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Jul
20

DFH Squall IPA

By Andy Murphy
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squall-ipa-labelFans of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery’s 90 Minute IPA may be scrambling to find one of the Delaware brewer’s latest limited releases. Squall IPA is a re-imagined version of 90 Minute IPA — 100% bottle conditioned, dry hopped with six different hop varieties, and only available in a few East Coast states.

The 750 ml bottle has an arresting logo, an inky black-on-white image of a clipper ship. If the funky design with throw-back text reminds you of a surf-shirt, that’s because Squall is a collaboration with Rogues Gallery, a surf-clothing shop in Portland, ME. Brewery founder Sam Calagione “fell in love” with Rogues Gallery and since the clothing company was “down with getting their chocolate in Dogfish Head’s peanut butter“, the two companies worked together to create a beer — Squall IPA — and a line of clothing “to wear while drinking beer at a sunset beach bonfire”.

Seriously. Cool.

Squall is a Double/Imperial IPA. The beer poured a copper-amber color with the thickest, creamiest head I’ve seen on an IPA. I had to practically chew through this protective meringue before I could even taste the beer — it was well worth the effort, but before discussing the taste I should focus on the aroma.

ipa-mondayThis beer has a delicious if elusive aroma. I could smell citrus and floral hops the moment the bottle was opened, but it was difficult to pull in the aroma after pouring the beer. That blanket of foam seemed to guard the scent jealously; only after slurping away some of the head could I really appreciate the aroma.

Squall’s aroma is simultaneously warming and refreshing; citrusy, floral, and sweet with crème brûlée and sticky pine. Complex aromas can come across as jagged or confused, but Squall’s elegance is smooth and beautifully at ease.

Its taste shrugs off a surprising amount of sweetness for such an aromatic IPA, with plenty of honeyed, caramel malt and brown sugar taste. There doesn’t seem to be much bitterness here at all, though hops they-are-aplenty, exerting an herbal, piney, resiny, citrusy, tropical fruit taste.

squall-ipa-bottle-glassThe beer has quite a full mouthfeel. The sweetness and resinous hop oil create a nearly-creamy sense, compact and warming. Squall’s 9% ABV is nearly as imperceptible as its bitterness, except for the warmth it engenders as you sip and savor.

Oh, who am I kidding? I’m gulping and swilling this sweet and flavorful IPA! Only some deep reserve of control is preventing me from guzzling the whole bottle before I can take these notes — and thank goodness for that, because savoring this beer is absolutely required.

When first poured, the coppery body was translucent but largely without imperfection. For a bottle-conditioned beer, I was expecting some sediment — but that only began to appear toward the finale, with tiny suspensions appearing 3/4ths of the way through the bottle and small clumps of yeast slipping out with the final pour.

This IPA Monday beer has inspired me. I can’t wait to taste another hoppy brew, so I hereby announce that I’ll be drinking an IPA every day of this week.

And IPA Week? I can’t believe it took me more than six months to think of this!

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Categories : Beer a Day, IPA Monday

2 Comments

1

I’m still surprised by how awesome this beer is. I can’t get enough of it.

2

For IPA week, I’d heartily like to suggest Southern Tier’s Unearthly Imperial IPA. It was exquisite. I will be looking very diligently for a Squall IPA in the very near future.

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