Sunday, December 09, 2007

Dangerous Double!

Following last weeks Chilli beer, this week's curiosity at The Grove in Huddersfield involves the Alehouse (formerly Verulam Brewery of St. Albans) Ton Up Double IPA at a strapping 10.9%! Regulars at the pub are well used to the frequent occurence of super-strength brews (available in third of a pint measures) but will seldom have seen this style of ale.
For those wondering just what on earth a double IPA is I refer you to this somewhat simplified definition from Beer Advocate - "Take an India Pale Ale and feed it steroids, ergo the term Double IPA, then expect something robust, malty, alcoholic and with a hop profile that might rip your tongue out!" - Now that's my kind of beer! - BA goes on to say "You can thank American west coast (San Diego in particular) brewers for this somewhat reactionary style."

Update: Failed miserably to get this one down (wuss!) and had to donate most of it I'm afraid. Was rather hoping it would be similar to some of the strong American IPAs I've tried but instead was reminiscent of those dreaded childhood cough medicines. At 10.9% alcohol by volume, Ton Up is more of a wine than a beer and its drinking should obviously be treated differently, but for me the very strong tones of toffee and roasted sugar completely overpowered the malt flavour. Even the bitterness from the hops couldn't keep the sweetness in check resulting in a cloying burnt honey taste, unfortunately typical of so many barley wine style recipes. NOT my kind of beer but I'll be back to try their 9 Above Zero next week!
pic: courtesy of the Lower Red Lion in St Albans which is the Alehouse Brewery Tap & appears here 'cos I couldn't find any brewery pics on the web. It is a nice looking pub though!

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