Tag Archives: Double IPA

Backlash Citra Salute

Backlash Brewing Company is in the middle of a very eventful stretch. First they ditched the large format bottles in favor of canning the majority of their beers, aligning with the industry trend (and the preference of the majority of consumers). Then they announced that they are building their own brewery and taproom, slated to open by the end of the year in Roxbury. In the last week they revealed a re-working of the brand, including a new logo (check it out on their website HERE). I always liked the brass knuckles, but have to admit that the new logo looks great too, I can’t wait to pick up some logo glassware. While work on the taproom continues to move forward Backlash is releasing a number of new beers, many of which sell out incredibly quickly. I was sad to miss Allston, a tribute to the neighborhood where I lived for 5 years, but I was happy to find some of their DIPA Citra Salute. Backlash Citra Salute is available on a rotating basis on draft and in 16 oz. cans.

Backlash Citra SaluteBacklash Citra Salute pours hazy orange with a solid white head. The aroma is a solid burst of hops, heavy on the citrus fruit. The flavor is also very hop forward, notes of grapefruit, orange and lemon rind along with a solid bitter bite. There is also some noticeable malt, touches of whole grain bread, honey and just a hint of booze. You know this is a double IPA from the first sip, between the malt/alcohol and the full body, and the 8% ABV backs that up. The finish is crisp with some lingering hop flavor. I really enjoyed Citra Salute, and it will be really nice to see Backlash beers start to make a more regular appearance on shelves! Hoppy Boston score: 4.25/5.

Previous Backlash Reviews:

Backlash Ricochet, Backlash MuerteBacklash OathBacklash ConvergenceBacklash Chaos, Backlash Redux

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Springdale Desert Solitaire and Really Though

Some times it feels like Sudbury, the town I live in, is going to become the only town in Massachusetts that doesn’t have a brewery. I know that is a huge exaggeration, but so many new breweries have opened and I haven’t even heard a hint of one in my town. Silly me for prizing my children’s education over immediate access to beer. Fortunately there are a number of great options in neighboring towns, so I get to decide which brewery I’d like to make my local. In some ways this is a better situation, it would be terrible to have a brewery open up in town and make crappy beer, now I can pick a place I know I enjoy. Right now the leader in the clubhouse is Springdale Brewing in Framingham. I guess I could cheat and say Jack’s Abby and Springdale, but I consider them separate places (I love both, but I can get Jack’s Abby beers everywhere, need to hit the brewery for the Springdale stuff). Springdale makes awesome beer, has a great space, cans and bottles everything (I hate growlers), minimal lines, and I need to run specific errands in Framingham on a regular basis so I have a built in excuse to be in the area. That is basically everything I am looking for in a local brewery. On a recent trip I grabbed a number of offerings including Desert Solitaire, a wild ale brewed with wheat, rye and spelt and aged in oak, and Really Though, a double IPA brewed with Citra, Mosaic and Columbus hops.

Springdale Desert SolitaireSpringdale Desert Solitaire pours clear straw yellow with a minimal white head. The scent is all from the fermentation, some funk and acidity. The flavors imparted by the wild yeast and barrel aging lead the way too, notes of green apple, lemon, sour cherry, white grape and oak. There is a bit of tartness too, but it isn’t overpowering. The malts add a solid backbone, whole wheat bread and the distinct spicy flavor imparted by rye. Desert Solitaire is light and easy to drink, not too boozy at 6.5% ABV. The finish is dry with some lingering yeast and acid. This is a delicious wild ale, lots of flavor from the fermentation and I love the rye addition to the malt bill, it really complements the tartness. Hoppy Boston score: 4.5/5.

Springdale Really ThoughSpringdale Really Though pours murky yellow-orange with a small white head. The scent is a solid hit of fruity hops with a floral undertone. The flavor is hop forward, notes of pineapple, mango, tangerine, resin along with a bit of bitterness. This is complemented by a solid malt backbone, hints of cereal and bread crust. Really Though is full bodied but drinks super easy for 8.5% ABV. The finish is crisp with some lingering hops. This is a very good DIPA, I have yet to have a bad beer from Springdale, happy to adopt it as my local brewery. Hoppy Boston score: 4.25/5.

Previous Springdale Reviews:

Springdale Solid State and Kreik MythologySpringdale Amirite?! and Good N’ You?

