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The Hop Brief: Weyerbacher Double Simcoe IPA

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Enjoyed on 1/4/2011

Brewery: Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Location: Easton, PA

Beer:  Double India Pale Ale

Web: http://weyerbacher.com/

Presentation: 750 ml – Brown Glass Bottle – Corked & Caged

Vintage: 2010

Style: American Style Double India Pale Ale

Barrel: N/A

ABV: 9%

IBU: N/A

Hops: 100% Simcoe.

Malt: N/A

Commercial Description:

Double Simcoe IPA, 9.0% abv, is our incredible reward for Hopheads seeking the intense hop flavor in a Double IPA, without the harshness. It is brewed utilizing only the Simcoe hop variety.  This hybrid hop, developed and trademarked by Select Botanicals Group, LLC in the year 2000, was created for its high alpha acid content, maximum aromatic oils, and low cohumulone(harshness) levels so that brewers can really put a lot of ‘em in a beer and not create an overly harsh taste.
Double Simcoe IPA is a full-flavored ale with hints of pineapple and citrus upfront, a good malt backbone in the middle, and a clean finish that doesn’t linger too long. Check it out, and you’ll soon see why everyone’s talking about it.  Double Simcoe is available year-round.

Beer Advocate: A- (4.17)

Rate Beer: 99 (3.92)

Timperial’s Notes:

Background.

I grew up in the Keystone State, home of Weyerbacher.  It’s a really great state for breweries.  Some highlights include Victory, Stoudts, Troegs, Yards, Erie, and the omnipresent Yuengling. Lucky for me, Victory distributes to WA.  If I could have access to just one more of my home state’s breweries out west I’d have to choose Weyerbacher.  They make really good beer.  Just a few months ago my beautiful sister migrated back home from Seattle indefinitely.  This broke my heart, and I know she knows that.  May it be simply out of love or as consolation, the one that knows me best produced a package that soon found my doorstep.  After meticulously removing many a packing peanut and layer upon layer of bubble wrap, my heart skipped at the unveiling of two corked Weyerbacher gems (and one Troegs).  Though the cellar dweller within wishes to extend the pleasure for as long as possible, I know better than to age an IPA, and regardless, I won’t let her get away with a simple one and done shipping policy.  Tonight’s the night.  Lets see how it goes down.

Appearance.

DSIPA is unfiltered and it shows.  Light struggles to pass through the auburn colored liquid, but the cloudiness is fully saturated.  Unlike the last few IPAs I reviewed for this column, there is nary a hop chunk in sight.  The bottle conditioned, cork finish to this bottle does great work in its production of a massive head.  It takes quite a few minutes to fill the glass.  The tan crown is rocky and voluminous and is built on varying sized bubbles.  As it slowly withdraws toward the beer below, a pretty impressive slime trail is produced on the inside of the glass.  It’s a sporadic and unpredictable pattern, but where it comes to rest, it lies with density.

The carbonation is insanely active.  Tiny bubbles appear to rise from every single square nano-meter of the glass floor.  They rise quickly and vigorously.  Of course, bottle conditioned and corked beers are highly evocative of Belgian Ales, and the carbonation levels here bring identical suggestions.

Odor.

If I had to choose two words to describe the nose of this beauty I’d provide “fruity” and “yeasty”.  Are we drinking a Belgian tonight?  Well, no, but there is surely some sort of influence, even if it was unintended by the brewers.  Now, I must clarify that the fruity nature is far different from a yeast induced, high temperature fermentation ester bomb…read: fruity Belgian.  Here, the fruitiness comes from the Simcoe, and it’s simply a natural wonder.  What an amazing profile from just one single variety of hop!

This is why I adore the “single hop” IPA.  As a brewer myself,  this experience refreshes my memory on exactly what Simcoe has the potential to impart in a beer.  It’s really quite majestic.  Though there is an element of herbal and earthy and piney present, the fruitiness takes charge.  There is definitely a bit of mandarin orange there, but most of the scents come across as being of a tropical flora.  The suggestion of pineapple seeps into my psyche, but my senses find more abundance in banana peel and melon.  The malts are there, but the recipe seems to meticulously place them at just the right volume in the mix so that the hops stand above the din.  I’m very fond of the odor here.

Mouthfeel.

Yes, there is a lot of carbonation found in DSIPA, but high carbonation is one of my favorite elements of my beloved Belgian Ales.  I often wish that craft breweries in America would be more heavy-handed with the carb stone.  Of course, in this case, bottle conditioning is responsible, but no matter how you look at it, I’ll give much praise to anyone willing to be generous with those tongue tickling bubbles that play such a crucially role in the way we experience beer.

