When the announcement came down that a new Double IPA was going to hit distribution in my neck of the woods, I got excited. After all, like many of you reading this, I’m a hophead. I go through phases of wanting nothing but double IPAs and plenty of hops, but have been in more of a malty stage in the past couple of months. However, the hop cravings are coming back, and that means I start looking for great Double IPAs, which aren’t as common as you might think.
Of course, when I heard that it was Ohio’s own Great Lakes Brewing that would be pushing a new DIPA on the shelves of my local bottle shops, I knew it would be a must purchase. After all, they already make a pretty amazing DIPA seasonally called Lake Erie Monster that is fantastic in its own right.
So, I’ve had a few of these now and I’ve come to a conclusion, it’s a great great beer.
At first taste, I wasn’t impressed, and by that I don’t mean it wasn’t good, but I didn’t get the bitterness I like to experience from a big IPA. But then I remembered, this wasn’t supposed to be an IPA that is a palate jackhammer, no, it’s meant to fall more in line with the west coast style of DIPAs, and well, it does a pretty great job of that.
And the more I accepted this fact, the more I embraced the warmth of the alcohol (which at 9.4% is masked nicely), the peach tea color, the mango, citrus, grapefruit and pine oiliness and even the surfer on the label.
And the more it reminded me of another DIPA, one you might have heard of called HopSlam.
Yeah, it’s the closest comparison I could come up with, and I have to be honest with you, I’d drink this one over HopSlam on most days. Now keep in mind, HopSlam is fantastic, and I like it a lot, but I’m not the fanboy that I know lots and lots of others are either.
And you know why Alchemy Hour brings HopSlam to mind? It’s gotta be the honey. That’s right, the honey. Just like the DIPA from Bells that drives people wild once a year, Great Lakes brewed this bad boy with honey malt, and with Mosaic and Nugget hops as well.
But enough with the comparisons, you should just do your best to get your hands on some Alchemy Hour before it’s all gone because like most IPAs the fresher, the better.
Ohio continues to add to the list of amazing IPAs with Alchemy Hour.
Here is a Vine I did for the beer.
— Joe(@eachnotesecure) February 28, 2013