A few weeks ago I reviewed the affordable and excellent Minhas Boatswain American IPA from Trader Joe’s grocery store. In the comments, one LIBA reader asked if I had ever tried the Double IPA version – surprisingly I hadn’t, even though they literally are displayed next to each other on the shelf.
Since it seemed like a no-brainer review, I picked up a 22-ounce bottle on my most recent TJ’s trip and set out to remedy the problem. Unlike the American IPA, which was light and clear, the Double IPA pours out a dark cloudy color very similar to apple cider. The aroma was a bit on the sour side, and at first I was concerned the brew had skunked, but I finally got some faint floral hop notes with my nose directly over the beer.
Tastewise, this brew is way hoppier than the American. I got lots of floral notes up front, with bitter hops through the middle, before ending on a slightly metallic note. The metallic taste really hangs around for a while, and to me, kind of ruins what is an excellent blend of bitter and floral hops throughout the rest of the taste.
Overall, I’d give the Double IPA a solid “meh.” Props for the heavy-duty 8.4% ABV, but it’s only good, not great. Unlike commenter Tyler’s reaction, I didn’t get any smokiness from this one – perhaps my bottle had gone a little south on me by the time I drank it. Has anyone had a different experience with it?