Friday, July 9, 2010

Ninkasi Brewing Company - Tricerahops Double IPA

A few weeks ago, I asked my teammates if they had any suggestions for beers I should try. One of them, Alan, sent me a list of a bunch of beers that sounded really good. There was just one problem- I couldn't find any of them. Alan lives up in Oregon and, sadly, not so many of the great Oregon beers find their way down here. I resigned myself to the fact that there are just a lot of great beers out there that I'll never get to try. Then, while I was in BevMo about a week ago, I finally found one of the beers- Tricerahops Double IPA. I'll admit it, the 6 year old in me who is still in love with dinosaurs was the most excited about this one when I was reading the names just because it's a great name. Apparently, the name of the brewery, Ninkasi, was the name of the beer goddess that the ancient Sumerians used to pray to. So really, there are two great names going on in this beer. Nice.

Tricerahops pours a slightly hazy burnt orange color with a thin tan head. The heads on most of the IPAs I've tried have been relatively thin and small, so this wasn't surprising or disappointing at all. I wasn't really expecting the cloudiness of the beer, and the appearance was almost like that of a really dark hefeweizen than an IPA. This being a double IPA, I was expecting a huge amount of hops in the smell and they were there, but definitely tempered by a sweet malty smell. The taste of this beer is really nice. There is a nice hit from the hops right off the bat and they taste fresh and a bit citrusy. Then the finish fades into the sweet malt flavors that were present in the nose.

Many IPAs (and especially double IPAs) try to absolutely blow you out of the water with the hop flavors. But sometimes, more hop flavor isn't always a good thing. Sometimes the result can be a beer that is so over the top hoppy that there is nothing else going on. I got the feeling when I was drinking Tricerahops that Ninkasi wasn't trying to blow the drinker away with this one- they were just trying to make a good beer. So while it was a little surprising that something that said "Double IPA" on the label wasn't making me pucker like crazy, it was a nice surprise. Super hoppy or not, this is a really fantastic beer. Good recommendation, Alan. I just wish I could try more on that list.

Final Grade: A

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