I have a love/hate relationship with Dogfish Head beers. I hate that I don’t love them. It’s not that they aren’t good (and in some cases great), it’s just that I’ve yet to have one that I really love. Bitches Brew is as close as I’ve found, but that’s one in a line-up of 30-40. I really wanted to love this beer.
I cracked this beer to enjoy with the NCAA championship game. I’ve been really interested in trying it, since it’d billed at a hoppy beer made with maple syrup… sounds like a nice combo.
First of all, I wanted to pour a small amount in my glass to smell/taste before filling the glass and WHOA!!! This beer has a LOT of carbonation. I had a hard time not getting a 3 inch head on 3 inches of beer. That surprised me a bit.
The smell is a bit sweet (the maple?), but not as citrus/pine/floral as I expected from an IPA. The taste was right in line with the smell… a bit sweet, not much bitterness and extremely carbonated (too much?). The head was pillowy and left some nice lacing on the glass.
Overall, it’s very well balanced, but a bit too sweet for my liking with this style. Again, this is a “good” beer, but not something I’ll make part of my regular line-up. I wonder if the carbonation is typical or if I got an off batch? The bottom line? There are a bunch of IPAs that I’d reach for before I’d drink this one. Of course Heady Topper, which has a little more alcohol, but is so much more enjoyable, but also Uinta Hop Notch, Lagunitas Sucks, Green Flash West Coast IPA, etc.
Vital Stats: 7.5% ABV. Served at 45F in a glass.
Taste: B. The carbonation got in the way of a good beer.
Drinkability: B. This is not a light beer.
Packaging: B. Attractive label, but not much else.