Chad9976 (1021) - Albany, New York, USA - APR 4, 2010
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
I’ve never attempted any home brewing because I think certain things should be left to the professionals. Well, Jim Koch, the inventor of the Samuel Adams line of beers (who also started out as a home brewer) has constantly encouraged more “lunatics” like him to get into the beer-brewing game. Mike McDole of California heeded that call with his Double IPA, one of the 2008 winners of the Samuel Adams “Long Shot” line of beers.
What’s particularly interesting about this beer is not only is it an India Pale Ale, but a double IPA at that. Samuel Adams has never, to my knowledge, brewed an IPA and that they would brew a homemade imperial version of the style is quite a leap for them. Perhaps they can take a cue from their contest winner and brew some beers catering to hop heads like me.
APPEARANCE AND AROMA
This beer pours smoothly to a color which could best be described as “dirty orange.” There is no sediment noticeable per se, but the body is not transparent. It produces an off-white, creamy/foamy head which leaves a ring of lacing around the inside of the glass for every individual swig. The aroma is very strong with a heavy citrus component as well as a thick, sweet maltiness. Alcohol is noticeable, but it takes a back seat to the genuine scents here.
I have no idea how difficult it is to brew an IPA, much less a double IPA, but Mike McDole has made it look easy. The label indicates that the beer is made with seven varieties of hops and has a “great malty foundation” – both descriptions which are deadly accurate upon the first swig.
I was immediately reminded of Dogfish Head’s 90 Minute IPA as I took my first taste of Long Shot Double IPA. A thick, rich, grapefruit-like taste is immediately noticeable with a rich malty finish. There is a very bitter undertone to this palate, but it is not crisp due to the heavy body. In fact, the flavor is so strong it borders on an all-out syrup quality.
This is a beer for hop heads as it really is a mélange of tart bitterness. The label does not indicate which type of hops were used in the brewing of this beer, but IPA fans will find the taste familiar (I’m thinking cascade, fuggles and Mt. Hood?). Unfortunately, the pedestrian drinker will likely find it too bitter and intense to appreciate (a reviewer on YouTube described it as tasting like unsweetened grapefruit juice and hated it). This is an acquired taste, but that’s the point I suppose.
If the drinker can appreciate the strong citrusy flavor to Long Shot Double IPA they’ll be equally impressed with the beer’s drinkability. Although it does have a thick, almost chewy-like mouthfeel, this beer is extremely smooth. Because the bitterness is so intense (I’d estimated the IBU rating at about 80) there really is no bite. I did notice a bit of a dry finish due to the alcohol content and a slightly salty aftertaste, but overall I think this is a surprisingly drinker-friendly brew,
While the label clearly indicates a potency of 9% ABV, I would describe the perceived weight of the beer to be much lower. As thick as the mouthfeel is and as intense as the taste is, Long Shot Double IPA does not feel nearly as heavy as its statistics would indicate. I was able to drink two bottles back-to-back and felt only buzzed and certainly not overwhelmed or bloated. I think if this beer was paired with food, it would be a different story, though.
I’ve been waiting for the Boston Beer Company to brew an IPA for years and that they would finally do so with a home brewed Double IPA really impresses me. This beer could easily contend with some of the bigger name imperial IPAs from the better craft brews. Many of the Samuel Adams beers are acquired tastes, as is this beer, but once you acquire said taste your appreciation for the craftsmanship is all the more intensified.
NOTE: Watch the video version of this review at:
jcweaver (740) - VA Beach, Virginia, USA - JAN 27, 2013
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle. Pours reddish-brown with a large, off-white head. Great citrus/pine hop nose with a touch of caramel. Great hop flavor (citrus, pine, floral and spicy) with a well balanced caramel backbone. Nicely bitter citrus/spicy hop finish. Best Sam Adams beer I’ve had.
madmitch76 (12174) - , Essex, ENGLAND - MAY 29, 2012
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
2nd October 2009
Bottle purchased in a Las Vegas liquor store. Hazy dark amber beer. Malty and rich hop nose. Sweetish beer. Rich marmalade hops with a nice floral tone. Lingering bitter aftertaste. A little different this one and tasty!
