Big Boys

January 26, 2009

Left to right:
Green Flash Hop Head Red
Port High Tide Fresh Hop IPA
Moylan’s Hopsickle Imperial IPA
Left Coast Hop Juice Double IPA
Avery Maharaja Imperial IPA

Each of these 24 oz. bad boys is a high octane highly hopped double (or imperial) IPA. All very good West Coast style IPA. None really stood out over the other, but if I had to compare them based on every criteria, I’d have to consider their price.

All of them cost over $80 a case. They Moylans was over $110 a case at Westy’s in Camp Hill, Pa; it cost over $16 a BOTTLE at the Foodery in Philly. Ouch.

A better bet? As I’ve said before, you can’t beat Green Flash. Their Hop Head (pictured) or their West Coast IPA are neither double IPAs- Hop Head is a hoppy red ale, and West Coast is merely a standard IPA, but they both rival the other big boys and they only(!) cost around $45 a case.
While I’m on the subject, the much anticipated release of Bells HopSlam has happened. I got myself a case for $76. It’s a whopping 10% ABV but you wouldn’t know it at all because there is no overly sweet maltiness found in most other high octane brews. The best part is that it tastes and smells like the hops were placed in the mix straight off the vine just minutes ago. Seriously. It’s the freshest hop flavor I’ve ever tasted. The only problem with it is that it sometimes has a very slight aroma of… armpit! Really. B.O. Must be a characteristic of one of the hop strains or something, but it doesn’t really take away from this wonderful beer.

Anyway, here’s the best news. HopSlam basically sold-out around here the day it was released, but I just got off the horn with the owner of one of Philly’s beer distributors and he’s holding six cases of the stuff literally in a secret room behind the cash register. He told me to send my friends.
Let me know if you’re interested.


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