If IPAs have been en vogue in beer making for the past decade, then the past few years have seen the emergence of the DIPA (pronounced dee-PA). It seems every week, there is another new one showing up at our local stores … and, as a result, more are showing up here on this blog.
The Double India Pale Ale (DIPA_ also goes by the moniker Imperial IPA — as in the case of the Cascade Plus I recently reviewed or the phenomenal 10 Bitter Years a few months before that — which is apt because this is both a monarch among beers and because it bears resemblance to other “imperial” beers like the imperial stout. What defines most of these is the high-octane amounts ABV which belies even the “strong beer” labels most IPAs already carry once they pass 6%. Proof? McAuslan’s rings in at 8% — but big kudos to them for being one of the few that has sense enough to bottle this is a normal sized bottle.
I have quite liked all of McAuslan’s beers. Contrary to some of the brewers I’ve reviewed here who consistently strike-out, McAuslan consistently reaches first base. Not every beer is hit out of the park, but all are good and some are great. Consistency is a trait hard to find these days.
Keeping with the metaphor, this beer hits for an auspicious triple.
While it isn’t brewed sur lies, it is nevertheless bottled unfiltered. It pours relatively flat producing little head which fades quickly. That is to say, the carbonation is on the lower/medium end of the scale with smaller bubbles that don’t impinge on the flavours or the tongue. The colour is also lighter than you’d expect for a DIPA; most take a walk more on the amber/brown end of the spectrum. McAuslan’s, however, pours a light gold. As a result, I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of flavor that is nonetheless nestled in these creamy waters. The malts are definitely doing their thing … and the double-hopped process does its own part to ensure bitterness runs throughout.
Jingle aside, this beer’s anthem really should be smooth balance … which is commendable in something this strong. Compare this to the lack of balance and structure in the Ruine Papilles and Ruine Papilles Blonde. The malts here provide some spice and sweetness, but not too much sweetness as you typically get in higher-test beers. They blend well with the hops that lead with a bit grassiness and end with pure earthiness … but through the middle, it is all citrus and pine.
All in all, I really enjoyed this beer and found that the warmth and spice to it make it a perfect winter peer. An excellent accompaniment to snow … and to tourtière.
So … Double your pleasure, double your fun, with McAuslan’s double IPA!
Stats: DIPA. 8% ABV. Montreal, Quebec.
Colour: Dark gold.
Mouth Feel: Medium carbonation upfront, creamy and refreshing finish.
Purchased: Bières du Monde