This strong, American-style double IPA from the Southern Tier Brewing Company in Lakewood, New York pours a hazy golden-orange colour with a moderate-sized soapy head that gets retained as a collar and leaves a bit of lacing. 2XIPA has a very smooth aroma. It’s well-balanced citrus with a grapefruit tartness and tangerine sweetness, as well as a buttery tone and thick, biscuity malt backing. A piny alcohol tone comes through after warming, but it’s not intimidating.
2XIPA is also very smooth in taste, especially for the style. It has a syrupy, butterscotch sweetness at first. A maltiness takes on characteristics of dark rye and a bitter, almost sour grapefruit-like citrus kicks in at the end. The beer’s collar sticks around forever, contributing to a fairly thick and creamy mouthfeel. Its high ABV makes itself known in the finish with a warming sour bite before going dry on the back of the throat.
Doppel-Hirsch from Der Hirsch Brau and Privatbrauerei Hoss in Sonthofen, Germany pours a clear, rusty ruby colour with a slightly small head that leaves little lace but survives as a collar. The aroma is slightly astringent or metallic at first, but after this hearty beer has had time to breathe it smells of fermented fruit, wet grains and dark roasted malt. A buttery toffee accent comes through as it warms.
The higher than average ABV really comes through in the taste of Doppel-Hirsch, even when it’s cold. The beer is quite sweet and fruity with a fresh grainy tone, a deep malt backing and a definite woodiness. The mouthfeel is a bit chewy and bready but smooth. Fruit and alcohol come through on the tongue and the beer has a surprisingly quick and tart, clean finish.
This extra strong blend of two imperial ales from the Southern Tier Brewing Company in Lakewood, New York pours a murky amber-orange colour with a creamy, soapy white head that sticks around as a collar and leaves a healthy amount of lace.
Gemini Imperial Blended Ale smells like hops and lots of them. There are a ton of citrus and fruit notes; pineapple, lemon and grapefruit are all present. There is also a mild sweetness, like toffee or caramel. As it warms, I get a nice earthy, grassy tone.
The taste of Gemini Imperial Blended Ale follows suit and is dominated by hops and citrus flavours after a slight toasted malt start. Grapefruit and pineapple really stand out for me. The mouthfeel is very creamy with a medium body and light carbonation. The unsurprisingly bitter finish is where the ABV rears its head, almost tasting like vodka at the end.
Curmudgeon IPA from the Grand River Brewing Company in Cambridge, Ontario pours a copper, amber and ruby colour with a moderate white head that leaves light lacing and a collar that seems to last forever. This strong pale ale has a fresh aroma of grassy hops and roasted malt, with a creamed honey tone appearing as the beer warms.
Curmudgeon IPA tastes like toasted malts, with a strong hoppy bitterness that carries a solid lemony or grapefruit-like citrus tone. The mouthfeel is creamy and bready on the tongue with a very crisp finish that brings the citrus tone back in the aftertaste.
This strong seasonal brew pours a very nice dark ruby-nut colour with a moderate, but thick and spongy tan head that leaves a thick layer of lace. Amsterdam Spring Bock from the Amsterdam Brewing Company Limited in Toronto, Ontario carries a subdued aroma even after warming. What is there is deep and malty, with a dark fruit tone and a hint of chocolate syrup.
Amsterdam Spring Bock has the taste of dark fruit and chocolate. It has a syrupy sweetness and a strong, but not overpowering bitterness. It carries a hearty, but creamy mouthfeel and does a devilish job of masking its ABV percentage. A subtle spiciness arrives as the beer warms and the fruity taste lingers in the finish along with a pronounced woody flavour.