The final beer in my seven days of beer series is Hop Rising from Squatters. In all honesty, I got this solely based on the cool ass label. Hop Rising is a double (or Imperial) IPA. One of my favorite styles. Because of the popularity of IPA’s and Double IPA’s if you are hop head, you have no troubles finding beer these days. In A double IPA you can expect big malt, bigger hops and high alcohol. So with that, let’s get started.
Aroma: Lots of clear caramel malt aroma and a lot of herbal and slightly woodsy hops. It’s a combination of pine and a summer time walk in the woods. The alcohol is very present but does not smell solvanty, its aroma is a bit spicy. You know it’s there. There is not a lot of malt complexity, which is OK. The hops don’t come across strictly traditional west coast citrus which is a welcome change. The beer is only slightly hop forward, which I also like. The hops are center stage, but the sweet malt aroma is easy to find. It’s obviously a big beer. (9 points)
Appearance: A nice slightly burnt orange, with a bit of haze. Some nicely formed long lasting white head. (3 points)
Flavor: Hops up front, hops in the middle, and hops in the finish. This is what a double IPA should be. The beer is fairly sweet which does a decent job of balancing the bitterness. The malt is caramely, bready, and sweet. The hops again are herbal and woodsy. The finish is almost minty. The alcohol may be contributing the herbal and spicy mint-like flavor in the finish. In most cases I don’t like Double IPA’s this sweet, but honesty without the sweetness in the beer the hops would be way too overpowering, even for a Double IPA. I think with the sweetness in the beer, you can easily think this beer is nowhere near hoppy enough, but if you drink it, I want you to imagine what the beer would be like without the hops. It would be overly offensive. So the brewers at Squatters did a great job of balancing flavors. (16 points)
Mouthfeel: A medium body beer with lots of hop feel even in the mouthfeel. Slight hop astrigency. The alcohol gives you a bit of warmth in the finish. (3 points)
Overall:overall this is a very deceptive beer. It may not seem as hoppy as it really is, but I like that. It’s easy to pick out the hop flavor and dwell on it, but it’s not so in your face and overpowering because of the sweetness. The beer finishes a bit dryer than I thought based on the taste, and again it’s because of the hops that balance out the sweetness. All it all it’s a great double IPA that does not fully fit the west coast mold. The woodsy and herbal hops are a refreshing change. (7 points)
Score: I scored this beer a 38 which would be a B+ to A- range.