Name: Victory Brewing Co DirtWolf Double IPA

Style: Double IPA

Country: U.S.A. 

ABV: 8.7%

Beer description: Victory Brewing Co. comes to us from Pennsylvania in the U.S. and they make some pretty killer beers. Victory’s DirtWolf Double IPA is an homage to hops, the “untamed vines which rise from the earth with the voracity of a ‘wolf among sheep.’” It showcases, Chinook, Citra, and Mosaic hops; all balanced well and doing their respective things.

Relatively light in colour, the DirtWolf looks unassuming for a double IPA. It doesn’t look like a beer that’s almost 9% alcohol by volume. Thanks to the generous hopping, the beer gives a burst of aroma on pouring. The citrus from the Citra hops comes out first in the aroma but quickly dissipates and takes a bit of a back seat on closer inspection to some of the malts as well as the resin and pine notes typical of a lot of American hops. Before this, though, some of that lovely hop spice opens up the nostrils so the drinker can get a good and proper whiff!

For big IPAs like this, it’s important to balance out a lot of the big flavours with a bit of sweetness, and this beer does this perfectly. It allows some of the more floral and stone fruit flavours to come out and not be overpowered by the final bitterness. The Victory DirtWolf is well balanced on body as well. Of course the drinker expects an 8.7% double IPA to have a bit of body to it, but it’s actually lighter than a lot of other brewers would choose, which is a good thing as it makes the beer all more drinkable. Despite the alcohol content, it goes down fast and leaves the drinker wanting another one.

As with the rest of this beer, the final bitter kick is lighter than expected. A double IPA doesn’t need to be super bitter to be “hoppy,” it’s just that this one is using the hops for a lot more than just bitterness, which is great to see. If you’re drinking doubles because you like a big bitterness, this beer may not be to your taste, but you should still try it to see the myriad of other great flavours that hops can bring to a beer. Expand your horizons!

Victoria have done a great job with the DirtWolf showing off a variety of hops and their strengths. It’s made for a beer with a great variety to it that’s a pleasure to drink. It’s a shame that it’s so high in alcohol as it’s not a beer that gets boring. Unfortunately though, if Victoria Brewing Co lowered the alcohol, they’d lower the malt, and the whole balance of this beer would be out of whack. So having all this hoppy goodness is only possible in a big beer.

Give this one a go. It won’t disappoint.

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