It is great to see some of the larger craft breweries stepping up and making some truly excellent beers. Victory released two double IPAs in a short amount of time; DirtWolf and now Hop Ranch. Both are in 12 ounce bottles but that is really where the similarities end. It is probably not fair to compare the two but I will anyway.
Hop Ranch is considerably lighter than Dirt Wolf. HR also has a significantly different hop profile, this one is more towards the citrus and tropical fruits than the piney, dank hops used in DirtWolf. Taste moves even further away from DirtWolf with an earthy spiciness to start and a nice tropical finish. DirtWolf smells and tastes dank and piney. I think Hop Ranch does a slightly better job of hiding the alcohol content but both are easy drinking.
Overall Hop Ranch and DirtWolf are both excellent DIPAs and I hope Victory continues on this path of making truly excellent beers.
Pros: Great hop profile
Alcohol Content: 9.0% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Brewers Website: Victory
Brewers Description: To our hop ranchers, who coax and cultivate our enticing and flavorful hops, we raise this glass. Selecting the finest varieties in their natural, whole flower form, we craft our Hop Ranch Imperial India Pale Ale, as a celebration of their successes. Pungent, floral and intense, this represents America’s best, in every relaxing sip.
I had high hopes for this one as I like double IPAs and Weyerbacher makes some very good beer. The bottle is very nice with cork and wire cage and it took me quite some time to actually get the cork out of the bottle. Could not find any bottle on date so I have no idea if this was fresh or had been around for a while. The appearance of the beer is great; unfiltered, huge head and a deep orange color. Lots of aroma with malts and hops which was surprising.
I figured it would be all hops as many DIPAs are. Taste is lots of hops and alcohol with an oily mouth feel. I had hoped for something a bit more balanced that masked the alcohol better. I have reviewed a lot of double IPAs in the past few months and this one will end up near the bottom of the list.
Cons: Oily mouth feel, strong alcohol taste
Alcohol Content: 9% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Brewers Website: Weyerbacher
Brewers Description: Double Simcoe IPA, 9.0% abv, is our incredible reward for Hopheads seeking the intense hop flavor in a Double IPA, without the harshness. It is brewed untilizing only the Simcoe hop variety. This hybrid hop, developed and trademarked by Select Botanicals Group, LLC in the year 2000, was created for its high alpha acid content, maximum aromatic oils, and low cohumulone(harshness) levels so that brewers can really put a lot of ‘em in a beer and not create an overly harsh taste.
Double Simcoe IPA is a full-flavored ale with hints of pineapple and citrus upfront, a good malt backbone in the middle, and a clean finish that doesn’t linger too long. Check it out, and you’ll soon see why everyone’s talking about it. Double Simcoe is available year-round.