I’ve gambled on a lot of craft beers picked randomly off the shelf in my day simply because they looked interesting, and my success rate is probably just above the Mendoza Line when it comes to picking winners.
Thankfully, sometimes it does indeed work out.
Case in point is the Dobbel Dram Imperial IPA made by HaandBryggeriet out of Drammen, Norway. This was a bottle I picked randomly off the shelf at Redstone’s simply because I had never had a Norwegian beer.
It pours an inviting cloudy orange color with lots of thick foam, but the lacing didn’t really adhere to the glass. Great smelling beer for sure, with a big, bready head with lots of malts, citrus, and especially what I’d describe as candied orange in the bouquet. Some other reviews I found mentioned pine, but I never picked that up. Based on that bouquet I was looking forward to what this beer had in store
First sip proved the smell was no mistake. A medium mouthfeel and medium prickly carbonation. Slightly “chewy” up front with a pleasant lemony bitterness at the back. Caramel, spices, breadiness, and lots of different citrus varieties (grapefruit, orange, lemon). Lots of wonderful complex flavors going on in this glass, yet the 9% ABV is disguised very well with the moderate sweetness of the brew being the only indicator of its potency.
The Dobbel Dramm is not as overly hopped as most imperial (or even single for that matter) IPA’s. What you do get is something entirely different, surprising, and very satisfying. Realize what it is when you try it and you won’t be disappointed.
Taste: A- This is an imperial IPA that’s a bit off the beaten path, but I would not hesitate to recommend it to lovers of the style. A fantastic beer from Norway of all places. Well done.
Drinkability: C+ You’ll definitely be slowed down by this one, but in a good way. This is a beer to savor, and I hope you get the opportunity to do so.
Vitals: Poured from a bottle into a pint glass at about 48F. ABV: 9.0%