Aeronaut Double Hop Hop

As my frequent readers know, I hate waiting in line for beer. There are a few local breweries that make amazing beers but I never travel to because the combination of  long lines and can limits kill my excitement to make the trek. That being said, there are a large number of beer geeks who seem to have no problem standing in lines, and quickly line up for any beer release that excites them. Some breweries have heard the complaints about the lines from loyal cutomers and have decided on alternate strategies for limited release beers. Aeronaut Brewing has come up with a great way to sell their most recent batch of Double Hop Hop, their sought after DIPA. Instead of sharing a release date/time on social media and asking people to wait in line, they allowed customers to purchase a ticket online ahead of time, and then trade in the ticket for a 4 pack of cans once the beer is ready. From what I heard the release was easy, even people who stopped by on day one were in and out with their beer. Fortunately for me Aeronaut sent along a sample along with a special glass, which I was very excited to use. Aeronaut Double Hop Hop is loaded with Citra and Mosaic hops and available on a limited basis in 16 oz tallboy cans.

Aeronaut Double Hop HopAeronaut Double Hop Hop pours murky orange with a small white head. The aroma features a nice burst of hops, mostly citrus with an undercurrent of floral aromas. The hops also dominate the flavor, notes of grapefruit, papaya, tangerine and a little pine. The floral/pine notes along with a soft but persistent bitterness keep the beer from being straight juicy NEIPA, but it checks most of the boxes you look for in the style. The hops are balanced by a full malt backbone, hints of bread dough and cereal. Double Hop Hop has a full mouthfeel but drinks very easy for 8.4% ABV. The finish is crisp with some lingering hop flavor and just a little bitterness. This beer is stellar, enough fruity flavor and aroma for the most passionate of juice-heads but the other flavors add needed complexity. I really enjoyed Double Hop Hop and would happily (not) wait in line for the next batch!

Previous Aeronaut Reviews:

Aeronaut Robot Crush, Aeronaut A Year With Dr. NanduAeronaut A Session With Dr. NanduAeronaut The Eye of Sauvin

Mason’s Hipster Apocalypse and Liquid Rapture

There are so many breweries in New England (let alone the rest of the country) that I have a really hard time keeping track of all of them. It’s especially difficult with breweries that don’t distribute to Massachusetts bottle shops, there are a number breweries in every state that I haven’t been able to try due to brewery location and lack of distribution. Occasionally I stop by one of my local shops for a stock up run and see new-to-me beers by a local/regional brewery that I’ve never tried, and I usually jump at the opportunity. A good example is Mason’s Brewing Company out of Brewer, Maine. I can’t remember the last time I was in Brewer, so I’ve never been to their brewpub, but I grabbed a few cans after a recommendation from an employee at Craft Beer Cellar in Framingham. The beers were Hipster Apocalypse, an IPA brewed with Idaho 7 hops, and Liquid Rapture, a DIPA with Ella, Idaho 7 and Citra hops. Both beers are available in 16 oz. tallboy cans.

Mason's Hipster ApocalypseMason’s Hipster Apocalypse pours a slightly hazy light orange with a solid white head. The scent features some fruity hops, citrus and tropical fruit. The flavor is very hop forward, notes of honeydew, guava and grapefruit along with a soft bitterness, this is clearly a New England style IPA. A mild malt backbone rounds out the flavor with hints of cereal and honey. Hipster Apocalypse is medium bodied, super drinkable, and not too boozy at 5.7% ABV. The finish is slightly sweet with some lingering fruity hops. I enjoyed Hipster Apocalypse, it’s a flavorful and well crafted juicy IPA. Hoppy Boston score: 4.25/5.

Mason's Liquid RaptureMason’s  Liquid Rapture pours a hazy straw yellow with a solid white head. The aroma is a big hit of fruity new world hops. This carries over into the flavor, notes of grapefruit, tangerine, guava and lemon. There is a touch of bitterness here, not bracing  but it doesn’t taste like you’re drinking straight fruit juice either. This is balanced by a noticeable malt backbone, hints of honey, bread crust and just a whiff of booze. Liquid Rapture is medium bodied and drinks very easy for 8.2% ABV. The finish is crisp with some lingering hop flavor. Liquid Rapture is a very good DIPA, all of the hop flavor you want with a little bite and malt for balance. Hoppy Boston score: 4.5/5.

Fort Hill Jigsaw Jazz

It seems like tap rooms are all of the rage right now and for good reason, including the fact that brewers can sell their product directly to consumers which allows for more control of quality, freshness and margins. It almost seems like a few local breweries have no interest in canning or bottling beer outside of what they are selling in the taprooms. There are advantages to distribution too, especially in reaching new customers who haven’t heard of your brand or don’t have time to travel to taprooms every weekend. There are a number of examples where a brewery gains significant buzz after they start distribution. A good local case is Fort Hill Brewing in Easthampton, MA. Fort Hill has been open since 2014, but over the last year cans of their beers have entered bottle shops on a regular basis and demand has followed. It’s probably no coincidence that their taproom is currently closed while they undergo an expansion. One of Fort Hill’s most popular beers is Jigsaw Jazz, a big DIPA brewed with Citra hops. Fort Hill Jigsaw Jazz is available year-round on draft and in 12 oz. cans.

