OH SHIT shout out to all the 8th graders who read DDB, u must b supr excited 4 2day!! (420 SUH DUUUEEEEE) So in totally predictable fashion, let’s review 11 IPAs and get blunted on those volcano R00R gravity B hits, Skyler’s mom is out of town LOL what a bitch!
Ah more random Texas ticks from Jase Hicks. This was shockingly easy to crush and easily my favorite DIPA to enjoy in an elevator. The hop profile was like pulled weeds, smashed dandelion, and it was like they used 5x Saaz or some weird copious amount of low alpha acid hops in it. It was easy to drink and had an almost european simplicity to the body akin to Kernel brewing. Shit was deece.
Luponic Distortion was world’s better than I was expecting. The usual Firestone verve embraces this overly malty, old AF double jack bottles, questionably expensive, UK meets Warrior hops fetish that is not my jam. I saw a glimmer of hope with Easy Jack, but I can even more easily Jack it to this. This is so so dialed in that it reminds me more of a Julian Shrago Beachwood special with that freshly waxed pubis cleanliness, finishes without any oily drag or pine cone residuals. The nose and taste are gemini warriors presenting lightly aserose evergreen, but switching to a mango pith meets grapefruit. I am sure the hops are all like EXP-114302948, in their pre-codename phase, so that’s like knowing a band before anyone else, a beer for HOPSTERS amirite.
This beer from Russian isn’t an IPA but holy fuck was it horrible. This may be the grossest misuse of the word “premium” in the history of the English language, or the slavic cultures take wide liberties with what a “premium” designation entails. This is essentially Keystone Ice, with a full tablespoon of table sugar added. So it has all the horrible corn and asparagus water you expect, with an underattenuated DME/Wort closer to ensure you will not be able to drink that much of it. If you asked me to finish a bottle of this or watch Ride Alone 2 in its entirety, it would be a hard contemplated dilemma.
Melvin brewing. Fucking finally. I wanted to try these guys a half decade ago when they were some undercover operation called Thai Me Up, and the wait did not disappoint. In a great irony, waiting for their offerings almost made it all the sweeter because they are still operating in late 2000s type of execution while the hop battlefield rages on in other segments. This is one of those TIPAs that are alllllmost as good as Pliny the Younger in both drinkability and nuance. It is a beast to wrangle with a huge luponic blast of cut lumber, crushed yard trimmings, yucca plant, and a flowery finish akin to jasmine. This is no fruit bomb, this is straight up sawed plywood with a lightly fusel ethanol closer. The carb is frothy and works well with this borderline too excessive TIPA. You absolutely should check this beer out if you love things that operate in the massive hopped realm.
CRUSHIN CANS ON THE VENICE CANALS ELLLL AYYYYY LIFE BRUHHH. Nah but in all seriousness, I used to give Highland Park shit for their IPAs at the outset because they were toooooo fucking clean and attenuated, there was nothing left for those Ellis Island Oil Refugees to cling to. This has markedly improved over the past year and their first canned offering shines amiably. You get the incredibly thin body and corkboard drillability of their other offerings with the classic mosaic and citra one two rope a dope. That hop combo almost seems like a cliche at this point, like industry buzzwords smashed together “NETWORKING SYNERGY” and shit. But the beer itself is a gentle melon and cantaloupe with a ficus grass finish. You don’t get the typical onion/chive thing that can occur with mosaic and you dont get the grapefruit pith from citra either, the whole thing feels refined and tasteful. An incredible offering to have locally to be sure.
Holy fucking marketing gimmicks ahoy. El Segundo has been clipping along and ekeing out their mastery of SoCal hops for years now and despite this being what appears to be a clear cashgrab (Steve Austin opened these during the WWE Massive Tumble stepstool match or something) it is actually a very solid beer. This is as predictable as it gets: citra, chinook, cascade, which reads something like “My fourth homebrew attempt, THIS ONE WILL BLOW UR MIND!” Thankfully it has a restrained maltiness and allows those old staples to interact in a way that is one part shallot and baby kale, and another part tangerine slices dipped in vape oil. This beer is fine, but El Segundo clearly brewed this with the intent to displace some Natty Ice for “fancy AA degree beers” in the HOP 3:16 marketing demographic. Can’t wait for the Goldberg Spear Dortmunder.
