Let the Wolf Be Your Guide
A Review of DirtWolf Double IPA by Victory Brewing Co.
Posted on 11/20/2013 by Chops
                   
Exquisite
In today's craft beer world, the Double IPA is king. At this point it's easier to name the breweries that do not craft one. And like with any popular product, they come in all shapes and sizes. Some are smooth and flavorful, some are needling and aggressive, still others are so potent that they are practically undrinkable. In this highly competitive environment, it can be really difficult to set oneself apart. Palates have normalized over the years and it's getting harder and harder to impress the hop heads. It's not enough to pucker faces anymore, breweries have to bring a higher quality to the table, and few do it better than the Victory Brewing Company. I recently had the pleasure of sampling their DirtWolf Double IPA, a brew that focuses on the subtle yet assertive qualities of various American hops.

In the glass, this beer has a warm golden coloration. It comes with a frothy white head that has really nice retention. On the nose, I was greeted with a big burst of pine resin. Resting underneath were notes of pineapple, grass, and a sweet honey-like malt character. It doesn't take long to realize what this beer brings to the table: balance. I got the immediate impression that DirtWolf was going to be flavorful yet restrained, a desirable quality that you rarely see with DIPAs.

Yup, nailed it. Again, the take home aspect here is balance. All of those aromatic notes translate very well into primary flavors. Crisp pine, lots of tropical citrus (namely pineapple and grapefruit), lightly toasted grains, faint notes of caramel, lemongrass, earthy malts, and a dusting of savory herbs. The alcohol presence is noticeable, but does not distract in the least. The body is light-to-medium, very clean, and somewhat dry. As far as Double IPAs go, this is one you can chew on and savor the complexity without getting accosted by bitterness. The beer finishes clean, dry, and exits with a tangy piney aftertaste that doesn't overstay its welcome.

Overall, Victory's DirtWolf Double IPA is a deliciously subdued brew. In a craft beer world full of monstrous hop bombs, DirtWolf is a breath of fresh air. This is one of the very few versions of the style that can be regarded as session-worthy. Be warned though, that 8.7% ABV is well hidden and can sneak up on you in a hurry. DirtWolf is complex, balanced, and mercifully accessible, making it a fantastic option for hop heads and hop virgins alike.

Double IPAs, especially lopsided versions, can be detrimental to the craft beer movement because they have the power to frighten novices with a single sip. Victory has build a sturdy bridge into the exciting world of hop-forward beers and I tip my drinking hat to them in appreciation. Fear not my friends, let the wolf be your guide.

Share This Page:  Let the Wolf Be Your Guide, A Review of DirtWolf Double IPA by Victory Brewing Co.
DirtWolf Double IPA by Victory Brewing Co.
About  |  Terms  |  Privacy  |  Contact  |  Login
© Copyright 2011-2017  |  BrewChief.com  |  All Rights Reserved