DuClaw All Along The Hop Tower, Baltimore, Maryland
Date: November 25, 2018
The Story— We haven’t talked to our friends at DuClaw to see where the inspiration for this beer came from, but we we can imagine the brewers sitting around designing a new hazy beer. We can almost hear a voice from the side saying “Let’s put it in a lavender colored can and call it Purple Haze!” Someone at the table would gently remind him that Abita bottled — and trademarked the name years ago for a beer that is indeed vaguely purple.” So they settled on “All Along the Watch (no, copyright issues again) Hoptower. The can isn’t quite purple and the beer isn’t as path-breaking as Jimi Hendrix’s music, but it’s a good example of the new wave of juicy and not overly bitter IPAs.
At 8% abv, it’s a relatively modest Double IPA, but well over the top of current IPAs. Forty-two IBUs are low for either style and not far out of the range of traditional pilsner beers. A blend of American Citra, Centennial and Amarillo hops ensure a range of fruity flavors. Pale and pilsner malts are clean and the wheat and torrified wheat probably give a bit of a boost to the citrus.
The Beer— This IPA does just what it’s supposed to do: provide lots of fruity hop flavor in a big rich double IPA. Rich and fruity. Juicy flavors run to orange with some slight pineapple and all of it served up on a big chalky bed. Some oil as it drinks, but nicely balancing by the end. Ellie liked it but was less enthused — she found the alcohol a bit hot and the full body a bit syrupy.
Value — Good; you could do so much worse.
This week we focus on the US to highlight some great American craft beers, some of which we’ve found in researching out first US Beer publication: Brews and Snooze-– Breweries you can visit and walk back to a fine place to spend the night. Look for it in 2019.
Next week we return to HIGHLIGHTS OF EUROPE– Some of the great beers we’ve found in our European travels. A few may be some of the surprisingly good beer we’ve found in “bad beer cities” as we researched our next book – a guide to great beer in European tourist cities. (Planned publication 2019.) We’ll shift back to great American beer finds next week.
COMING IN DECEMBER: THE TEN BEST IN THE LAST FIVE YEARS. We count down to the New Year by thinking back of some of the greatest beers we’ve found in the last five years of hunting. These beers are in our top 0.2% of the beers we’ve tasted recently.