To drink a double IPA is typically to feel a double IPA. The extra alcohol offers a sharp warmth in the chest, a perfect complement to the thrill of controlled danger that comes with an ABV approaching double digits. Southern Tier’s 2XIPA is a standby, the Western New York standard for the style, while Ballast Point’s Watermelon Dorado, the one watermelon beer I can actually stomach, is a decent pick for a special occasion. If I were to pick a beer emblematic of the style, however, it would be Dogfish Head’s 90-minute IPA, perhaps their best beer despite its relative mundanity amongst their variety of odd flavors and styles, a perfect blend of flavorful hops, high(ish) alcohol, and a near-addictive drinkability whether cold or only slightly cooled.
Mostly, the double is something I’ll turn to in the winter, something that can give me the warmth of a stout or porter without the overwhelming darkness of those styles. Continue reading