Beer Review: Barrier Hop Damn! Double Rye IPA

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I have been dying to get my hands on this beer for so long! Barrier Brewing’s collaboration with one of my favorite bands of all time in Every Time I Die. They teamed up to create a Double Rye IPA and named it in honor of the bands seminal albumĀ Hot Damn! A lot of breweries have been doing collabs with bands, some are pretty forgettable. Hop Damn! comes in at 7.5% ABV.

Appearance: Hazy glowing amber color, really a nice looking beer. 1 finger head with a soapy head and decent lacing. Great art.

Nose: Spicy, peppery, rye, caramel malt and grapefruit up front with the spicy and peppery notes being the most pungent. Citrus, pineapple and onion come through as well.

Taste/Mouth: Spicy rye bite right off the bat with a juicy citrus and tropical fruit hoppiness coming through as well. Somewhat sweet with moderate bitterness and carbonation. Not really an IPA more of a hoppy rye amber I would say. I am very partial to rye beers and the rye in this is nice and lends some nice flavor to the overall product.

Price/Availability: It is a rotating beer and a bottle is around $9.

Overall: I obviously just needed this beer and I needed to do a review on it as Barrier collaborated with one of my favorite bands of all time in Every Time I Die. I am also a huge fan of rye beers in general, so all that being said the beer was good, not great but it was a well put together beer. The rye and spicy hop notes are pleasant on the nose and are responsible for some nice flavors coming through as well. I would grab it again at some point if the opportunity arises, hopefully it will be at an Every Time I Die show, that would be ideal. Shinfo.

Grade: B

Beer Review: Lagunitas NightTime Black IPA

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The counterpart to one of my favorite Session IPAs, Lagunitas DayTime, it is Lagunitas NightTime their Black IPA. Now Black IPAs are definitely not normally a style I seek out but I am definitely willing to try just about anything Lagunitas does. They are definitely one of the big breweries who know what they are doing with hops so I was happy to give their black IPA a go. NightTime comes in at 8.2% ABV and 65 IBUs.

Appearance: Pretty dark, close to black but not quite black, high 30s on the SRM chart. Little bit of light sneaks though if held up. Decent 1 finger head dissipated quickly and produced some nice sticky lacing down the glass.

Nose: Pine and resin noticeable up front with coffee, roasted malt, caramel, chocolate all in their as well. A lot of hop aroma in this which was nice since I am usually disappointed by most Black IPAs in this aspect since I feel like they usually smell more like a stout/porter than anything like an IPA. This on the other hand you get the best of both, definitely some nice American IPA aromas as well as some notes that a darker beer like a stout would display.

Taste/Mouth: Good hop bitterness up front with some caramel notes and a little coffee and chocolate in there as well. Nice carbonation helps provide a full feeling mouth and it finishes slightly dry. Again nice to see some IPA qualities shining through in the taste of this as well. Feels more to style than most Black IPAs I have had. Masks the 8.2% really well its hardly noticeable.

Price/Availability: Seasonal for about 2 months in Spring I believe. As usual Lagunitas kills it with the price on the bomber, 8.2% for ~$6? Can’t beat that.

Overall: Definitely one of the best Black IPAs I have ever had, displayed so much more hop character and IPA qualities than many others I have had. As far as this style goes, which I am not the biggest fan of, this is definitely one of the best you can find and at an amazing price.

Grade: B+