Alley Kat Murasaki Dragon DIPA

Reviewed by on February 5, 2014 in Local Heroes Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Alley Kat Brewing Company

  • Origin: Edmonton, AB, CA

  • Rated On: February 4, 2014

  • Best Before: N/A

  • ABV: 7.5%

  • Ideal Temperature: between cold and cellar temperature

  • Style: American Double/Imperial IPA

  • Rating: GREAT !!

The Review

Not having run out of colours just yet for the single-hop Dragon DIPA series (I believe that the count stands at eleven different colours and hops so far), Alley Kat has nonetheless gone with a little language play in naming this one, as Murasaki is the English representation of the Japanese word for ‘purple’, in apparent reference to their exclusive use of the Japanese-bred Sorachi Ace hop herein.

This 650ml bottle pours a crystal clear, pale golden amber hue, with two fingers of restrained foamy, rocky dirty white head, which slowly and evenly subsides, leaving some Chantilly lace, erm, lace hanging around the glass, like it’s about to suddenly attack.

It smells of warm lemon juice, gritty grainy pale malt, a further subtle bready caramel sweetness, a bit of hard water minerality, mild earthy yeast, and a soft grassy, leafy hop bitterness. The taste is a big ol’ smack to the palate of lemongrass acridity right up front, followed closely by a nice bready, crackery, and cereal-esque maltiness, more watery stoniness, orange bitters, and leafy, earthy, and slightly musty hops. The carbonation is soft and agreeably frothy, the body a sturdy medium weight, and mostly smooth, that peppy lemon astringency making little ingress here. It finishes off-dry, the bready malt holding fast, while the leafy and citrusy hops dance around a lingering tart lemon fruitiness.

There have been other Dragon Series offerings where the single hop on display was readily identifiable, for better or for worse, but none was as obvious, and splendiferous, as this Purple Dragon’s Sorachi Ace guest star is, in all its lemony, grassy goodness. The base Alley Kat DIPA is indeed present and accounted for, performing its regular duty and all, but, well, it’s really all about the (particular) hop with the Murasaki. Give this one a try if perhaps you’ve started to lag somewhat in your enthusiasm for single-hopped IPA experiments.

Brady White

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