Tasting: February 24, 2015
Style: Imperial IPA
Beer #: 705
Double Duck Pin IPA by Union Craft Brewing Company
Why the bowling pins on the can label? Again, the serendipitous nature of this blog takes me on a learning experience. It seems that duckpin is a variation of bowling with shorter pins that are more squat than the familiar bowling pin. The game still uses ten pins set up in the same triangular fashion but the ball is about the size of a softball and does not have finger holes. Since the low center of gravity pins and lighter ball make it more difficult to knock over pins, the bowler gets three rolls in each frame. The scoring is similar except that if a third ball is used for a spare, there are no bonus points earned on the next ball.
Why double duck pin? Double (or imperial) is just a beer term that usually signifies a version that has higher alcohol by volume. In beer’s early history, brewers would mark the wooden barrel with either single or multiple marks like crosses or x’s to signify the increasing strength. The terms double, triple or quad come from these early roots. Union Craft Brewing does make a base beer called Duckpin at 5.5% ABV and Double Duckpin checks in at 8.5%.
What do I look for in an IPA? Simple – balance. I enjoy more than one flavor and I like to have them in harmonious balance. In the case of Double Duck Pin – it is a sequential experience of sweetness in a juicy tropical fruit up front over the bitterness of grapefruit and spices like black pepper on the finish. While the bitterness builds to a dry and puckering finish, the sweetness of the next sip washes it away. It definitely is two different experiences. I know it’s a tall order but I wish they melded a bit more in the middle, this is a very good double IPA. Double Duck Pin IPA rolls in at 92 points.