Tasting: August 2, 2012
Style: IPA (2x)
Ballast Point Dorado
Happy IPA Day.
Yes, there is an IPA Day. It wasn’t a holiday forged by Hallmark, rather it was started by a beer blogger known as “The Beer Wench” and a small brewery’s marketing director. It started just last year, and has gained some notoriety with stories appearing in a number of major metro newspapers today. Surprisingly, I wasn’t aware of it until someone pointed it out to me late in the day. If I had known earlier – I might have taken the day off. Maybe next year. So, it’s appropriate that tonight I toast the day with an IPA — and a big one at that — a double IPA or does that have its own day?
This one comes from California brewer, Ballast Point. They love the fish theme. They’ve named some of their beer for Big Eye, Calico, Wahoo, Yellow Tail and Black Marlin. I love another of their fish-named ales, Sculpin. A sculpin is a smallish fish with a poisonous bite. If you’ve had a Sculpin beer, you get the connection. I think Ballast Point missed an opportunity in making a similar connection with the name of this beer, Dorado. A dorado is also commonly known and marketed as mahi-mahi. The Hawaiian translation means very strong. Isn’t that the perfect description you’d like to associate with a muscular 10.0% ABV Imperial IPA? Who knows, maybe they’ll make that connection for themselves and catch the name that got away.
Ballast Point Dorado appears to be a limited bottle release of a favorite from the brewery’s pub. Pours a bright orange with big tropical fruit aroma. First sip is big and chewy pineapple, papaya and orange, followed by some nice caramel sweetness before it’s eventually crushed by some the earthy bitterness of the hop finish. It’s a really nicely balanced double IPA. Mouthfeel is medium/full body with very little carbonation, good marks here. I’m glad I had it to celebrate IPA day. Cheers to everyone else raising a glass. I’ll put this one at a robust 93 points.