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Take Your Craft Beer Sipping To Hoppy Heights With These Double IPAs

We can’t say it enough, but the IPA is (and likely always will be) the most popular craft beer variety in the US. Stop into a random craft brewery and you might not find a Kölsch or bock, but you’ll always find one IPA. Usually more. Crisp, slightly floral, and dank-bitter West Coast and hazy, juicy, fruity, New England-style IPAs tend to dominate the market. But don’t sleep on the very bitter, deeply resinous Double IPA, either.

The definition of a double (also known as the “imperial”) IPA is a bit tricky. Exactly which beers fit the bill is open to interpretation. What we do know is that if you crack open a double IPA it will probably fall between 7-9% alcohol by volume and be loaded with vibrant, crisp hops. It will be hoppy in both aroma and flavor and contain considerably more malt than regular IPAs.

This bold, potent beer style is perfectly suited for spring drinking for a variety of reasons. The higher alcohol content keeps you warm on those still-pretty-chilly spring afternoons and evenings and the fresh hop flavor reminds you that summer isn’t far off. Check ten of our favorite Double IPAs below — click the prices if all your scrolling and reading leaves you thirsty!

Russian River Pliny the Elder

Russian River

ABV: 8%

Average Price: $7.99 for a 16-ounce bottle

The Beer:

One of the most sought-after beers in America, Russian River Pliny the Elder is brewed using Simcoe, CTZ, Centennial, and Amarillo hops. It’s not a beer that spends any time on a shelf and that’s a good thing according to the folks at Russian River. It’s supposed to be enjoyed fresh and is made in very limited quantities so that it sells out quickly.

Tasting Notes:

On the nose, you’ll find notes of ripe grapefruit, juicy guava, and resinous pine. The flavor is dominated by sweet malts, wet grass, crisp apple, tangy lime, and just a hint of bitter hops. The finish is hoppy, subtly sweet, and filled with more tropical fruit flavors.

Bottom Line:

This beer is brewed in very limited quantities and it constantly makes lists ranking it as one of the best double IPAs on earth. Because of that, it isn’t easy to find. If you get your hands on a bottle, share it only with your friends who truly appreciate the bold flavor of a double IPA.

Sierra Nevada Hop Bullet

Sierra Nevada

ABV: 8%

Average Price: $11.99 for a six-pack

The Beer:

With a name like Hop Bullet, you can be pretty sure what you’re getting yourself into when you crack open one of these bad boys. This in-your-face IPA gets its flavor from the addition of Cascade, Centennial, Chinook, Crystal, Magnum, and Idaho 7 hops as well as extra Magnum hops and lupulin dust (concentrated hop flavor) added into the kettle.

Tasting Notes:

Take a moment to breathe in the heady aromas of lime zest, ripe pineapple, and floral hops. On the palate, you’ll find flavors of juicy grapefruit, sweet malts, tangerine, and vibrant hop oil. It all ends with a subtly bitter, hoppy, citrusy punch that you’ll go back to again and again.

Bottom Line:

Sierra Nevada knows how to make hoppy beers, and this is one of its best. Add to that the fact that you shouldn’t have much difficulty finding this beer and it might just become your go-to spring and summer sipper.

Troegs Nimble Giant

Troegs

ABV: 9%

Average Price: $14 for a 4-pack of 16-ounce cans

The Beer:

Giants aren’t usually known for being nimble, but this 9% double IPA is. Brewed with Vienna and Pilsner malts as well as Simcoe, Azacca, and brightly floral Mosaic hops, this hop giant manages to have bold, intense hop flavor but remains well-balanced.

Tasting Notes:

Take a moment to nose this bold giant and you’ll find scents of orange blossoms, citrus zest, honey, and floral hops. Sipping this beer reveals notes of grapefruit, juicy mango, orange, subtle sweet malts, and a gentle, piney bitterness. The ending is a great combination of bright citrus and floral hops.

Bottom Line:

Nimble Giant is only released once per year. Every June, fans of this double IPA eagerly await its return. You should too.

Lord Hobo Boom Sauce

Lord Hobo

ABV: 7.8%

Average Price: $14.99 for a 4-pack of 16-ounce cans

The Beer:

It doesn’t get more descriptive than calling your beer “Boom Sauce.” You know you’re in for a true hop wallop. This complex, yet surprisingly well-rounded double IPA is brewed with Pilsner, Planet, Spelt, and oat malts as well as red wheat, flaked oats, and Warrior, Amarilla, Ella, Falconers Flight, and Mosaic hops.

Tasting Notes:

On the nose, you’ll find aromas of ripe mango, sweet berries, tangy grapefruit, and pine. On the palate, you’ll be greeted with notes of juicy guava, pineapple, citrus zest, sweet, caramel malts, and citrus hops. The finish is hoppy, sweet, and refreshing.

Bottom Line:

When it comes to double IPAs, you’d be hard-pressed to find a beer with a more balanced flavor. The various malts are paired perfectly with floral, resinous hops.

