At the homebrew club meeting last night, there were a couple of commercial beers that really stood out from the others that were sampled. One was a ginormous stout from local brewery Brickstone in Kankakee, Illinois. Deep, rich, dark chocolate with coconut and coffee made for a mouthful worth remembering.
The other was a collaboration beer from Stone, