SDalkoholic (2124) - Linda Vista, California, USA - SEP 21, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle from South Bay Drugs. Pours with a giant serving of white pillow of foaming while the ale is a muddy amber color. The aroma is a bready malt nose with a dosage of British styled hop variation. I taste a rye bready flavor as well as a honey oat or sweet wheat that really is different that I am accustomed too but again there is a English hop background that balances this beer out real smoothly .
RollinHard (1024) - Fort Worth, Texas, USA - SEP 18, 2008
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours a tannish garnet with orange highlights, and an off-white head that lasts forever. Aroma is very citrusy and flowery, but not too extreme on the hops. A bit tropical, and doesn’t give much way to the maltiness of the flavor. The beer tastes pretty well balanced between the brown sugar and caramel malts, and the flowery tropical fruit-like hop flavor. Finishes slightly toasty with a bitter grapefruit flavor and a slight lingering caramel aftertaste. Mouthfeel is medium, fairly highly carbonated and creamy. Pretty good, and I admire the restrained IBUs.
Hophead22 (2880) - Redlands, by way of Wisconsin,, California, USA - SEP 9, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
750ml bottle. poured a dark brown/orange color, tan/white head. Real nice floral hop aroma, nice and citrusy. Nice smooth hop flavor, nicely balanced. Very good overall
FlacoAlto (3759) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - SEP 8, 2008
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Batch Number: D8121; Sampled September 2008
A soft pour into my 25cl tulip glass easily produces a three-finger thick, light tan colored head. The beer is red stained, darkish amber color that shows a lightly hazy, orangish tinged, red stained, dark copper color when held up to the light. The aroma is a mix of up front citrus hops and a crystal malt backdrop. Aromas of bergamot, candied grapefruit zest and lychee are dominant up front, while softer notes of caramelized malt, lightly toasted grain and even some pine-notes are noticeable more towards the end if you dig for them. This is a touch muted when compared to the more hopped examples of an IPA, much less a Double IPA, but it is still quite hoppy and definitely enjoyable for the inner hop head.
Sweet tasting with a big, biting bitterness. The carbonation is a bit excessive and just causes the beer to foam up as it hits the tongue. The alcohol is noticeable towards the finish with a warming effect and the crystal malt definitely plays a big role in the flavor. The excessive carbonation is dealt with by a vigorous swirl of my glass, this softens the texture allowing a medium-rich body to become noticeable. Flavors of sticky caramel, lots of browned malt character, a touch of toffee and a toasted, browned, whole grain bread crust like flavor in the finish are quite noticeable considering the slightly more dominant hop flavors should be the central focus. Despite my ignoring them up until this point, this beer is about the hops after all and they do contribute substantial flavors of candied orange zest, lychee, a nice herbaceous, at times menthol-like, pine note that mingles along with the bitterness in the finish.
Definitely on the malty side of the spectrum for a Double IPA; it focuses a bit too much on flavors derived from crystal malt and the body could certainly be a bit lighter so that it captured the quaffability that I find requisite in a Double IPA. For all of my griping about this not being the type of Double IPA that I prefer, this is actually not all that bad, in fact it can be downright enjoyable when you get down to it; forget about styles, and just enjoy the beer. It is certainly enjoyable and I have no qualms about finishing, though I would characterize it as more of a crystal malt focused, hoppy, Double American Amber, than a Double IPA.
Purchased: South Bay Drugs, Imperial Beach CA
trokini (1025) - San Diego, California, USA - SEP 8, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
As IPA’s go, one of the best. Pours hazy orange-copper with a thick, frothy off-white head. Sweet, fruity aroma with grapefruit, mango, pineapple, and pine. Taste is as big as an Imperial without the heavy mouthfeel. Lots of citrus-with-caramel flavors. The apricot and blood orange do show through as advertised. Melon and spice do come out as the beer warms. Big hop flavor without being a hop bomb. Loved it.
GAManiac (1944) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - SEP 7, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: SEP 8, 2008 This one explodes out of the bottle with a hazy orange amber color with a hint of red. the head is massive and lingers as a cap forever leaving tons of lacing. The aroma is very balanced with big citrus hops smells up front with grapefruit and apricots. But the sweet caramel malt base comes through as well as a slight honey sweetness. The taste has a bit of hops up front with grapefruit, but nothing overpowering, followed by the bready malts and fruity sweetness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with lots of carbonation and a slight bitterness in the finish. This is my first in the Smokestack series and I’m extremely impressed. This is a great IPA.
LadySusan (720) - Ste-Therese, Quebec, CANADA - SEP 7, 2008
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Taster at The Mondial de la biere 08 in Montreal. The color is amber with a beige head and nice lace. The aroma is sweet and hoppy. The taste is also sweet with the malt then the bitterness of the hops cuts in with the fruits to make it a good double I.P.A.
ketchepillar (1050) - Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA - SEP 7, 2008
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Crazy head on this piece. I really enjoy the hop profile on this. It’s a bit faded, but then it’s just good malt sweetness w/ good hops. Nice finish. MMM very good hops. A little sticky perhaps.
hillfiiiiire (323) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - SEP 7, 2008
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Golden amber color with bubbly white head. Aroma is kind of stale hops. Floral and citrus hops most notably. Not a horribly bitter flavor. Very well balanced with the malts. Finishes with a nice, dry bitter. All right beer.
jimbowood (1036) - Freeport, Georgia, USA - SEP 6, 2008
2.8 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
bottle. No good. Drain pour. No hop presence or aroma. wouldn’t want this one ever again.