This double IPA is brewed with an interesting addition of pilsner and rye malts. I’d like to thank the Portland-based design firm, Frank Creative for their donation of delicious Oregon brews. This is named after our blue planet (not the ‘blue dot’ LSD from the psychedelic era). Aromas center around fruity peach, sweet bubblegum, seductive jasmine, and sour grapefruit.
The palate begins with a bitter/sour highlight reminiscent of grapefruit, which remains as a heavy backdrop of flavor. Herbal hops take command in the character of cut grass, evergreen oil, and juniper berries. Malt sugars wash into the middle, leading toward crisp pilsner grains and flavors of biscuits, dough, and yeast. Heading into the finish, a bite of spiced rye collides with minty hop oils in a satisfactory blend of bitter and sweet. Finishing flavors deliver tropical fruit notes characteristic of pineapple. It features a heavy hint of yeast (which may be observed as sediment floating in the bottle), present for secondary fermentation. The mouthfeel features dull carbonation over a muted, oily, somewhat sticky body that departs with residual sugars left in its wake. Alcohol is a certainly low for this particular style, which allows for greater palatability, restricting some of the more intrusive, solvent-based ethanol flavors which may have ruined this particular outcome.
This is one of those double IPA’s with a fresh appeal, interesting malt complexity, big flavor, and low bitterness. The malt/hop ratio is handled with an exceptional sense of balance. However, in exchange for this low IBU is a higher presence of alcohol. I think the appearance (head) and mouthfeel could use some work, but it’s possible this is related to my old bottle. Regardless, I think this is a great double that stands out from the crowd, and I’ll continue returning to this well-rounded treat. I love every beer I’ve ever had from Hair of the Dog, and I will continue to seek them out. They don’t have a wide net of distribution, and so can prove difficult to locate. This is pretty damn good, and I recommend it.