Happy New Year everyone! This year, as a treat, our first beers for the new year were the latest Double IPAs from Cloudwater (versions 9 and 10). For anyone unfamiliar, Cloudwater (a brewery from Manchester) has been producing a fantastic series of strong IPAs with different recipes and ingredients. To make this even better, they have been blogging about the recipes and thought process that goes into these beers (http://cloudwaterbrew.co/blog/dipa-evolution, http://cloudwaterbrew.co/blog/modern-beer-for-modern-times, http://cloudwaterbrew.co/blog/dipa-v4v5, http://cloudwaterbrew.co/blog/dipa-v10).
First things first, they’re both fantastic beers. DIPA v9 uses Citra and Simcoe lupilin powder. DIPA v10 has oats in the grain bill and “a new hopping regime of recirculated dry hops and more hopping pushed from whirlpool”. It uses Nelson Sauvin, Citra, Centennial, Vic’s Secret, Motueka and Mosaic as aroma hops.
Version 9 was very smooth, very easy drinking for such a strong beer (9%). The taste and aroma were very juicy (peach, passion fruit, tropical things) but not sweet or cloying. The finish was slightly dry and spicy, but the whole thing is very well balanced. We’re seeing more and more beers using lupilin powder – it does seem like a step forward forward for hoppy beers. It doesn’t feel as heavy handed or oily as some other methods of reaching that hoppiness. Having said that, it hasn’t really filtered down to homebrew level yet, so we’ve not had any experience with it ourselves.
To look at, Version 10 was much hazier than 9, it was also a darker orange colour. The taste was also quite different – it was more bitter than 9 and not as juicy. This means that it isn’t quite as smooth or easy drinking as its predecessor, but despite that I probably preferred the taste here (there’s more of an orange flavour).
I’m not going to pick a favourite between the two – they’re both very good beers. I am however looking forward to the next entries in their DIPA range!