Two things in life are certain: 1) If God doesn’t smite Washington, D.C. soon, then he owes Sodom and Gomorrah an apology, and 2) When God does smite D.C., we’re not going anywhere.
That’s not to say that the folks at The Daily Caller are sinners! It’s just we’ll need a little push. We’re not saints, after all. But hell, you already knew that.
But really, it doesn’t matter if you go up with the good guys, hang out for three-and-a-half years or are in it for the long haul. Either you’re going to need beer (we will), or it isn’t going to matter if you spent all your money on beer because we aren’t Egyptians here — you don’t need to BYO to the Great Open Bar in the Sky.
That brings us to the coolest idea out of Boston since throwing balls of ice at heavily armed Red Coats — the Samuel Adams’ IPA Hop-ology Variety 12-Pack.
Oh yeah. Six IPAs to put in your pipe and smoke. Or main line. As we’re fond of saying, what you do is your business so long as you don’t bring the feds down on us. Then it becomes our business.
So get this, hop heads: For a limited time, the gang at Boston Beer Company is sharing six of its IPAs with us in one convenient location. If you’re wondering how you missed six IPAs from Sam, you’re with us. And if you’re a beer nerd pretending to have conquered all six of these bad boys, you’re lying. Because one is brand-spanking new, idiot.
But who cares because they’re all here now, and so are we. And since there’s six of them (well, five we haven’t reviewed — here’s the Dark Depths Baltic IPA we already reviewed), we’re breaking this bad boy down into two parts. So, ladies and gentlemen, prepare you palates — it’s time to crush some India pale ales.
Samuel Adams’ Grumpy Monk Belgian IPA
So if you really love your beer, you’ve probably dabbled in Belgian ales (if you haven’t, check that juice out). Brewed in ancient Trappist monasteries using centuries-old recipes, drawing water from original wells for a process still run by the monks, selling at Whole Foods for seemingly outrageous prices (unless, really, you stop and think about how worthwhile they are), the Belgian Trappist ales are pillars of the tradition-loving beer enthusiast’s universe. So you can imagine the old Papists getting a little angry if anyone messes with their thang. Which is actually what our friends in Boston did. Hence, Grumpy Monk Belgian IPA, combining “the distinctive character of Belgian yeast with its spicy clove and fruit notes … with the brazen hop character of an IPA.”
Brewed specially for the Hop-ology variety pack, the Grumpy Monk begins with a medium head that takes on the color from the dark golden, orange body and has a medium fade.
And damn, the nose is strong. Sugary sweet, with citrus notes like a tangerine. On a deep breath, you catch a hint of spice, too.
But the palate is where this IPA really impresses. The hops are astounding, with a sharp, piney sour on the tip that bites, lemon on the outside of the tongue and pepper on the back. That follows with a sweetness in the middle and roof of the mouth, and is finally finished with a slightly peppery taste on the back, lingering on for some time in a dry, earthy, hoppy aftertaste.
Even at only (only?) 5.7 percent alcohol by volume, Grumpy Monk is beer for sipping — not for crushing. You could crush this beer, but it would be a lot of work.
At only 55 IBUs, this ale still packs a whollop. It’s worth picking up the mix pack just to try this delicious hybrid. And considering the slash and burn techniques of these hops, we’d just finish a bottle. And hell, if you’re feeling like us, chase (pair) it with a fat lip of Skoal’s Citrus Blend Long Cut chewing tobacco.
At $15.99 a 12 pack, this is something worth picking up to share with the gang.
Samuel Adams’ Third Voyage Double IPA
This beer, like most we love, has a great name: Third Voyage IPA, “inspired by the indomitable Capt. James Cook, whose third voyage made him the first to navigate a treacherous route from England to New Zealand to the Pacific Northwest.”
As we once sagely pointed out (this shit is important):
IPA is short for India pale ale. Legend (that we choose to believe) says these ales got this name because brewers (and Red Coats) got sick of their beer going bad on the long trip from England (cold) to Africa (hot), down around the Horn (cold) and back up to India (hot), adding gross beer to the long list of complaints the average Brit had about being in India. The solution? Jack up the hops. The outcome? History.
So the champs up in Beantown decided that they wanted a brew that was even hardier. And, bless their German-English-Irish-whatever souls, they got it.
Opening up with a thick, dark-white head and a medium fade, the Third Voyage IPA is a clear, caramel beer that gives forth a peppery-pine nose chock full of hops and a little sweet citrus.
On the palate? Boom. It hits you as a serious beer, like a lot of what Sam has been coming out with these days. Third Voyage is like the lovely, but totally crazy, port girl those long-voyage sailors loved so much. She plays coy, with little sweetness on the tip, just for a second, just to see how it feels. Then, she tells you she likes it rough and the hops handcuff you to the bed and take your wallet, leaving a bitter, burning, earthy feel with no trace of fruit but a just enough lime-citrus to keep the scurvy away.
Earthy in the middle, sharp on the back, bitter all over, lingering in the aftertaste. As one valiant young researcher from TheDC exclaimed, “Call the fire department, because there’s a burn in my mouth.”
“Bright and intense with a vivid hop punch,” Boston Beer Company explains. “Using Cascade hops from [England, New Zealand and the Pacific Northwest], we created a brew that’s citrusy, earthy and full of bold character.”
At 8 percent ABV and 85 IBUs, it’s also a perfect pregame for those port ladies. And what would we drink it alongside? Skoal Straight. That way you won’t light the bed on fire or really even need your hands, which will likely be handcuffed.