Longmont, CO (USA)
Preface: This is a recent arrival. Once again the Left Hand Brewing Company introduces their particular take on a “style.” This time they offer what they call a “Double I.P.A. Ale.” The label tells me that the ingredients include: flaked barley, malted rye, hops and yeast. There is no mention of alcohol content.
A style with a pucker-power reputation like I.P.A. has I wonder how it can be taken another step.
As with most samples, this one has been living in my refrigerator in the dark. On tasting mornings it is let out an hour or so before it is tasted.
Appearance: A bright amber yellow brew is topped with a very rocky head of medium to huge bubbles that form an almost white head.
Aroma: As soon as this pint was pours I could smell the toasted grain aroma I know as toasted malt. The first aromatic impression is a more concentrated aroma of lightly roasted malt. The second take on the aromatics finds a fresh-cut grass aroma behind the sweeter malt. Finally the lip-to-sip sensation starts to give away the secret of the hop and malt balance… alcohol.
Flavor: The first flavors of chilled, but not cold liquid is the alcoholic warmth followed in a rather leisurely manner by an almost dense caramel flavor that is wrapped in some more heavily roasted grains. The impression is more of a wine than a beer. (And where are the hops?!)
Mouth feel: There is a big feel to this brew.
Finish: If this isn’t a barley wine I will have to find another definition for both I.P.A. and Barley Wine.
Comments: I was very sorry I poured a pint of this brew. It should be savored in a grappa glass or a smaller tulip shaped stemware. A bowl of dried apricots and cherries, with almonds and hazelnuts would be a fine way to spend a late evening solving the problems of the world with a couple of friends.
The Brewery: http://www.lefthandbrewing.com/
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