La Chouffe Houblon Dobbelen Ipa Tripel

Pours frothing piling inches of marangue like foam on top. Very like a Belgian in carbonation. Head sticks out above the glass despite a moderate rate of bubble ascent. Nice light gold color. Very clear.

Not a ton of aroma. Citrus and a bit of spice. A tad of earth..the sense of green freshness...probably from the Saaz. Bottle also says there are Amarillo and Tomahawk hops.

Tastes great. On the sweet side for an ipa but very expect in a Belgian. The hop bitterness doesn't come in until the end after the swallow which is nice. The bitterness washes away the sweet and hangs out for a little while. Easy to put down but a little less sweetness would make it even easier.

Mouthfeel is slightly coating at first but I find the bitterness crisp it out. At 9% & 750ml, I'm in for a fun evening.

This is a nice beer, one I'd definitely buy again. It's just really interesting to see a Belgian tripel aspiring to take on some of the big "San Diego" IPA characteristics.

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Ninkasi Tricerahops Double IPA

So tonight after a long day in the Seattle studio, I hit up the Whole Foods again for a sleep aid in the form of a Ninkasi Tricerahops Double IPA. Woooweee!

From Eugene, OR it's not exactly local to the Seattle area. But I spent some time in Whole Foods looking through all of the beers. They had quite a few breweries I'd never seen before since I am on the other side of the country after all. They had some interesting Stone beers I'd never seen as well as some Japanese beers. In general, a great selection. While I was there, a worker stocking the shelves struck up a conversation with me and we started talking beer. He knew his beers well and pointed me towards a few good directions. Another guy showed up and also knew his beer...although he made a comment about how super hops beers are a great exploration. While I agree, I've come to find that I appreciate balanced beers better than overtly hoppy beers. Hops are great, but something that is super bitter and smells like a pine cone just for the heck of it really isn't that amazing. But I digress...

Ninkasi Tricerahops. A beautiful double IPA. 8.8% ABV but you'd never know it. Rather bitter with a long residual bitterness. HAS to be over 100 IBUs. It has a golden, finely brushed copper color. Fairly light carbonation. It's a very slow trickle with hardly any head.

It's definitely bottle conditioned as there's a layer of loose sediment several millimeters thick. A slight movement of the bottle and the sediment is all over the place. I tried very carefully to not disturb it coming out of the store, but of course the checkout girl turned the beer quickly on its side and back to scan the barcode and all the sediment went into suspension. I put it on ice for a while and some of it settled out again, so I'm not sure how that stuff affected the taste.

The double IPA is well-balanced with malts. I'm guess an excessive bill of pale malts and some caramel or amber malts which has given it a sweeter flavor and deeper color. It has a touch of sweetness but isn't coat your mouth with stick malt like some DIPA's. Really it's not overly heavy which is a problem with some IPAs...some feel like a whole meal.

Ooo just got a hint of espresso or rich coffee in the aftertaste. Kind of like you've had a cup of coffee, but now your done and you have that bitter taste that makes you click your tongue and look for a piece of gum. There's also a bit of pretzel dough or something.

Aroma is what you'd expect. Fresh NW hop aromas with a hint of something I can't define. One thing I know is my nose sucks. I can't smell anything. Too bad. But then again, maybe they didn't go crazy with aroma hops.

Anyway, it's a super bitter, super hoppy double IPA that is nicely balanced and lip-smackingly delicious. Now I want them to make a Hopisaurus Rex!

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