I wanted to test myself. I have my reasons. This thing talks big. Lets see what its got.
I’ll be honest, I expected something more savage, more brutal. To start there’s a nice, big boozy aroma of citrus and some darker fruits, something sweet, something else which might be piney hops but it’s neither overpowering nor offensive. Pours easily with a nice one-and-a-half finger head, soapy, off-white, decent retention and a nice dark, heavy amber colour. Can a colour look heavy? Can it look dangerous? Because it seemed to be doing that as well. Can a colour lurk? Big flavours here, massively bitter (not entirely surprising at 85 IBU) but also massive malt toffee sweetness, an unapologetic warming alcohol sting at the back end, some fruitiness underneath. Others have complained this one was unbalanced but I don’t agree; it’s just really intense. It’s the most enjoyable IPA I’ve had of anywhere near this strength, and I think it may even be the strongest. Finally, it has a thick, heavy mouthfeel with slightly less than medium carbonation. To call it syrupy would be harsh. Everything about this is big and intense but it remains dangerously drinkable, at least in small doses.
This being my first encounter with Flying Dog (from Maryland) I may well paint myself into a corner with this one since this is only one of a range of “Canis Major” strong beers but with something as big and intense as this I’m going to go with one of Washington D.C’s (just across the way, you see) greatest early punk bands, Bad Brains. It would probably be kind of perverse to associate a strong beer with any of Ian MacKaye’s bands for a start, and well…there’s not much else from there that isn’t straight edge or complete crap but I reckon early Brains fits the bill nicely. High quality, loud, intense and best kept to small doses. __________________________________________________________________
Name: Double Dog Double Pale Ale
Style: American Strong Ale
Brewed by: Flying Dog Brewery (Maryland, USA)
Alcohol: 11.5% abv.
Price: $9/355ml bottle at Thorndon New World
Verdict: Intense. Massively bitter, massively strong and boozy but almost balanced with the malt sweetness and dangerously drinkable. Not remotely a session beer but difficult to place in a night out at all because it will either ruin your palate or knock you out at the end but as a treat or a winter warmer it’s a good ‘un. What the Brewdog Hardcore (#11) should have been, gets bonus points (+7) for being not just drinkable but actually enjoyable. Which is the important bit, really. That and having an awesome label. 73/100. __________________________________________________________________