October 26, 2009

Sierra Nevada Torpedo Double IPA

The Torpedo IPA is brewed by Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, most famous for their Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. I've heard a lot about the IPA, and finally decided to try it today. I bought it on my way home at the wonderful Foodery, where I would live if they let me.

This is a really good IPA, although a bit different tasting than what I normally find myself drawn to. For instance, while I can smell the hops - a nice pine and citrus aroma - it's not as strong as some others that I love (the Sculpin or Big Eye, for instance). It smells good, but doesn't want make me want to write on and on about it.

The taste is good, but again, probably not as hoppy or bitter as I might like it. Especially given that it's billed as an Extra IPA. I think a lot of my friends, who are sometimes put off by the bitterness of the beers I like, would like this one. It is good - I'll no doubt have it again. I just can't seem to bring myself to gush about it the way I have some other beers I've had.

ABV is 7.2%, which is actually surprising. Definitely doesn't taste like it would come in that high. I only had one tonight and could go for another, but I only bought the one (just one of the many great things about The Foodery - make-your-own-6-packs!) so am going to have to wait for another time.

An interesting fact about this beer - it was introduced at the beginning of 2009 (which, is anyone else surprised that it's nearly the end of 2009?? Where did this year go?) as the newest addition to the year-round roster of beers; most notably, it's the first full-production IPA from Sierra Nevada and the first change to their year-round available beers in over a decade!

October 14, 2009

Ballast Point Sculpin IPA

It's been a bit since I've posted, but not because I haven't been drinking some great beers! I've been kind of busy with a few other projects, but that's really no excuse. The Phillies making the playoffs - and winning the NLDS! - has given me nothing but good reasons to head out almost daily and I was going to write about some of the different types of beers I've been trying. But I can't stop thinking about the Ballast Point Sculpin IPA, so I'm going to have to go with that one.

I've written about the Ballast Point Big Eye IPA before (you can read it here), and Sculpin is - as I like to think of it - the big brother to the Big Eye. (They have another, bigger brother - the Dorado, but that's a review for another day. I'll just say if you see it, get it!)

I had the Sculpin the other night while watching the Phils take the NLDS (can you tell I'm excited about that?). I've had it before, and honestly, I could drink it everyday.

The smell of this beer can only be described as amazing. I want to jump in the bottle and live in there - that's how good it smells. It's all piney and citrusy and tropical-fruity. I would dab it on my wrists and wear it as perfume. (I think you get that I love the smell.)

Okay, so at some point you're going to want to stop smelling it and start tasting it, instead. And you won't be disappointed. This is a bitter beer (which, as we know, means nothing but goodness to me!). You can taste the citrus fruits right away - not surprising given the smell. It's all apricots, grapefruit, mango. But there's also just a enough of a malt taste (ever-so-slight) so you're not completely overwhelmed by the citrus. This is truly a phenomenal beer - and that might not even be a strong enough recommendation.

I just realized I didn't write about the color. Not that it's not beautiful - it is. A nice amber color out of the bottle. But for me the smell and taste is really what sets this apart from other IPAs.

Oh, and one last note - the ABV is only 7%! I know, I know. 7% is higher than a lot of other beers. But believe me, the taste on this will have you thinking it's much higher. I'm just thankful it's not, because I can definitely enjoy more than one (or at least the 22 oz. bottle I got served the other night) without worrying about the next morning.