tmoreau (1919) - Lombard, Illinois, USA - APR 24, 2012
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Last 12 oz. bottle from the 2008 Longshot offerings found at the back of the craft refrig.. Sampled and noted at inception, but never reviewed. Now poured to my SA Lager glass with a cloudy, orange/amber color, good effervescence rising up with some particulates, bubbles & froth, cream toned head, and clingy waves & rings of lacing. The aroma was some dank grain, a little cattiness and resin, floral notes, and citrus of grapefruit & orange. The flavor added smooth and supportive malt, but potent, lingering, tongue coating, earthy, grapefruit rindy, hop bitterness dominated, with any fruit/citrus and sweetness taking a distant back seat. Almost favorably abrasive, as I remember it! Any fears of developing, cloying malt sweetness, or oxidation due to long refrigeration, were quickly dispelled. With better than a medium body, the abv gradually flushed the cheeks, and the finale was lightly sweet and lastingly bitter. I enjoyed the reminiscence!
iride15 (237) - Rockledge, Florida, Florida, USA - MAR 24, 2012
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Found some old notes on this after moving. Bottle poured an amber-orange with an off-white medium head. Heavily hopped with mild caramel and spice notes. Good alcohol to it for a nice buzz at the end of the bottle. Too bad the note won’t taste like the brew. I’m guessing it was good, but not enough to remember it 2 years later.
callmemickey (1864) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 2, 2011
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: JUN 9, 2012 A: Opaque amber-orange, medium off-white head that quickly disappears, moderate lacing
S: Citric hops... pineapple and grapefruit ... some resinous hops and caramel notes
T: More of the same... was nicely balanced... the hops were nice, just not with the attitude and assertiveness that i want from a dIPA... nice malt base...
M: A tad thin in parts, but otherwise nicely crafted... good finish
O: Good all around (and cheap dIPA) nice to see sam adams doing this project... should get some non better beer drinkers to accidentally try a dIPA (and hopefully get hooked)
ChoppingMall (47) - Sleepy Hollow, Wisconsin, USA - SEP 14, 2011
2.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
Big thick mouthfeel with a sharp hop attack. Most of the flavor opens up in the lengthy finish. Lots of pine flavors going on, but the massive alcohol presence overwhelms any other flavors. A decent beer, but the hop flavors are suffocated by the harsh, solvent alcohol. Provides a pretty wicked buzz.
dpento1 (236) - Virginia, USA - MAY 3, 2011
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours a light orange-amber, with a creamy off-white head. Nice aroma with floral hops, citrus notes, and some caramel. Flavor is mainly hoppy with some malt, spices and mild caramel. Finishes with some malt, and a nice lingering bitterness. Very nice, wish I had more!
SDalkoholic (2002) - Linda Vista, California, USA - APR 16, 2011
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle from Bonita Liquor Store: Created a huge fat frothy sizing of head while the liquid is a glowing hazed orange. Heavily hopped out aroma with a variety of hops ranging from a west coast style to the IPA’s from the east coast I’m accustomed too. The flavor is intensely bitter with hops dominating the profile make-up of this beer, but there is still some room for notes of earth, honey, sugarcane and strong backing by high quality malt. This was not expected from Sam Adams which leaves me feeling impressed they dared to bottle and distribute it.
johnnnniee (1828) - Bedford, New Hampshire, USA - MAR 24, 2011
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a cloudy amber/copper color with a thinnish off white head that dissipates to a cap but never really leaves me. Smells of Grapefruit! Like Florida’s finest in a bottle. Mix in some caramel, but not to much and that’s what I smell. Taste is what you’d expect, citrus mostly grapefruit bitterness from start to finish. The malt tries to poke through, but never really succeeds. Lingering bitterness on the finish. Body is thick, mouthfeel is syrupy/resinous, carbonation is average. Great hop bomb!
Thorpe429 (4944) - , Illinois, USA - NOV 23, 2010
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
G: Poured into an oversized snifter.
A: Pours a dark apricot/light amber with a strong, creamy head. Plenty of carbonation in the head, and the beer is nearly opaque in the glass. Great lacing.
S: Hop complexity. Many different fruits coming out of this, as well as the standard pine and floral aromas.
T: Incredibly balanced for the amount of hops in this one. Slightly floral and mostly fruity--not much of the pine in the taste. Surprised by the balance to this one, it’s not as over-the-top as the nose would suggest.
M: Smooth and creamy; medium-bodied. A little hint of alcohol warmth on the way down.
D: Quite drinkable; doesn’t quite push me to immediately take another sip, but I’d definitely like to have this one around more often.