What are double IPAs?

Answered by Willian Lymon

Double IPAs, also known as “Imperial” IPAs, are an exciting and uniquely American style of beer that caters to those with an insatiable craving for hops. These beers take the traditional IPA and amplify it to new heights by doubling, and sometimes even tripling, the typical amount of hops used in the brewing process. But what sets them apart from regular IPAs is the addition of more malts to create a well-balanced flavor profile.

The primary characteristic of double IPAs is their intense hoppy nature. The increased hop dosage brings forth a burst of aromatic and bitter flavors that can be described as citrusy, resinous, floral, or even tropical. These hops are typically added during various stages of the brewing process, such as during the boil, fermentation, and dry-hopping, to extract as much hop goodness as possible. This results in a beer that showcases the full spectrum of hop flavors and aromas.

However, what sets double IPAs apart from other hop-forward beers is the addition of extra malts. This addition serves to balance out the intense hop bitterness and provide a solid malt backbone. The malts used in double IPAs are typically rich and flavorful, contributing to a beer with deep malty depths and a touch of sweetness. This balance between hops and malts creates a complex and harmonious flavor profile that is both bold and well-rounded.

In terms of alcohol content, double IPAs often have a higher ABV (alcohol by volume) compared to regular IPAs. This is because the additional malts used in the brewing process contribute fermentable sugars, which in turn produce more alcohol during fermentation. The higher alcohol content adds to the overall intensity and richness of the beer, making it a robust and satisfying choice for beer enthusiasts.

Double IPAs offer a unique drinking experience that caters to hop lovers looking for a beer that pushes the boundaries of flavor and intensity. The combination of amplified hops, balanced malts, and higher alcohol content creates a beer that is both bold and complex. Whether you’re seeking a beer with explosive hoppy highs or a beer that offers a deep and malty experience, double IPAs deliver on both fronts.

Personal Experience:
As a beer enthusiast, I have had the pleasure of trying a variety of double IPAs from different breweries. One memorable experience was when I visited a local craft brewery known for their hop-forward beers. They had just released a new double IPA, and I was eager to give it a try.

Upon pouring, the beer revealed a beautiful golden hue with a slight haze, showcasing its unfiltered nature. The aroma was incredibly enticing, with strong notes of grapefruit, pine, and a hint of floral sweetness. Excitement built as I took my first sip, and I was met with an explosion of hop flavors. The bitterness was intense but well-balanced by the underlying malt sweetness, creating a harmonious interplay of flavors on my palate.

As I continued to enjoy the beer, I noticed the complexity of the hop character. It had layers of citrus, tropical fruit, and a resinous quality that lingered on the palate. The malt backbone provided a smooth and slightly caramel-like sweetness, adding depth to the overall experience. The higher alcohol content was noticeable, giving the beer a warming sensation and a touch of boozy complexity.

The double IPA offered a sensory adventure that showcased the creativity and craftsmanship of the brewery. It was a beer that demanded attention and appreciation for its bold flavors and well-executed balance. Double IPAs truly exemplify the innovative spirit of American craft brewing, pushing the boundaries of what a hoppy beer can be.

Double IPAs, or Imperial IPAs, are an American-style beer that takes the love for hops to new heights. With double or even triple the hops and a balanced addition of malts, these beers offer a symphony of hoppy highs and deep malty depths. Their higher ABV adds to the overall intensity, making them a favorite among hop enthusiasts. Whether you’re seeking a bold, hop-forward experience or a complex and balanced flavor profile, double IPAs deliver on both fronts. So, grab a glass, sit back, and let the flavors of a well-crafted double IPA take you on a hop-filled journey.