounts of resiny Yakima Valley hops go berserk on bitterness, flavor and aroma.
Beer Advocate: B- (3.45)
Rate Beer: 79 (3.37)
Clearly, the canning trend is blowing up around the country. It would take far too long for me to name them all, but I think we all know that when highly respected breweries such as Oskar Blues, New Belgium, Surley, Maui, Anderson Valley, and Big Sky are doing it, everyone wants a piece. Not to mention the fact that it creates less waste, it easier to transport, and it is completely impenetrable to UV light. I would be surprised if there was a brewery out there today that wouldn’t admit that they would love to can if they could.
To my knowledge, 7 Seas was the first WA brewery to can with any regularity, and they went straight for 16 ouncers. Bad-ass fellas! Bad-ass! With any luck, the contents of said bad-ass pounder will be equally wicked.
This big Northwest IPA pours from the tall boy can (!) a clear, dark reddish amber color that is very much on the darker end of the SRM scale for IPAs. The glugging pour that is inevitable from the opening in a can produced a surprisingly small head of just off-white bubbles. The crown quickly subsided and left a few splotches of lace on the glass.
When held to the light, this brew is very clearly filtered and in the all too common way of the Northwest, very lightly carbonated.
The nose is pretty subtle and by no means screams double IPA. I find it to be quite fruity, both from the hops and the malt. I get a sense that there might be some wheat in the mash, but that could just be a sensory connection with the banana notes that I perceive.
There is definitely a tropical fruit wafting off of this unique brew. I pick up some papaya and pineapple and citrus rind, as well as a bit of plum and red grape that could come from the darker crystal and munich malts that I’d assume lend the reddish hue.
Grains are very prominent in the nose as well and come across with a fruitiness that prompts Belgian thoughts. I always revert to thought of Special B when I sense this attribute, which is really just a Euro crystal malt.
The mouthfeel is very smooth and full. Overall the body is impressive and seems to benefit from the minimal carbonation. With that being said, I think there is enough depth in body to withstand quite a bit more effervescence and not lose points. I strongly feel that more carbonation would assist the drinker in perceiving the flavor nuances here. I feel the bubbles really awaken the taste buds. I would make this suggestion to any lightly carbonated beer.
Am I drinking an IPA? Yes, it’s pretty bitter but this is a much more malt forward beer that I expected. I’d call it more of an Imperial Red. There is little to no hop flavor to this beer. There is a fruitiness, no doubt, which could be from the hops, but for me it comes across as being a product of a specialty grain heavy mash with a slightly higher than normal fermentation temperature for an IPA.
I hesitate to use the word “estery” because it’s not a wine-like fruitiness. It’s more of a barleywine like experience. In fact, this could easily turn into a barleywine with a fairly minimal increase to the grain bill. This is a very well brewed beer in my opinion, it’s just not a double IPA.
The finish is super dried out by the bitterness and what I would imagine is a fairly low final gravity. The corners of my mouth and the bottom of my tongue are actually being constricted by the dryness, which is distracting. Once I get past that I find that the malty depth lingers for some time and is, again, very barleywine like and pleasant.
Overall, this recipe has a lot of potential but seems to be slightly misguided. It kind of breaks my heart because I want this beer to be so much better. It has a bad ass name, it’s packaged in a tall boy can which houses some pretty killer artwork, and it’s a high IBU beer of the Northwest. There is so much potential there for this to be a beer that us Pacific Northwesterners are wicked proud of. I’ve had plenty of other 7 Seas beers that I thoroughly enjoyed, so who knows, maybe this beer I’m searching for will still come from the boys in Gig Harbor.
Color/Head/Retention [maximum of 1.00 point possible]: 0.79
Odor [maximum of 2.00 points possible]: 1.84
Carbonation/Mouthfeel [maximum of 1.00 point possible]: 0.83
Hop Flavor [maximum of 3.00 points possible]: 2.10
Malt Flavor/Balance [maximum of 2.00 points possible]: 1.90
Finish/Aftertaste [maximum of 1.00 point possible]: 0.81
Total [maximum of 10.00 points possible]: 8.27
This Saturday, February 26, 2011 (TOMORROW) for approximately 4 hours, you should go on a tour of the local craft brewing industry.
The Washington Beer Commission organized an Open House of sorts where local breweries open their doors to beer lovers providing them with the good stuff to make this an epic Saturday afternoon. From 12PM-4PM you can plan your route or pick an area of Washington to tour:
CENTRAL and EASTERN WA
NORTH and EAST of SEATTLE
American Brewing, Edmonds
Anacortes Brewing, Anacortes
Black Raven Brewing, Redmond
Boundary Bay Brewing, Bellingham
Chuckanut Brewing, Bellingham
Diamond Knot Brewing, Mukilteo
Foggy Noggin Brewing, Bothell
Gallagher’s Where U Brew, Edmonds
Lazy Boy Brewing, Everett
Redhook Brewery, Woodinville
Scuttlebutt Brewing, Everett
Snoqualmie Falls Brewing, Snoqualmie
SOUTH and WEST of DOWNTOWN SEATTLE
WEST of PUGET SOUND
This event will showcase a number of special beers, beer pairings and surprises at many locations. You will just have to go and find out what is in store. Don’t forget this Saturday is the Grand Opening of American Brewing Co.
