The Best Green Beer

Thursday, February 12, 2009

What makes today's beer selection better than most green beer is that it's not exactly green. Though, after the review, you may be envious, speaking of green.

Today's beer comes again compliments of George: Green Flash Brewing Company Imperial IPA. A big massive double IPA.
This gold-and-orange potion, clear as a bell, was capped with an inch and a half creamy, fluffy head. The head slowly relaxed into an ever-present lid over the beer as the liquid shrank its way down the glass. In its receding wake it left a lovely sticky lace down the sides of my pint glass.

As I beg for in all of my West Coast IPAs, I got all the citrusy hops I could ever want, right on top of a big heap of pine; it's like the pine trees in California grow oranges instead of pine cones. Despite the loads of hops, there is a sweet malt aroma that hints at bigger flavors to come. The malt doesn't compete, aroma-wise, with the hops, but there's enough there to let you know this isn't a run-of-the-mill hop bomb.

Make no mistake, this is a giant IPA. The malt sweetness is definitely dominated by the hops, but still strikes enough of a balance to keep it worth drinking gulp after gulp. The malty sweetness stays as an undercurrent, sightly sticky on the palate and the lips. Big grapefruit hops dominates, and interestingly, the orange-y hops yield a bit of sweetness along with the malt. The finish is slightly peppery and dry.

For a DIPA, this is surprisingly light-bodied beer with enough carbonation to seemingly lighten it even more. The heavier tastes give it away. I really enjoyed this beer. Not quite as much as last week's review, but certainly this is a beer worth trying, especially for you hop-heads. This is is definitely hoppier than Alesmth's offering, which, again, is currently my favorite of the style. That said, if you can get you some of this Green Flash, get it.


Mike 8:51 AM  

I'm a big fan of this brew. For whatever reason my local supermarket had bombers (for only about $3.50 which made it one the cheapest in the store) for months and months.

I must've bought 95% of them, and I'm bummed they haven't had it for a couple weeks.

Smitty 12:31 PM  

My review may not have indicated it very well, but I agree and like it too. Not as much as Alesmith, but I really did like it and would be happy to have more! It was much lighter than what I would have expected from an Imperial IPA, which in my mind is not a bad thing. Very well-executed.

Sopor 8:46 AM  

Oh that sounds yummy...

It seems to me (though I've been known to be completely off my rocker from time to time) that American Breweries are starting to come to some sort of consensus on what a DIPA should be. A few short years ago, I would've had a hard time telling some DIPAs apart from American Barleywines. But now most of the DIPAs I've had recently have been lighter in color (orange and gold), lighter in body (though not necessarily "light"), and of course uber hoppy with little malt profile in relation the the bitterness. It really seems that the malt has been toned down in DIPAs for the past few years. Founders Double Trouble for instance, a very nice DIPA, and much less malty than a DIPA or two that I recall trying at Founder's Pub. If this is the incidental consensus on what an American DIPA should be... I for one am happy.

Am I crazy, or is this really whats happened?

Smitty 10:00 AM  

I can't really say there is consensus. I would say that if you look at the past few years' worth of winners at the GABF and the past few years' worth of winners at the American Homebrew Competition, each in the DIPA category, I bet you find that the winners are lighter-bodied.

The BJCP Guidelines specifically state, under "Imperial IPA," which encompasses DIPAs and TIPAs, that the malt flavor should be "low to medium." Looks like brewers actually started to brew closer to what the style calls for!

I love me some Devil Dancer, but yeah, I always thought it was closer to a barleywine...

Sopor 9:43 PM  

Well it's about time they started sticking to the style guidelines ;-)

Yea Devil Dancer should be considered a Barleywine IMO, the other DIPA/TIPAs that come to mind as overly malty (for the style) are 90 and 120 Minute. Great beers... no doubt. But more like overhopped Barleywines.

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