Hmmmm ... not good.
This beer sounded quite interesting and had splendid reviews on Beer Advocate (4.23 average score!), but I really struggled with it.
It was billed as a double IPA, "without the harshness". Weyerbacher used synthetic Simcoe Hops, developed in 2000 by Select Botanicals LLC, allowing for maximum aromatic oils and minimum harshness. For whatever reason, and this is likely a purely personal thing, this went down poorly. Obviously this is nothing against the brewer particularly of such a well regarded beer, but it didn't work for me. Maybe my tastes were off, maybe it was a skunked bottle, who knows.
It's rare when I struggle with a beer as much as I did this one so I'm a little depressed at the experience. I don't know how to describe it other than that I was almost queasy in the stomach as I finished the last half of my pint. I absolutely love harsh IPA's and their power. This thing actually came across as equally powerful but with something else strange going on.
As far as the basics, it came from a 12 oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass. There was a fun root beer float type head, and the pour was your standard dark amber IPA color. Its aroma was almost candylike, quite sweet and light. The hop taste was much more pine than citrus, but there was an odd back of the mouth taste.
I asked my friend Summer of Beer Steve about this and he also didn't like it, although as we looked at his review over instant messenger he laughed that it sounded tasty right now given what he'd said about it.
It's anecdotal at this point, but Alexander D. Mitchell IV of "Beer in Baltimore" also disliked this double IPA, saying "Weyerbacher's Double Simcoe a few years back left me almost wincing in semi-pain as just too "over-the-top" in more ways than one". Yikes. Our voices are in the minority, but that's taste for ya, everyone's is a little bit different.
We're open minded here so this Pennsylvania brewery and the particular beer won't be written off, but this wasn't the best of starts.
A light in the forest
2 days ago