This wonderful imperial IPA is available year round and I’m forever grateful. It really inspired me back when I was just getting interested in craft beer, spurring an intense love and curiosity for this style. Aromas hold a balance of ruby red grapefruit and pineapple, with a sweet, biscuit malt below. The palate is initiated by mellow malts, followed immediately by citrus hops that take on a big grapefruit character. Lots of sweet malt fill in the middle for a big, rich feel. Herbal hops take hold with an evergreen accent, growing increasingly bitter as resinous oils coat the mouth with an astringent bite. The finish ends sweet and sour, a little yeasty, with a prolonged bitterness that sustains long after the sip is down. Alcohol gets covered up in the mix. Mouth feel is muted, dense, sticky, oily, astringent, and just a little bit warm.
For my taste on the double IPA, there’s a perfect convergence of sweet, sour, and bitter coming together with satisfaction and balance, with bitterness most certainly taking the focal point. Hops make a stunning transition through shades of citrus, tropical fruit, and herbs. Malt packs a heavy punch of sweetness that might turn some people off, but I think this adds a great deal of balance as rich malts trade off with juicy hops. Overall, I’ve had nothing but good experiences with Firestone brews. They really make some amazing beer, some of which can prove to be pretty elusive and difficult to find. When it comes to the double IPA, this one is tough to beat. I highly recommend it to all you bitter hop heads.
Paso Robles, California