I’ve read that highly carbonated beverages can act as tongue scrubbers.  If you are tasting foods, especially those that are creamy and high in fats, it is recommended that you drink a bit of bubbly to neutralize the potentiality of clinging flavors.  This will assist you in moving across flavor profiles with minimal pollution from previous samples.  If this is true, DSIPA should quickly cleanse the tongue.  Considering that this beer completely coats the mouth and lingers for some time lends me to believe that if it weren’t so effervescent it would be like drinking melted wax.  The viscosity of the fluid is so intense that the prickling bubbles are nearly nullified.  The balance of the two is sublime.  Because I want to experience this rarity in more beers, I’ll give a perfect score.

Flavor.

I can only assume that there were several bittering additions to DSIPA’s hopping schedule, and though Simcoe is a high alpha hop, it’s roundness, or low cohumulone levels (as described in the commercial description) is highly evident.  The bitterness is very manageable with DSIPA.  I could imagine that the IBU factor is high, though it may not be, but hop flavor clearly dominates.  I’d imagine that those that know me can already begin to see the high score to follow.  This is 100% my kind of IPA.  The flavor is balanced at extremes, sweet, and goes down smooth.  Good gracious I miss you Weyerbacher!

The malt profile is very barleywine like.  It’s complex and possesses an aged like quality.  There is a decent caramelized notion that becomes most obvious with extended periods in the glass (for warmth).  The hops remain highly fruity which brings a lot of uniqueness to this one.  A deep exhale with the beer in my mouth produces a blow gun of pine needles.  How transformative?!?!  What a hop!  What an experience!

It takes considerable warming to bring out the alcohol here.  One word, dangerous.

Aftertaste.

The aftertaste, unlike the actual taste, is mostly dominated by malt.  There is a lot of scorched brown sugar and baked sweet dough.  It’s a mostly sweet finish, but the bittering hops put forth and effort to dry it out.  Without a doubt, this is an intensely balanced finish.  A near perfect end to a near perfect beer.

Summary.

I don’t really know what else to say other than look at the last sentence of the section above…look at the score below…and thank you, thank you, thank you Dana!

Color/Head/Retention [maximum of 1.00 point possible]: 0.94

Odor [maximum of 2.00 points possible]: 1.96

Carbonation/Mouthfeel [maximum of 1.00 point possible]: 1.00

Hop Flavor [maximum of 3.00 points possible]: 2.91

Malt Flavor/Balance [maximum of 2.00 points possible]: 1.96

Finish/Aftertaste [maximum of 1.00 point possible]: 0.99

Total [maximum of 10.00 points possible]: 9.76

Events for Week of February 8, 2010

February 8, 2010 1 comment

Jolly Pumpkin Cafe and Brewery

A quick shout out to something unrelated to beer.  Congrats to the New Orleans Saints for their incredible season and Super Bowl win. New Orleans is a city close to Beer Blotter’s heart and we couldn’t be happier. So a toast in honor of a team and city well deserving of a celebration.  WHO DAT??  And now, without further ado, your weekly beer events.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Jolly Pumpkin Madrugada Obscura Release Party: Ann Arbor, Michigan

6:00PM @ Jolly Pumpkin Cafe and Brewery

Be one of the first beer drinkers to taste this stout by Jolly Pumpkin tonight at 6:00PM. Madrugada stands for “Dark Dawn”, and this Belgian inspired stout is as dark as a moonless midnight, and brimming with roasted malts and bitter hops.  This beer is seasonal, so get it while it lasts!

New Belgium Beer Tasting: Greenville, South Carolina

7:00PM-9:00PM @ Brixx Wood Fired Pizza

This tasting will feature New Belgium‘s spring seasonal Mighty Arrow, newly released Ranger IPA, 1554 Black beer, and of course Fat tire. Enjoy all of these with a few snacks while New Belgium’s local rep talks about the brewery and answer some questions.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Russian River ‘tion Night: San Fransisco, California

6:00PM-12:00PM @ Toronado

Stop by San Fran’s legendary beer bar and indulge in all the goodness Russian River Brewing Co. has to offer. Beers such as (this is not official, just an assumption, so call 415.863.2276 if your looking for a specific brew) Publication, Consecration, Deviation, Damnation, Sanctification, Supplication….Temptation. Seriously if only 3 of those beers are on tap, its worth the trip.

Smuttynose Tasting: Hooksett, New Hampshire

4:30PM-7:30PM @ Berts Better Beers

On the docket for tonight, Smuttynose Brewing Co.’s Big A, Baltic Porter, Wheat Wine, Barleywine and (hopefully) the Imperial Stout.  We recently had the Wheat Wine and it is AMAZING. GO THERE, DRINK BEER, REPORT BACK!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Stone Brewing Co. Cask Tasting and Meet and Greet: Washington, DC

6:00PM-10:00PM @ Birch and Barley

What to expect on cask tonight from Stone Brewing Co.? LEVITATION ALE; SMOKED PORTER; ARROGANT BASTARD. Done, Done and Done.

