There was a time, before the dawn of the American craft beer revolution, when pursuing the combination of powerful hopping and Belgian-yeast fermentation would never have been considered by a brewer. That time is no more. Today, high-hopped, Belgian-yeast fermented IPAs are enjoying a season in the sun. Well, the Baird Beer brewers are hitting the beach and joining the party with our own interpretation of this oxymoronic style.
Double-Dry Belgian Imperial IPA derives its name from (a) a double dosing of dry-hops, (b) double (actually triple) fermentation with two different yeast strains — one being our house Belgian ale yeast, and (c) imperial-level rates of hops (100 IBUs in the kettle), gravity (17.8 Plato), and alcohol (8.5% by volume).
This is a brashly bitter, twistedly dry and unapologetically alcoholic brew. It is the sort of offspring you might expect from an orgiastic mating among bottles of Orval, Duvel and Stone Ruination. Thirty percent of the fermentables are provided by Japanese korizato sugar rather than malt, leading to higher alcohol and lighter body. The hops, including those used in dry-hopping, are a combination of American (Warrior, Columbus, Horizon) and European (German Hersbrucker and Slovenian Styrian Golding) varieties. The fermentation is threefold: stage one with our Belgian yeast, stage two with the addition of our Scotch Ale yeast, and stage three in package where the two strains continue the party together.
mds (2250) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - APR 23, 2012
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Grainy aroma with some zestiness. Cloudy orange. Alcohol up front and American strong in character. Drinkable but not best of class.
stewac01 (62) - AUSTRALIA - AUG 29, 2011
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pours a murky golden orange with a very fine white head. Carbonation is very low (looks like an English cask ale). Aromas are rustic and slightly funky Belgian, spicy phenolics and soft pilsner malt. A little herbaceousness from the hops, but pretty light on in that regard. Flavour is a great balance of spicy phenols (esp cloves and pepper), tropical fruit esters and a hint of citrus/menthol hops. Turns midway into an intense hop bitterness, which intensifies and lingers. Really unique beer - super bitter strong saison?!
gam (3641) - brisbane, AUSTRALIA - AUG 7, 2011
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Medium sized head orange gold pour mild to medium pourt carbonation aromas fruity mild floral citrus sweet caramel weak apricot flavours medium bitter citrus apricot bitter from rind of citrus tame ipa not much brightness or fizz finish citrus stonefruit resin medium bitter caramel sweetness okay ale
beardfear (87) - Sydney, AUSTRALIA - JUN 17, 2011
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
On tap at the Baird Harajuku taproom. Fantastic aroma: Scotch ale mingles with mango and pineapple. Hints of Belgian wit yeast and spice up the front, followed by apple, grape, whiskey malt and a strong hit of alcohol. Medium body. Freshening citrusy hops in the finish, but otherwise this is more a tripel than an IPA.
KyotoLefty (7877) - Kyoto, JAPAN - JUN 13, 2011
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Draught at Tadg’s. Bright orange-gold with a thin, fine, head. Nice Belgian yeast aroma with honey, crackers, peach, citrus, and grass. Dry Belgian flavor, spice yeast, very bitter, a bit astringent, with citrus and rather strong underlying sweetness. I like this a lot, though it seems like a very hoppy tripel and nothing really IPA about it.
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