Tasting: November 23, 2013
Style: Imperial IPA
Beer # : 502
The “house beers” – (at least in my house) over the last couple of weeks have been the Otter Creek/Lawson collaboration – Double Dose (popsonhops 95 points) and Founders Harvest Ale (popsonhops 95 points) . These are two elite brews and potentially some strong bench marks for any other IPA that hits my oversized cognac snifter. I haven’t had Dirt Wolf before – but its reputation is extremely solid (Beer Advocate 96 points). A customer at the Wine & Beverage Depot in Totowa opined that if Dirt Wolf was as rare as Heady Topper (popsonhops 97 points) it would be appreciated more. I agree with the concept that scarcity may elevate opinion but to me, the proof is in the punch — or in this case the imperial IPA.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t find out more about the name Dirt Wolf. Turns out that Dirt Wolf is an interesting title with a not so interesting explanation. Here’s what the label had to say:
“Darkly heroic, Humulus Lupulus (hops) have empowered brews with bite and character since the 11th century. Dirt Wolf is a tribute to these untamed vines which rise from the earth with the voracity of a “wolf among sheep.”
Dirt Wolf pours a cloudy orange and its alcohol by volume (ABV) is right on the mark for an imperial IPA at 8.7%. Overall, this is a well-structured imperial IPA that presents itself as a nice balance of bitterness, sweetness and a complex flavor profile of grapefruit, pine and subtle pepper. A really nice IPA worthy of going toe to toe with any IPA. Definitely worth the purchase and worth having around in the days when Double Dose, Hopslam, Pliny the Elder, Heady Topper and Harvest Ale aren’t on the shelf in front of you. A very solid 94 points.