St. Bernardus Beer Dinner: Tampa, Florida

7:00PM-9:00PM @ Mr. Dunderbak’s

Not only will you be able to taste amazing food and sample St. Bernardus beers, you will be able to meet the brewer, Marco in from Belgium. Lamb, mussels, salad and brie tarts will grace the menu tonight.  The Witbier, Triple, Prior 8 and Apt 12 will be paired with the delicious menu.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Meet the Brewers of New Old Lompoc Brewing Co.: Portland, Oregon

6:00PM-8:00PM @ Green Dragon

Join all the New Old Lompoc brewers: Dave “Chowdah” Fleming, Bryan Kielty, Zach Beckwith, Sam Orlansky and Jerry Fechter for a meet the brewers session.

Some Like it Hop: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

6:00PM-8:00PM @ Allegheny HYP Club

The tasting includes beer samples, gourmet appetizers prepared by Chef Shawn, and a presentation on the selected beers.  The cost to attend is $15 per person. Please RSVP for the event at the Malt Daddy website.  Featured beers include: Troeg’s Nugget Nectar; Weyerbacher Double Simcoe IPA; Dogfish Head Olde School Barleywine and Victory Old Horizontal Barleywine.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Launch of Midnight Sun Brewing Co.: San Fransisco, California

6:00PM-9:00PM @ City Beer Store

California Beer Week continues into the weekend with a launch party for Midnight Sun Brewing Co. Although the beers are not listed, even on City Beer Store’s website, draft and bottle products will be available!  This brewery has so many great beers, you really cannot go wrong!

Sour Ale Tasting: Aliso Viejo, California

6:00PM-8:00PM @ Pacific Park Market

CHECK THIS OUT—-> Jolly Pumpkin La Roja; Russian River Supplication (batch 4); Russian River Consecration (batch 3); Bruery Oude Tart; Russian River Beatification and Weyerbacher Riserva. Its only $5 per person to enjoy all of these amazing sour beers. Don’t miss out!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Big Woody 2010: Brooklyn, New York

11:00AM- 12:00PM @ Spuyten Duyvil

Bottles, Drafts and Casks…this event is not only at a extremely cool beer bar in BK, it features some AMAZING beers. For the full list, go to Beer Advocates’ website or click here.  Here is a glimpse into the epic beer drinking that those of you in attendance will endure (oh yea, these beers are all 10% and above- enjoy): from the tap-Mikkeller Black (17.5%, Denmark); In Gravity Poured Wooden Barrels-Schneider Aventinus Weizen-Eisbock (12%, Germany) and on the bottle list-Brooklyn Black Ops 2008 (10.7%-Brooklyn, NY, USA).  Make sure to store the cab company’s number in your phone before going to this event!

Strong Ale Fest: Boyertown, Pennsylvania

12:15PM- 12:15AM @ Union Jack’s Inn On The Manatawny

Similarly themed to the above event, this Strong Ale Fest will feature beers all 10% and higher….so keep that in mind when your throwing ‘em back tonight. A few of the beers available for these 12 hours include, Dogfish Head World Wide Stout 18%; Founders Black Biscuit Barrel Aged Porter 11% and Lost Abbey Angels Share 12%.

February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

Valentine’s Day Beer Dinner: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

6:00PM- 8:00PM @ Hawthornes

We cant think of a better way to show your love for another than with and among amazing beers.  Tonight at  Hawthornes, celebrate your love with three courses and the following beers, Southern Tier 07 Choklat; Kasteel Rouge; Rosee d’ Hibiscus (Dieu Du Ciel) and Bells Oaked Aged Two-Hearted Ale. All for $60.00/person. Call (215) 627-3012 for reservations!

Have a Heart for Haiti: Bellingham, Washington

11:00AM-9:00PM @ Boundary Bay Brewing Co.

Ribeye Steak with Wort Compound Butter, Sea Bass in Pappilote, and Mussels in Spicy Red Sauce with Chorizo are just a few of the Special menu choices for Valentines Day. The menu will be available at 5pm along with our regular menu choices. Tables set for two and Music sets by The Mt Baker Toppers starting at 6pm and 7pm. Reservations are recommended. Servers will be donating a portion of their tips & all the proceeds from our Have a Heart dessert will go the Red Cross.

So have a great week, give some love to Haiti, give that someone special a big kiss and drink great beer!  If you go to an event, would like us to report on an event or just want to spread the BB love, leave a comment or email us at beerblotter@gmail.com


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