Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Rough Draft Hop Therapy Double IPA

Type: Double IPA
Origin: San Diego, CA
Price: $7.99/22oz
ABV: 9.0%

Pretty sure this is our first review for Rough Draft, a new operation here in San Diego that's been gaining steam in the local bars and bottle shops.  I've had several different beer purveyors recommend them to me, and I figured if I'm going to try one, I might as well jump right up the ladder.

Look at that picture.  Now compare it to the double IPAs from Three Floyds Brendan recently reviewed- Dreadnaught and Arctic Panzer Wolf.  This is the one made in San Diego?  That's a red, malty-looking SOB.  The smell is predominantly malty too, not much of a hop blast in the nostrils, just a bit of crispness.  You know what?  This smells a hell of a lot like a Honeycrisp apple.  Sweet, crisp, and fruity.  I love Honeycrisp apples, they're one of my favorite fruits.  But I'm not sure how I feel about a beer that smells like one, particularly when I'm expecting something floral/citrusy and hop-laden, you know, what you usually get from a double IPA.

Thankfully, the hops are more potent in the flavor, adding a fairly hefty bitterness.  But unfortunately, with this much malt, the hop flavors are pretty much completely absent. The apple-ness remains, but instead of being balanced, the sweetness knocks the hop crispness on its ass like Steve Atwater with Christian Okoye (nice mullet, Elway.  By the way, hey Chargers fans, remember that one time when Peyton Manning led the Broncos to 35 unanswered points in the 2nd half while Philip Rivers shit the bed and then rolled around in it like a fat piglet?  That was awesome).  Even 94 IBU can't keep up with that much malt.  And it's not light, honey-like sweetness like, say, the Super IPA.  It's really rich and heavy.  I can't imagine how much sugar went into this in the mashing stage, if it's 9% and still overwhelmingly sweet.

In retrospect, starting off the reviews of a new brewery with a double IPA probably wasn't the wisest move (or any brewery, for that matter).  I'm not a huge fan of this one.  Just too much malt.  At 9%, it'll get the job done, but prepare to feel hugely over-caloried when you're done with it.  If this is supposed to be hop therapy, I'd hate to see hop electric shock treatment.

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