Port “Hop 15”
This seasonal double IPA is brewed by a leader in West-Coast style ales. An impressive 15 hop varieties are added to the mix every 15 minutes, coming with a cascade of flavor. It was first brewed in ‘02 to celebrate Port’s 15th Anniversary. A semi-sweet, bread malt base opens up initially with a mild carbonation. Citric grapefruit hops quickly burst, with pine resin filling out the finish with long sustain. Some finer tropical notes fill out the hop bouquet nicely, but pine is the dominant factor. This double is packed with yeast to provide that 10% alcohol. This heavy yeast and alcohol negatively-contribute to the overall flavor, but this is still a successfull beer because all of the elements still work well together.
Overall, hop bitterness overwhelms the finer, more distinct hop flavors which is a shame. I find a restrained bitterness to be more palateable, while allowing more subtle complexities to come to the forefront. Though in this case, without the intense bitterness, alcohol and yeast would be far too prominant. Recommended to all you hop heads out there!
San Marcos, California