Alley Kat Alberta Dragon Double IPA

Reviewed by on October 2, 2015 in Local Heroes Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Alley Kat Brewing Company

  • Origin: Edmonton, AB, CA

  • Rated On: October 2, 2015

  • Best Before: April 1, 2016

  • ABV: 7.5%

  • Ideal Temperature: cold to cool

  • Style: American Double IPA

  • Rating: GREAT !!

The Review

The latest in Alley Kat’s Dragon Series of variously hopped DIPAs is an all-Alberta affair – an apt and timely release, coming right in the middle of the inaugural Alberta Beer Week, and made with Alberta malt, as usual, and wet hops from the Northern Girls hop farm west of Edmonton (and still east of Edson).

This 650ml bottle pours a clear, bright medium copper amber colour, with three generous fingers of puffy, rocky, and mildly bubbly off-white head, which leaves some decent stacked parkade profile lace around the glass as it genially recedes.

It smells of acrid pine needle resin, an herbal floral thing, suggestions of spicy metallic mint, grainy, and lightly doughy caramel malt, muted citrus pith, subtle earthy yeast, and further leafy, weedy and perfumed hop bitters. The taste is bready, crackery pale and caramel malt, gritty pine tree droppings, a still muddled citrus acridity, more mint-tinged spicy green notes, a faint earthy chalkiness, and more leafy, grassy, and floral hoppiness. The carbonation is fairly solid in its frothy and fizzy handling of my palate’s equally supportive and frivolous expectations, the body a pleasant middleweight, and surprisingly smooth – these hops have a certain, oh, I dunno, feminine touch, maybe some TLC (save your letters)? It finishes off-dry, with a malt that never seems to consider giving up, especially when countered by a still sassy and yet sanguine hop bitterness.

So, the underside of the cap says ‘No’ (what is THAT about?), but everything that follows says yes, yes, and yes! Not your typical trip through the intricacies of the Centennial and Cascade hop varietals, but I’d wager that our northern latitude has impressed some sort of distinct ‘terroir’ type of effect on said hops employed here. And I shall drink heartily and joyfully to THAT.

Brady White

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