Leopard Print DDH DIPA
BlackStack Brewing Leopard Print DDH DIPA (8.4% alcohol by volume) - I think I dated her in high school. She was 21 and could legally buy beer and worked as a cashier in a convenience store/butcher shop. She was a big, smart, peroxide blonde, quick with a quip and could dish it out as well as she could take it. She had a tight leopard print skirt, wore 50s cat's eye sunglasses, smoked Marlboro's and we used to go the the car races and sit in the upper seats with a cooler and drink a twelve pack or two - usually Meister Brau, Goebbels or Drewery's - and yell at the cars. This beer is as close to that girl as a beer can get. It was canned 6 days ago and hopped with Mosaic cryo and El Dorado hops. DDH means that the beer was double dry hopped suggesting that the hops were added twice after the boil. This gets more flavor and aroma out of the hops and less bitterness. Eldorado Hops have both bitterness and big flavors and aromas - especially stone fruit, pome fruit and general fruit. Mosaic Hops are also used for both bittering and flavor and aroma and brewers often use its citrus, tropical fruit and berry flavors and aromas to complement other hops. "Cryo" is a hop processing technique which separated the hop oils from the vegetative matter allowing brewers to add a big punch of hop flavor and aromas without adding grassy or vegetable character to the beer. Leopard Print offers big hop aromas, fruit, stone fruit and citrus with grainy bread malt notes in the background. The aroma is fresh with nothing grassy or herbaceous and the background malt is clean with no caramel or toast aromas. The fermentation character's mild fruit aromas work with the hops. there are no buttery, creamy or acidic aromas. Leopard Print pours hazy straw with a well-developed 3” off white cap with great retention. The beer is opaque but not cloudy or murky and there are no floaties or particulate matter in the beer. You get a slight prickle on the tongue with fruit, mild sweetness and citrus giving way to medium high bitter from the middle through the finish. Big, rich hop flavors follow the introduction moving more towards tropical fruit flavors and a wider range of citrus seasoned with a little stone fruit and a suggestion of pear. BlackStack has packed a lot of fruit packed into this Leopard Print and each sip brings out new flavors and flavor combinations. It dries on the finish with a soft hint of astringency. The long lingering finish offers a hint pineapple and passion fruit. The bitterness is medium high but it is soft and not harsh or sharp. There are no creamy, starchy or sugary sweet flavors. Alcohol is there but it is smooth and not hot or harsh. Carbonation is medium high carbonation and the body is medium full. The beer has no acidic twang or starch character. This beer is easy on the stomach, full flavored, smooth and drinkable and something you can repeat. The alcohol is not noticeable at first and it gradually sneaks up on you. All you need for a perfect evening with Leopard Print is a designated driver with a pair of cat's eye sunglasses. I rate it 88.
Go to New England IPA for a brief discussion of the style, links to reviews of similar beers, food pairings and glassware recommendations.