Ninkasi Tricerahops

Ninkasi

ABV: 8%

Average Price: $10.99 for a 4-pack of 16-ounce cans

The Beer:

First released in 2007, this year-round, dry-hopped double IPA is brewed with 2-Row, Pale, and Carahell malts as well as Cascade, Chinook, Summit, Palisade, and Centennial hops. The result is a beer with balanced, floral, citrus, and piney notes.

Tasting Notes:

Take a sniff and you’ll find aromas of tropical fruits, tangerine, caramel malts, and floral hops. On the sip you’ll find flavors of dried orange peels, juicy grapefruit, sweet malts, and subtly bitter, resinous hops. The ending is fruity, sweet, and filled with piney, subtly bitter hops.

Bottom Line:

This beer is named for one of the least beloved dinosaurs of all time. But this giant, hop beast deserves to be your new favorite double IPA.

Cigar City Florida Man

Cigar City

ABV: 8.5%

Average Price: $12.99 for a six-pack

The Beer:

“Florida Man” is a legendary southern (often mullet-wearing) figure. His name dominates headlines from the panhandle to Miami. This bold, uncompromising double IPA, brewed with Citra, Azacca, El Dorado, and Mandarina Bavarian hops with the addition of peach esters and Canadian honey malt is named in this mythical man’s honor.

Tasting Notes:

On the nose, you’ll notice scents of orange peel, grapefruit, and bright, floral notes. Sipping this beer reveals flavors of sourdough bread, honeysuckle, mango, orange, and a nice, subtly bitter kick of hops. It all ends with a duo of sweet fruit and citrus hops flavors.

Bottom Line:

You don’t have to be (or even know) a “Florida man” to enjoy this beer. You also don’t have to ever visit America’s dangling appendage to drink it.

Pipeworks Ninja vs. Unicorn

Pipeworks

ABV: 8%

Average Price: $10 for a 22-ounce bottle

The Beer:

We’d all like to see what would transpire in a fight between a unicorn and a ninja, but the odds of seeing this is very unlikely. Instead, we’ll have to settle for a beer brewed in tribute to this mythical battle. This beer was brewed with more than five pounds of hops per barrel. To say it’s an intense hop experience is a total understatement.

Tasting Notes:

Give this beer a nice nosing before taking a sip and you’ll find aromas of citrus zest, bright grapefruit, and resinous hops. Take a sip and you’re sure to bask in notable flavors of fresh lime, orange peels, crisp pears, and subtle, piney hops. The finish is a mixture of sweet, tropical fruit flavors and pleasantly bitter hops.

Bottom Line:

This is an epically hopped beer. It’s also the best pick on this list for fans of citrus-forward double IPAs. The more you drink it, the more you’ll find new, citrus flavors.

Toppling Goliath King Sue

Toppling Goliath

ABV: 7.8%

Average Price: $19.99 for a 4-pack of 16-ounce cans

The Beer:

Toppling Goliath’s King Sue (similar to Pliny the Elder) is one of the most sought-after double IPAs in America. This hazy, juicy, tropical fruit-filled IPA is brewed using solely Citra hops. The result is a refreshing, bold, crushable, juice bomb.

Tasting Notes:

Take a few moments to breathe in the aromas of bright grapefruit, juicy mango, and floral hops. The palate greets you with notes of guava, orange, pineapple, and subtle resin. The ending is memorable with a nice combination of citrus zest and ripe tropical fruits that pair well with the final flourish of spicy hops.

Bottom Line:

If you’re only going to try one double IPA on this list, make it Big Sue. You won’t regret cracking open one of these fruit-forward, hoppy brews.

Melvin 2X4

Melvin

ABV: 9.9%

Average Price: $13 for a 4-pack of 16-ounce cans

The Beer:

The Wyoming-based brewery is well known for its IPAs and one of its best is its 2X4. This award-winning beer is brewed with Citra, Simcoe, Columbus, and Centennial hops along with light malts. The result is a flavorful IPA filled with pine, citrus, and floral flavors.

Tasting Notes:

On the nose, you’ll find scents of orange creamsicle, caramelized pineapple, and bright pine needles. Sipping this beer reveals flavors of citrus zest, fresh grass, tropical fruits, and subtly bitter hops. The finish is a nice mix of sweet malts and resinous hops.

Bottom Line:

When it comes to double IPAs, this beer ticks all the boxes. It’s a great combination of sweet malts and bold, floral hops.

Maine Beer Company Dinner

Maine Beer

ABV: 8.2%

Average Price: $10 for a 22-ounce bottle

The Beer:

We dare you to find a poorly executed beer from the Maine Beer Company. You honestly can’t. Its Dinner is a complex, highly memorable double IPA. This 8.2% brew is made with 2-Row, Carapils, Caramel, 40L, and Dextrose malts as well as Falconer’s Flight, Citra, Simcoe, and Mosaic hops.

Tasting Notes:

Before sipping, breathe in the aromas of sweet, caramel malts, fur tips, and citrus. On the palate, you’ll find notes of juicy pineapple, guava, blood orange, sweet malts, and resinous pine. The ending is refreshing and full of grapefruit and pine flavors.

Bottom Line:

If you’re a fan of the Maine Beer Company, you’ve probably already tried its hazy Lunch. Now it’s time for dinner — a treat full of fresh, hoppy, juicy flavors.


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