I took a trip to Atlanta for Halloween to see one of my good friends, Thomas. We both share a love for beer, so I knew we would end up drinking a lot of it. He took me to a package store minutes away from his apartment to pick-up a keg for his newly finished kegerator. As he was filling out the paperwork to get our keg of Sweetwater IPA, I took a stroll. As I walked around, I saw one of the best selections of craft beer I had ever seen. Stuff that isn’t available in Alabama is in sheer abundance at Green’s, and at really low prices, too. So, while I’m walking around I pick up a bomber of Red Brick’s Matcha Super Green Yuzu IPA, an IPA made with green tea that culminates into one of the smoothest IPA style beers I have ever had, and then I turn around and I see something I had only read a little about before my trip. Sweetwater, who has a multitude of IPA and Pale Ale options, had yet to produce a Double IPA other than small-batches known as the Dank Tank. That was until now. When you use a hop pelletizer, a “hop hash” also known as lupulin, forms and produces a super concentrated hop element. Sweetwater took that “hash” and put into this Double IPA that is the epitome of dank as well as a year-round brew. Here are my thoughts:
The beer pours a pale, hazy golden with a lot of visible carbonation. This was a turn off immediately, because it led me to believe that there was going to be too much carbonation for me to handle. Anyways, There were about two finger widths of tall, dense off white foam that reduced slowly to a solid finger width. The foam falls down further in the center to about a half of a finger width and retains on the sides of the glass. There was a ton of lacing throughout the whole beer. As soon as I opened it I wanted to smell it straight from the bottle. There was an immediately strong scent of marijuana. I wish I was joking, but it really does. I’ve heard people say that a fresh hop cone has a similar resemblance, so I can see where the connection is made. After you move past the pure dank smell, you start to pick up a lot of pine and some citrus, specifically grapefruit and orange. After you move past those, you start to pick up a lot of herbal hops with some lightly sweet malt notes.
As soon as the beer touches your lips, you immediately get a strong bitterness from the hops and citrus. There is also a complexity to this with the layering of a slight spice character with some maltiness thrown in as well. There was barely any sweetness from the amount and different types of malts used in the brew. As you continue through the beer, you begin to pick up a more harsh bitterness that only intensifies as it finishes. By the time I got to the end of each sip, I was telling Thomas that it was very, very bitter; he agreed and said that by the end of the bottle he would expect his tongue to be raw. Albeit that wasn’t the case, the beer was extremely bitter all the way through. It never maintained a single flavor from front to back like a lot of Sweetwater beers do. In that aspect I really felt like it fell short in terms of comparing to other beers on their roster.
This is no light beer; that’s for sure. After I finished half of the beer, I could definitely feel it settling in my stomach. Sweetwater describes it as having a medium body. Lie. It’s pretty heavy and nothing, at least for me, could drink multiples of in one night. I mentioned earlier about how you could see a good bit of carbonation after pouring, but I was proved wrong. There was a really nice level of carbonation in the beer that made it very enjoyable to drink. The carbonation blended well with the flavors in the beer, and, in a way, it enhanced some of the flavors of the citrus and pine.
Overall, this was good a good beer, but it wasn’t world class. The flavors were there in some aspects, but, in my opinion, it could have used a bit more sweetness from the malt to truly be called a Double IPA. Like I said, this was good, but I have definitely tasted better of the Double IPA style on multiple occasions. I think the novelty will wear off soon and this will be just another beer from Sweetwater like Sweetwater Blue is. All in all, I would drink it again, but not something I would enjoy spending a lot of money on.

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