San Diego’s Ballast Point Brewing produces one of the proverbial best IPAs out there, their Sculpin IPA. I’ve had in it large and small bottles and on draft on the West Coast and it’s fortunately a staple in most craft beer stores locally in Massachusetts. It’s in my top five IPAs and I recommend it all the time. Recently I had the opportunity to grab a bottle of their DIPA, Dorado, and have been saving it for a review.
Dorado smells of a rich blend of pine and grapefruit and pours a deep clear orange color. Very little head faded away quickly leaving light lacing. I’m also a fan of a heavy pour to evoke flavors and smells, and the grapefuit citrus smell did not disappoint. On the taste buds this is no doubt a hop bomb – any subtle malt flavor gets overwhelmed with a tsunami of hops. The label says “Mash hopping, kettle hopping & dry hopping” – not sure the IBUs on this one but it has to be fairly high. I am a fan of big hops with malt holding back back just from the edge and this delivers exactly that. I have had the bottle for a couple months, and even though the “enjoy by” date stands at 7/31/13 I hope to get the chance to try some fresh. Interesting that there no mention of the beer on the company website – looks like this is part of their “Robust Series” that they rarely bottle.
In the description on the bottle it says, “Hopheads rejoice!” – and rejoice we shall.
Vital Stats: Served at 45F in a small tulip (glass is from Russian River – I figure West Coast nod was appropriate). 10% ABV.
Taste: A-. Hops, hops and more hops – probably as bitter as I would go. Nice cirtus/pine combo for a classic DIPA.
Drinkability: B. ABV is up there, not the most sessionable of DIPAs (I know that’s a non sequitor but there are some I could drink all day).
Packaging: B+. I love Ballast Point’s artwork – the Dorado is another name for the dolphinfish and they kept this as a nice complement to their other beers donning aquatic names.
Value: C. $9.99 for a growler is pretty high. Same store on occasion has Heady Topper for $5 a can, making this look way too expensive even though it seems to be rare in New England.