Le Trou du Diable Dubaï Pillée

TDD_Dubaipillee-334x1024Brewer: Le Trou du Diable, Shawinigan, QC
Style: Double IPA
ABV: 9%
IBUs:

Description: This Double IPA – which has a curious alien-invasion theme going – is one of Le Trou’s seasonal releases, making the rounds for the Winter-Spring season. A double dose of malts and a significant hopping make it a potent and flavorful beer. And its accolades include being declared Canada’s Best Imperial IPA at the 2015 World Beer Awards in the UK.

Tasting Notes: I am still scratching my head as to what inspired this beer – which takes its theme from a fictitious invasion of Dubai (ca. 1954) where aliens stole our beer… and are coming back! Even so, one does need excuses in order to brew a good double IPA. This beer delivers, offering a rich, syrupy malt base, and a varied hop finish that has notes of citrus, passion fruit, mango and peaches.

Appearance: Amber/orange, cloudy, thick lacy foam, good carbonation
Nose: Strong malt, sugars, citrus, tropical fruit, piney hops
Taste: Rich, slightly coarse malts, notes of citrus and pine, mango, passion fruit, peach
Aftertaste: Lingering hop bitterness, tropical fruits, coarse malt flavor
Overall: 9/10

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Two Beers Forester Double IPA

forester_doubleipaBrewer: Two Beers Brewery, Seattle WA
Style: Double IPA
Alc/Vol: 7.8%
IBU: 92

Description: The Forester Double IPA is a seasonal beer and the brewery’s expansion on their Evo IPA. And as the name suggests, is naturally stronger, maltier, and hoppier than the original. In terms of malts, it employs Base, Crystal, Vienna, Munich, and Carapils, and is bittered using Simcoe, Amarillo, Centenniel, and Super G hops.

Tasting Notes: I’ve had many India Pale Ales in my time and more than a few doubles. But this was definitely one of the better ones. In addition to not being terribly high in alcohol content or very coarse, the hop flavor was also just bitter enough, and plenty diverse. It’s the mark of a good double IPA that it can be strong all around, but maintain a nice balance. Looking forward to the next one!

Appearance: Orange-amber, cloudy, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Rich malts, strong hop nose, citrus, grassy, and piney
Taste: Strong, semi-coarse malts, rich hop flavor, resin, pine, citrus rind
Aftertaste: Lingering bitterness, coarse malt flavor
Overall: 9/10

Russel Hop Therapy Double IPA

Hop_Therapy_Press_ReleaseAdmittedly, Russel brewing is one operation I don’t get around to sampling much. In the past, I have had their Angry Scotch Ale, their IP’eh, their Blood Alley ESB, their VCBW Cascadian Brown Ale, and most recently, their Naughty Spiced Porter. However, very few of these beers ever got a review, and I would be lying if I were to say that I recalled what more than half of them tasted like. However, with few exceptions, I have had nothing but good things to say about this brewery. And after looking through their extended lineup and seeing what they have to offer, I have to say that I’m pretty eager to expand on my sampling repertoire.

And I’ll start with this example of their Brewmaster Limited Edition series – the Hop Therapy Double IPA – a beer that more than lives up to its name. In addition to weighing in at a hefty 9% alc/vol, the beer boasts three American hop varieties (Amarillo, Cascade and Columbus) which were added a total of six times during the kettle boil, and then twice afterwards as dry hopping. This brings its bitterness to a threshold of 100 IBUs, which is well balanced by some seriously sweet and syrupy malt flavor.

Appearance: Light amber, clear, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Strong bouquet of floral and citrus hops, slight piney nose
Taste: Sweet, coarse malt, viscous and chewy, citrus and pine hops, resiny
Aftertaste: Lingering malt and hop bitterness, slight feeling of residue
Overall: 9/10

Basically, I would say this beer is not for the faint of heart. But it is definitely for people who insist that their beer be chock-full of flavor or just don’t mind a beer that pushes the envelope in terms of malt and hop strength. For me, it a very fitting example of a double IPA and an enticement to try more of what Russel has to offer.