Of all the beers I am reviewing today: this beer is the fucking best. Waldo’s Special Ale was a 4/20 exclusive, the Lagunitas answer to Pliny the Younger of sorts. It boasts a massive abv, a gargantuan hop profile, and somehow reconciles those two into an incredible dynamic of lupulin, light heat, sticky danky resin like knife hits off the stove, and a looooonnnngggg tangelo finish. It has that sort of Hopslam viscosity to it, which would be a drawback if it weren’t compeltely necessary to offset the seriously insane amount of hops going on here, you partially expect the substrate to separate out with how oily this is. If they sell this in 6 packs, you should have to have a Cannabis card to purchase it because you will get fucking rekt quickly. This has a slightly offputting solvent sort of finish that is tempered by the sweetness, but looming over everything is this hoppy overseer with a pine/nuggy/redhair scimitar that closes like overripe grapefruit pith. If you deny that TIPAs can be complex, I urge you to try this beast that is treading dangerously into the American Barleywine realm. Try to find Waldo, then go back and look for his shoe and his cane and his books or Wizard Greybeard’s hops or whatever.
Ah the classic MPA style. I took an online course and got my MPA from Everest College, now look at me, I am a hop systems analyst. Hubert “M”PA by Melvin brewing is…fine. This is a largely forgettable, malty, sweet and king fir romp in the mid 2000s realm of “pale” ales. It has this sort of crystal saccharine profile coupled with a not exceptionally drinkable hop character that may resonate with dudes who enjoy Nugget Nectar, but it was not my jam.
These secret New Mexico gems began peeking in the old BA top 100 four years ago and they remain that paleolithic “missing link” between the west coast IPA and the current hopcake phenomenon that we are enduring. In sum, this beer is nothing short of fucking amazing. I rarely see these ISO’ed and I suspect anyone who gets distro from these guys just crushes these mercilessly. This reminds me so so much of the pre-acquisition Nelson with a light haze, that onion and garlic meets blast of orange and pineapple. It is endlessly crushable and a complete treat every time that I have it. I love the apricot coffeemate finish that lingers like gelato after the swallow. This commands your attention and your life is incomplete until you try it, your Untappd hole remains Un…tapd.
Oh shit throw a Glad bag full of used tampons into hype furnace: Toppling Goliath’s famed TIPA, King Sue. To be honest, this is one of the least impressive beers within their already staggering catalog. With even “boring” offerings like Golden Nugget and Pseudo Sue being so well done, this feels a touch imbalanced. Waldo was a touch boozy, but this is lightly fusel without the charm of a Tool roadie in a headshop: there’s not enough dro nugs. This is lightly creamy but moreover finishes long and dry like sex on MDMA. You get the apricot and it is rolled in Glade plug in “forest rain” scent. It is a big big hoppy beer, and it never is too sweet or cloying, but it just isn’t that FUN I suppose. How do you measure this odd variable? I could finish the bomber but I wouldn’t swipe right again on a second glass exactly. Lightspeed is better and Sosus sweeps the leg and leaves this lumbering giant on its back by contrast.
Let’s finish this massive review up with the shittiest of the Treehouse cans: Sap. That is kinda like saying the Boxster is the shittiest in the Porsche lineup: people are still gonna be dripping from the waist down. This boasts a solid blast of chinook and just came across as far less fruity, less substantial, less juice banging, and more of a gentle duraflame log from across the pond. As a result this is exceptionally drinkable but it fails to really command your attention the way some of the other noteworthy Treehouse cans do. This feels like the artistic cousin to La Crosse star, Julius. I am all for diversity, and this is far from a bad beer, but for the cost of entry you can find local analogues without twisting your hop cones raw.
So in sum, there are diminishing returns in hoppy beers as local ultra fresh analogues have the capacity to stomp other IPAs. On that note, the very few hoppy beasts that are coveted are that way for a reason and ultimately, those rise above the oily progeny and command those Fedex BUXXXX. Alright, grab a buddy and help me light this 6 foot ROOR, we are celebrating ARBITRARY HOLIDAYS CENTERED AROUND WEEEEEEED DDDUUUUUEEEE.