I know it isn’t the most original or unique stance, but IPAs are my favorite style of beer. It was the bold flavors of American hops that converted me from someone who dabbled in craft beer into a connoisseur. That being said, I have a mixed opinion on double IPAs (DIPAs). For one thing, the line is very blurry. For example, many beers that are now “single” IPAs would have been considered double IPAs not too long ago. When they are made correctly double IPAs can be great, highlighting the hop flavors and balancing the extreme bitterness with a substantial dose of malt. Unfortunately many double IPAs miss the mark, either the malts and the booze overwhelm the hops or the hop flavor and bitterness go completely overboard. Despite this, I can’t help but try more DIPAs. They can be great beers when they are done correctly and the only way to know is to keep tasting. I recently tried Larry, the double IPA from Wachusett Brewing Company. Larry is brewed with a slew of American hop varieties including Amarillo, Chinook, Simcoe, Magnum and Centennial. It is available year round on draft, in 22 oz. bombers, and in 12 oz. bottles and cans.
Wachusett Larry DIPA pours a deep copper with a moderate cream-colored head. The smell is solidly hoppy, favoring earthy and foresty scents. The hops lead the flavor too, notes of pine, grass, forest floor and a hint of lemon. This hop flavor is accompanied by substantial and lingering bitterness. There is a significant amount of malt to combat some of this bitterness, including some touches of caramel and cracker. Despite this, it is still a true hop-bomb beer. The booze comes through a little in the flavor, but the beer drinks pretty easy for 8.5% ABV. Overall this is a solid example of a double IPA, just enough malt to keep the hops in line. Hoppy Boston score: 4.25/5.
Previous Wachusett reviews: