20 August 2009

BEER REVIEW: Clipper City - Heavy Seas, The Big DIPA

Clipper City Brewing Company, right here in my home town of Baltimore, is releasing a Special Edition Series to their Heavy Seas line called the Mutiny Fleet, in 22 ounce bombers. The recipes, and even the label art, for the Mutiny Fleet are being created by the CC brewers themselves. I have looked at all the labels on the CCBC web site and must admit that the Pirate designs called to me.

The first release is The Big DIPA, which is a Double India Pale Ale style (hence the name Big DIPA). DIPAs are normally characterized by being a bit stronger than traditional IPAs (normally between 7% and 14% ABV) and heavier on the malt and hops. If you have ever had any of the Barleywine styles, DIPAs are often compared to them and sometimes even called American Barleywines.

The Big DIPA is a high gravity, bottle conditioned ale, made with five kinds of hops and 3 kinds of malts, and is hopped 3 times during the brewing process. It is 75.5 IBU and 10.6% ABV which will leave you with a peasant buzz if you haven't eaten first. Clipper City describes it as having an "earthy hop aroma", but I thought it had a strong grapefruit aroma. It had a nice golden-brown color, creamy head, and left nice lace as it went down. In my opinion, the flavor was totally dominated by grapefruit notes, which comes from the type and amount of hops used. While more dominant hops notes are customary with IPAs and DIPAs, at least to my pallet, this one was a bit overwhelming and could have used a tad more balance. How many times have you heard me say it though, "Taste Is Subjective!" It wasn't an unpleasant beer by any means, just not to my specific taste. My beautiful wife tends to think many of the beers that I really like are unpleasant to her taste.

The Mutiny Fleet - Special Edition Series is only going to be brewed in small batches for a limited time, so get your hands on some and try it yourselves. If you happen to be from Maryland (or "Merlin" as some of us say), buy some and SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL CRAFT BREWERY!

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