Alley Kat Red Dragon Double IPA

Reviewed by on February 24, 2015 in Local Heroes Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Alley Kat Brewing Company

  • Origin: Edmonton, AB, CA

  • Rated On: February 23, 2015

  • Best Before: N/A

  • ABV: 7.5%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: American Double IPA

  • Rating: GREAT !!

The Review

Edmonton’s craft brewing stalwart Alley Kat has been producing their Dragon Series of single-hopped double IPAs since 2011, and the Red Dragon (with Simcoe) was the first of a now long line of hop-focused treats.  Now, they’re revisiting parts of their back catalog, as it were, and have re-released the one that started it all.

This 650ml bottle pours a clear, light golden copper hue, with two fingers of billowy, foamy, and spongy off-white head, which renders some sparse specks of streaky lace around the glass in its steady retreat.

It smells of slightly under-ripe pineapple, bready cereal malt, muddled citrus, dank pine needle, and a mild caramel/vanilla sweetness. The taste is fairly bitter citrus and herbal hops, cloaking a bready malt which seems rather reserved in the ways of sweetness, the caramel, toffee and boozy vanilla only present in near trace amounts, especially as the herbaceous character trends spicy and musty towards the end, and even more as it warms. The carbonation is on the lee side of moderate, what with its plain fizziness, the body a so-so medium weight, and quite smooth, the hops’ assertiveness somehow not munging that up. It finishes with a touch more sweetness, some reborn caramel malt adding heft to the mix with the zingy herbal, weedy hops.

An agreeable DIPA, the hop focus shifted significantly from the norm, what with the dependence on the singular Simcoe varietal profile. That said, an equally transmogrified malt backbone – almost dry pastry-like – adds to the otherness that I feel as I freewheel through this bomber. And the somewhat elevated booze factor? Well integrated, with just a nice, lilting warming effect.  Good to see that this recipe has held up well!

Brady White

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