A Double IPA, also known as an Imperial IPA, is a type of IPA (India Pale Ale) that is brewed with more hops and higher alcohol content than a regular IPA. This style of beer was first brewed in the 1990s in the United States, and has since become a popular choice among craft beer enthusiasts.
Double IPAs are known for their intense hoppy flavour and aroma, which is achieved by using large amounts of hops during the brewing process. The extra hops provide the beer with a distinct bitterness that balances out the higher alcohol content, resulting in a full-bodied and complex flavour profile.
One of the key characteristics of a Double IPA is its high alcohol content, which typically ranges from 7-10% ABV (alcohol by volume). This is significantly higher than the average ABV of a regular IPA, which is typically around 5-6%. The increased alcohol content gives the beer a stronger, more robust flavour that is well-suited to the bold and hoppy character of the style.
Double IPAs are typically pale in colour, ranging from golden to amber, and are often hazy or cloudy in appearance. The beer is heavily hopped, which can give it a floral or citrusy aroma, and a strong bitterness on the palate. The flavour is typically complex and balanced, with a mixture of sweet and bitter notes, and a long, lingering finish.
Despite their intense flavour and high alcohol content, Double IPAs are often enjoyed by craft beer enthusiasts for their bold and unique character. The style is a favourite among hop-heads, who appreciate the intense hoppy flavour and aroma, and the strong bitterness that is characteristic of the style.
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Brewing Double IPAs
One of the key challenges in brewing a Double IPA is achieving the right balance of flavours. The high alcohol content and intense hoppy character can make the beer overpowering and unbalanced if not carefully crafted. To achieve the best results, brewers must carefully select the hops and other ingredients, and carefully control the brewing process to ensure that the flavours are well-balanced and harmonious.
In addition to the hop character, Double IPAs often have a complex mixture of flavours and aromas. The increased alcohol content can add a strong, malty sweetness to the beer, which balances out the bitterness of the hops. The beer may also have notes of citrus, pine, or other aromas and flavours, depending on the specific hops used in the brewing process.
Despite their bold and intense flavour, Double IPAs are not as widely available as other styles of beer. Because of their high alcohol content and complex flavor profile, they are often more expensive than other types of beer, and are less commonly found on tap or in stores. As a result, many craft beer enthusiasts seek out Double IPAs at specialty beer bars or breweries, where they can sample the best examples of the style.
If you’re a fan of hoppy beers and are looking to try something new, a Double IPA may be the perfect choice. With their intense flavour and high alcohol content, they offer a unique and satisfying drinking experience that is sure to please even the most discerning palate. Whether you’re a seasoned craft beer enthusiast or just starting to explore the world of hoppy beers, a Double IPA is sure to be a memorable and enjoyable experience.