Fort Hill Jigsaw JazzFort Hill Jigsaw Jazz pours a very hazy light yellow with a massive white head. The scent is a huge hit of hops, citrus and tropical fruit. The flavor is very hop forward, notes of grapefruit, melon, tangerine and apricot with a little bitter bite. This is balanced by a light malt backbone, touches of bread crust and honey. Jigsaw Jazz is medium bodied and drinks incredibly easy for 9.3% ABV. The finish is crisp with some lingering hop flavor. This is a really good DIPA, loads of hops and dangerously drinkable. I understand why Fort Hill is gaining so much buzz. Hoppy Boston score: 4.5/5.

Foundation Venture

When you travel with a group you always need to make compromises when it comes to an itinerary. I recently took a trip to Portland with a group of 10 friends from college, we had guys travel from 5 different states to attend, and a number of us contributed to the plan for the weekend. A few of the other guys are into beer, a few dabble and a couple couldn’t care at all, so it wouldn’t have been fair to make the whole trip beer-centric. Fortunately I was able to steer the group out to Industrial Way to tour Allagash and check out the other breweries in that area. One brewery that has really grown over the last few years is Foundation Brewing. My first visit to Foundation was soon after they opened and I enjoyed their initial offerings and thought they had some serious potential. Since then they have introduced a number of extremely popular beers, including Epiphany, a Double IPA that has been consistently ranked amongst the best in the state. My recent visit was the first time I’d been back since their expansion, the brewery is beautiful, especially on a nice spring day when you can sit outside and sample some delicious beers. I grabbed some to go too, Epiphany (of course) and their “other” DIPA called Venture, which was new to me. I completely forgot to grab a Foundation glass for my glassware collection, I’ll need to do that next time I am in town. Foundation Venture is brewed with five varieties of New World hops and is available on a rotating basis on draft and in 16 oz. tallboy cans.

Fundation VentureFoundation Venture pours a hazy orange with a massive white head. The scent is a big burst of hops, mostly citrus and tropical fruit. Venture drinks like a hybrid of the New England and West Coast IPA styles. There is a ton of hop flavor, notes of grapefruit, orange, mango and pine along with a solid bitter bite. This is balanced by some malt, touches of bread crust and honey. Venture has a medium body and drinks very easy for 8% ABV. The finish is crisp with some lingering hop flavor and bitterness. Venture is another very good Foundation beer, this is quickly becoming a must visit brewery for anyone checking out the Portland area. Hoppy Boston score: 4.5/5.

Previous Foundation Reviews:

Foundation Afterglow, Foundation WanderlustFoundation Epiphany

 

 

Lawson’s Finest Liquids Sip of Sunshine

I try to focus my blogging (and thus the vast majority of my drinking) on New England beers, so my knowledge of breweries in the rest of the country is more limited. Occasionally I see other beer geeks get excited when an out of state brewery announces that they are going to begin local distribution and I need to do some online research to familiarize myself with the brewery. The exception involves breweries from the rest of New England, I try to keep tabs on most of the breweries in the other 5 New England states so I know something about their offerings if I am in their neck of the woods or if they move into eastern Massachusetts. One brewery that needed no introduction was Lawson’s Finest Liquids out of Vermont, who recently announced that they would begin regular distribution to Massachusetts accounts. Lawson’s is best known for their hoppy beers, especially their double IPA Sip of Sunshine, one of the beers that has been credited with developing the style New England IPA and putting it into the national consciousness. Sip of Sunshine distribution is somewhat limited, but you can find it on draft around the city and in distinct yellow 16 oz. tallboy cans in select bottle shops.

Lawson's Finest Liquids Sip of SunshineLawson’s Finest Liquids Sip of Sunshine pours a clear bright orange with a huge off-white head. The aroma is a large burst of hops, tropical and citrus fruit along with pine. The flavor is hop forward, notes of grapefruit, orange, grass and papaya. Sip of Sunshine is mid-way between West Coast and New England Style IPAs, some of the fruit flavor but less haze and just a little bitterness. There is enough malt flavor for some balance, touches of bread crust and biscuits. Sip of Sunshine is medium bodied and drinks very easy for 8% ABV. The finish is crisp with some lingering hop flavor. Sip of Sunshine is clearly an extremely well crafted beer, I understand why it has developed such a following. Some of my regular readers might wonder why it just missed “best beers” level, it’s just a matter of personal taste. While I enjoyed this beer and recognize the quality there are other DIPAs that I prefer. Hoppy Boston score: 4.5/5.

Previous Lawson’s Finest Liquids Reviews:

Otter Creek/Lawson’s Finest Liquids Double Dose