This post was originally published by AlcoholProfessor.com.
A few years ago, my ex-girlfriend and I decided to plant some American hops in our back yard; I thought it would prompt me to finally experiment with home brewing. It did not. Instead, the hops took over the back of the house and became a rabid beast that I ultimately had to cut down in its prime before it consumed us entirely.
Victory Brewing Company’s DirtWolf Double IPA is named in tribute to hops, and the way they “rise from the earth with the voracity of a wolf among sheep.”
The name is appropriate indeed. Featuring four different hops – whole flower Mosaic, Simcoe, Citra and Chinook – DirtWolf is as complex as they come, frankly. The hop blend swirls flavor all over the palate, and bites you when you least expect it.
DirtWolf pours a light, hazy orange with minimal, white head and plenty of thick lacing; the nose was tamer than I’d expected when poured into the glass. But on first drink, you’ll know this IPA is as aggressive as the very cool label art suggests.
For my nose and palate, the citrusy quality is what took charge. There certainly are other fruit notes going on in this beer, but due to the citrus, I would hold this forth as something that could almost pass for an extreme breakfast drink. I would say that’s especially true if you were using it to wash down an omelet with plenty of spicy sausage and a few dashes of hot sauce.
The body is crisp at first, but that grows into a thick mouthfeel that lingers, leaving with it a tingly bite mixed with a pleasant, creamy sensation. As the hints of pine and earthiness take hold, you find your palate not only happy, but feeling a bit challenged as well. That’s a good thing.
I couldn’t track down any IBU information on DirtWolf, but it’s not a Hopslam kind of beer – this one is more about flavor complexity than all-out bitterness. It works very, very well. I’d guess it at maybe 75 or 80, but a guess is all it is. I’ve been fooled before.
“As brewers who enjoy experimenting with beer styles and ingredient varieties,” said Victory President and Brewmaster Bill Covaleski, by way of press materials, “we are constantly looking to keep our core audience captivated and interested while creating opportunities to attract and introduce those new to the craft brewing movement. We think, and hope, everyone will be as please as we are with the result.”
I certainly am. And based on some of the ratings I have found online, I’m not alone in this. Now I’m wondering if I should re-plant those hops in my backyard. Just for another challenge.