Weyerbacher Brewing Company - Unfiltered Double Simcoe IPA

Weyerbacher Brewing Company - Unfiltered Double Simcoe IPA

Beer Club featured in Rare Beer Club

Style:

Double (or Imperial) India Pale Ale

Country:

United States

Alcohol by Volume:

9.00%

Weyerbacher Brewing Company - Unfiltered Double Simcoe IPA

  • Alcohol by Volume: 9.00%
  • Bottle Size: No
  • Serving Temperature: 48-55° F
  • Suggested Glassware: Snifter or Oversized Red Wine Glass
Heavy bottle-conditioning and a welcomed lack of filtration has resulted in a rather hazy brew that pours a cidery amber color (let’s call it ashy copper). Pour slowly, down the side of the glass, because the high concentration of hop oils and proteins will foster a massive head that will take quite a while to settle if it gets too big on the pour. You can swirl and add the sediment at the very end of the pour, if you like it that way (go ahead, try it! Next time don’t, and see which you prefer). When poured carefully, a permanent, very sticky off white head results. On the nose, expect hops, hops and more hops. Lots of grapefruit, some orange peel, with some tropical fruitiness coming out in the esters. There’s a leafy, herbal kick (also from the hops) and a pleasant floral note similar to rose-water. Big chops on the aroma here, and huge hop-cojones, with some alcohol contributing a bit of fruitiness as well. Look for a powdery, aspirin-like quality coming through as well, and another pleasantly medicinal kick similar to menthol and eucalyptus oil. On top of all that, there’s a flash of spicy phenolics at play too. If you look for notes of cannabis, you will probably find them (should you know what to look for). Profoundly resinous. We could dissect the hop-focused notes for a while, but there’s going to be plenty of that in the flavor profile, so let’s not forget the malts that manage to keep things grounded. Lots of caramel, with a subtle whiff of butterscotch. Many double IPAs are one trick ponies—you get abusive hops levels on the palate with little to support them other than a cloying sweetness. But not here friends; this beer’s caramel base holds things together without being overly sweet. The malt backbone is genius, gloriously buttressing the spires of hoppy vapors and flavors that continue to reach skyward. A tremendous yeastiness also swims throughout the flavor, giving the impression of a suped up wheat beer at times. We picked up grapefruit flesh, oranges, pine sap, and a flash of pineapple and tangerine, with more fruit from the alcohol. Expect a minor flash of alcohol heat, which can be expected in an 18 proof brew, with such pungency in the hop flavors. It finishes with some moderate bitterness and a lovely woody freshness that reminded us of young, fresh cut cedar.

The hoppy depths that this beer reaches using just a single type of hop are nearly paradoxical in this glorious celebration of Simcoe. Sure, double IPAs celebrate the bombastic explosion that can be found when irresponsible levels of hops are added to beer, and that’s just fine. But if you want a perfectly balanced DIPA that also exhibits an absolute detonation of hops, this is that beer. We like this beer on its own so that we can fully revel in the wash of hops, but it will hold up against a very spicy chili, a curry dish, a gnarly blue cheese or razor sharp cheddar. The beer will develop over time due to heavy bottle conditioning, however, as this is a hop monster, and hop qualities fade over time, we suggesting loading up on the stuff now to get it fresh, checking in on a bottle every three months for about a year and a half. Each time that you return to your stash, proudly exclaim: “Time for Mo’ Simcoe!”
The Weyerbacher Brewing Company is one of many outstanding breweries from a state that has long been home to some of the nation’s finest brewers—both pre- and post-prohibition. Most of the great Pennsylvania brewers tend to keep their products fairly close to home and are perfectly happy serving just their local or regional market. As a result, you may not have had the benefit of enjoying many beers from PA, but trust us, brewers throughout the state produce some of the country’s finest. For a few years after their founding in 1995, Weyerbacher B.C. flew a bit under the regional radar, opting at first to brew only traditional, true-to-style beers. Founder and homebrewer Dan Weirback (Weyerbacher—pronounced “why-er-bock-er”—is the original spelling of the Weirback family name used by the first immigrants from Germany about 200 years ago) and his wife Sue intentionally started out sticking to mainstream microbrews. Who could blame them; things were different in the mid-90s. But in 1997 they scaled up one of Dan’s favorite homebrew recipes, Raspberry Imperial Stout, and the locals really responded to their first taste of locally-brewed extreme beer. The following year they brewed Blithering Idiot Barleywine, a massive 11%+ beer, and began brewing Belgian beers as well, like their Merry Monks’ Ale (originally called “Belgian Style Tripel”). The experience of brewing these bigger beers, and the alacritous reception by better beer drinkers led Dan & Co. to set a new path, which he sums up as follows: “Let’s make full-flavored high-quality brews for a discerning customer.” They haven’t looked back. That move ultimately allowed them to relocate from a 4,500 square foot livery stable in downtown Easton, PA, where they also ran a small brewpub, to a 20,000 square foot, brewery-only site at the end of 2001. While there, their creative endeavors have been unending. Weyerbacher beers were among early big beers to be barrel aged, and they’ve taken many of their existing beers, put them on wood, and re-titled the wood versions (rightfully so, as there’s a near total transformation). Their Merry Monks’ Ale on wood becomes Prophecy. Their massive 11.8% ABV QUAD turns into Blasphemy. Blithering Idiot Barleywine aged in oak bourbon casks transforms into Insanity, and their Old Heathen Imperial Stout put in oak barrels that were used for making Kentucky bourbon grows to be Heresy. Wood aging has become increasingly common these days, but the approach they used showcases the early intrigue and systematic rigor employed in their happy experimentation process back the early 2000s (not to mention the risk—barrels are expensive, bulky, take up tons of space, need time, and often yield unpredictable results). In Weyerbacher’s case, the results are worth it—their barrel-aged beers continue to be some of their most highly demanded. Dan’s wife Sue also appears to be his muse (well, her and beer of course)—it was Sue’s suggestion that led them to take the plunge into professional brewing—and another of her proposals was to start growing their own hops. The Weyerbacher Hop Farm is now in its 3rd year, and the harvest this past fall was bountiful, making for another audacious experiment in beer, a fresh hop Harvest Ale brewed with homegrown wet hops. Even before growing their own, Dan and fellow brewers Chris Wilson and Dan Hitchcock embraced the power of the hops. The brewery’s IPA, called Hops Infusion, is a session-style IPA brewed with seven hop varieties—which is our type of “extreme beer.” It is a study in hops and drinkability. Then came their interpretation of an Imperial (or Double) IPA, Double Simcoe IPA. This is a beer that we think really shows Weyerbacher’s brewing prowess—in it you have a massive IPA that is absolutely huge on flavor, but eminently smooth and balanced, with zero harshness. Recently, they started offering small batches of an unfiltered version, making it a good candidate for aging (though that’s a decision you must make yourself—as discussed in our tasting notes below). When we found out about this new version, we wanted it for our members. When we tasted it, we knew we had to make the deal. And what a deal it is—you’ll want to load up on this stuff, a beer that we happen to believe is among the best Double IPAs being brewed in the US today.
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