This event is free but beer prices at each location will apply. Drive safely or don’t drive at all and ENJOY!
First it was harvest season and in celebration we indulged in glorious IPAs, then it was Halloween, so we attended a Pumpkin beer fest. Now, the first snow has fallen (sending Seattle into a state of disbelif, terror and general panic) and it is time for Christmas brews and Winter ales.
This year’s Winter Beer Fest will not dissapoint. Here are the details:
2010 WINTER BEER FEST
DATES & HOURS
Friday, December 10th, 2010 5:30-9:30 pm
(WABL* Hour: 5:00-5:30 pm)
Saturday December 11th, 2010 12-4 pm + 5:30-9:30 pm
(WABL* Hour: 11:30-12 pm)
*Open exclusively to WABL members.
$23 advance/$25 at the door.
Admission includes a tasting cup and six 5 oz. beer tastes.
Additional tokens are available at $1.50 each.
Designated driver admission is $5 and available at the door only.
We accept cash and check only. Sorry, no credit cards!
Admission and token sales will end at 45 minutes before the end of each session and taps will close with 20 minutes left in each session.
This is a 21+ only event
Space is limited so get your tickets early!
Advance tickets are available online now.
Advance ticket sales end at 5:00 AM on Friday, December 10th, or whenever tickets allocated for advance sale are sold out. There will be additional tickets available at the door during the event.
Beers to look out for (and by look out for, I mean drink)-
7 Seas Saison
Airways Hot Chocolate Ale
Big Al Penut Butter Stout
Big Time Yulefest Winter Ale
Black Raven Old Birdbrain Barleywine
Black Raven Bourboun Barrel la Petite Mort
Boundary Bay 2008, 2009 and 2010 Cabin Fever
Elysian Bifrost Winter Ale
Flyers Brewery Daybreak Breakfast Oatmeal Stout
Fremont Brewing Bourbon Barrel Aged Abominable
Naked City Bing Spiked Cherry Ale
Schooner Exact Hoppy the Woodsman
Silver City Brewing Old Scrooge Christmas Ale
There are so many amazing beers being poured at this event- check out the full list here!
What beer puts you in the holiday spirit??
Every year, local TV station, KING 5 takes a tally from the Washington State population on their favorite bars, restaurants, friendliest athlete, bike shops and so much more. This year and for the third year in a row, Silver City Brewing Co. located on the Kitsap Peninsula won best brewpub! Trust me, it is well deserved.
Silver City gives us Seattleites a reason to hop on a ferry to Silverdale, WA. A large facility, Silver City brews amazing beers, showcases only the finest bar food and is very welcoming to its patrons.
Runners up include: 5th Place-Diamond Knot Brewing Co. (Mukilteo, WA), 4th Place- Redhook Brewing Co. (Woodenville, WA), 3rd Place-Boundary Bay Bar and Bistro and rolling in at 2nd Place-Fishbowl Brewpub (home of Fish Brewing Co. in Olympia, WA)
So, congrats to Silver City who brews amazing beers such as their Woop PAss Double IPA, Fat Scotch Ale (so good), Indianola Pale Ale IPA and several others including some amazing seasonals. I am looking forward to their Winter Bock, Nutcracker Special Belgium Brown Ale and their Christmas Ale, Old Scrooge. Tis the season.
Have you ever taken the Kitsap beer trip? We have – its worth the boat ride.
Kitsap now showcases Silver City Brewery, Hales Ales, 7 Seas Brewing, Hood Canal Brewery and newcomers Der Blokken Brewery, Valholl Brewing and Grove Street Brewing. Close by, Jefferson County is the home of one of our faves – Port Townsend Brewing.
Recent expansion brought Silver City a second location in Bremerton, Hales Ales across the Sound to Silverdale and upcomer Der Blokken to the Kitsap fold (Bremerton). Remember, Hales is fresh off a gold medal at this year’s GABF!
So, lets celebrate the Peninsula with the coming of the Fall – Octoberfest! This Saturday, September 25, 2010, the Kitsap Mall will host the Kitsap Octoberfest. The party is billed as an all day family affair, filled with the Peninsula’s greatest brewers. Check out the list of breweries (and wineries) that will be pouring on Saturday.
This event is a one dang good deal – free. You will need to purchase your beer pours, but the festival will give you a great chance to sample a multitude of great West Sound beers from some brewers that you typically do not get a chance to see. We are particularly excited to finally sample Der Blokken, Valholl, and Grove Street.
Head on out Saturday morning and grab some breakfast in Bainbridge before heading West to Silverdale for the festival. The beer begins pouring bright and early at 11 AM and the weather is billed at 70 and Sunny. No better weather to be outside, drinking local beer and eating bratwurst.
Hope to see you all there!