Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Double Simcoe Hop Nectar Slam Nugget . . . .

Holy crap I love this time of year. How is it that three, count'em three, hoptastic offerings hit the shelves all at the same time?? Double Simcoe by Weyerbacher, Bell's Hopslam, and Nugget Nectar by Troegs are all currently in your corner store just waiting to be imbibed.

I was most impressed with the Hopslam. Here's what I had to say about it:

12 oz. bottle. Pours copper orange with a thick and creamy white head. Good lacing. Nose is huge on fruit. Peach, apricot, pine and grass, citrus notes of orange and grapefruit. Taste is interesting. Not over the top "slammy" in the hop bitterness. There is a good dose of bitterness, though, balanced well with a malt backbone that adds a subtle sweetness of light toffee and honey. There’s a huge hop flavor, fruity notes of raisin and citrus, then some grass and pine. This is an absolutely, ridiculously, delicious beer. One of my new favorites.

The Nectar hit the spot, too, being an amped up version of one of my "go to" beers, Troegs Hopback.

Now I'm not writing off the Double Simcoe. It wouldn't be mentioned here if I were. Check out my rating:

12 oz. bottle. Pours amber red with beige head, foamy and about a half an inch thick. Big hoppy nose, piney and floral stickiness with a crystal sugar sweetness. Touch of caramel malt backbone with lots of hoppy character, grass and pine, some floral and citrus notes. Nice dose of bitterness towards the end that lingers into the after with a hint of sugary sweetness. The mouthfeel is a touch watery. Great lacing.

Having tried all three of these beers in the last couple of weeks, plus some other IPAs and Double/Imperial IPAs, I've started to question my rating habits/theory when it comes to "hop heavy" offerings. High hopped/over-hopped beers make me smile. Therefore, I rate them highly. Are my ratings telling of what my favorite "hoppy beers" are? I don't know. First, I only rate beers once. I should probably re-rate beers every so ofter, but with offerings such as Three Floyds Dreadnaught IIPA, I may only get one bottle once a year due to its limited distribution, if at all. That makes it hard to re-rate, and also adds the "rarity" dimension to my rate.

Second, The hoppy beer in front of me is my favorite, EVER, at that moment. Its only later when I start to think back and compare. But by then I've already rated the beer, and don't feel "right" going back and adjusting my rating after the fact. The first impression is the right impression, correct?

I'm sure I'm not the only one who has contemplated this. I'm considering putting together a blind tasting of as many IPAs and IIPAs as I can find. This way, its completely arbitrary, with no pre-conceived prejudices (either positive or negative) clouding my judgment. I'm sure it will be cloudy enough by the sixth pint. Who's in?




Eli said...

I can agree with your second point, quite readily.

Just wait until Sierra Nevada Bigfoot rears its head.

David said...

When's Bigfoot out???

And on a side note. . . .What do you think the possibilites of a Nectar/Hopslam/Dbl. Simcoe mixture?? Could be tasty.

Eli said...


I'm not a huge fan of mixing. That being said, I had the Gemini on tap yesterday whilst at D's and it was incredible.

I also grabbed a bottle of Hoppin' Frog's Black & Tan which is 2/3 IPA and 1/3 BORIS...

Adam said...

Nice exploration of the hoppy beer tasting topic. Tasting is inherantly subjective. I love to hear what people think about a beer. I love the stories they/we tell. On the other hand, I don't take it as the last word.

I think I'll always struggle with rating an awesome IPA as the best one I've ever tasted. I don't care. All I know is that I'm enjoying it and I'll probably remember it for a long time.

BTW My favorite from last year out of the three you mentioned is the Bell's Hopslam. This year...who knows?!

Also, Bryan @ The Brew Lounge
passed on this blog post about over analysis over at brewvana. Kind relates to this topic.

Adam said...


Lopez Beer said...

Just read last January's blog about the double simcoe from Weyenbacher. My friends and I have a beer blog as well over here in the Pacific Northwest. As you can probably surmise, we are huge hop-heads and I particularly love the Simcoe. Somebody mentioned that you can get that beer at your local convenience store. Wow, I am jealous. Does anybody know if it will be available this year with the hop shortage and all? I would love to get my hands on some of that for myself and my brethren.

Lopez Jason