Today’s an overcast and drizzly Saturday, and in a change of pace from the past two weekends, I’m just lazily chilling out at home. Biked to the farmer’s market, did some yoga, and started my fantasy football draft prep – all in all, a great day so far.
But now with so much accomplished, it’s time to reward myself with a nice review beer…and of course share my thoughts with LIBA Nation! I’m cracking open Founders Double Trouble, an imperial IPA with a big-boy 9.4% ABV. Good thing I don’t have to be anywhere soon, I guess.
The pour is pretty standard, golden straw-yellow color with a bit of white foamy crown, which leaves a nice lacing on my pint glass. I get faint but consistent hoppiness on the aroma, definitely of the stanky West Coast variety.
Tastewise, as Founders’ says, the “hops will get you coming and going.” Double Trouble is definitely a hop-head’s beer, full of piney and bitter hops on the front. Through the middle I got a respite from the hops with a bit of citrus, but Double Trouble smacks you in the mouth with a bitter, copper dank hoppy ending. Seriously, hops dominate this brew and the mouthfeel sticks around forever.
Stanky and bitter hops are among my favorite attributes for a beer, so this one’s up my alley. However, I don’t think I’d stick to Double Trouble all night, and I don’t think this is for the casual beer drinker or someone who’s on the fence when it comes to hops.
I’ve been doing a lot of traveling this year, especially since summer began, but I’m really looking forward to September. I’ll be visiting Los Angeles for my fantasy football league and New Orleans for a work conference, but I’m most looking forward to a week in San Francisco at the end of the month to visit a bunch of friends.
Since I’m thinking about the Bay Area, it seemed fitting to crack open a beer from 21st Amendment, one of San Francisco’s best craft breweries. I’ve reviewed a ton of brews from them and consider their Brew Free or Die IPA my favorite all-around IPA, so when I saw Hop Crisis on the shelf, my little heart leaped.
Hop Crisis pours out a crystal clear and somewhat light amber color, more resembling a pilsner than anything else. While the foam crown caught my eye on the pour, the aroma is a perfect mix of sweet malts and flowery hops.
Even though the name suggests this brew would be light on the hops, it’s the complete opposite. My first sip was pretty much a hoppy punch in the mouth. I didn’t get a lot of the flowery aroma through the front or middle, but it’s pretty stanky and definitely bitter. Toward the end, this brew balances out with the sweet malts from the aroma, and the mouthfeel is pretty thin.
Overall, this is a pretty darn good imperial IPA, and it’s got the 9.7% ABV chops to prove it. I’m not sure it’s the right fit for a casual IPA drinker, but if you’re a hop head, it’ll be perfect. Oh, and props as always to 21st Amendment for some cool can artwork!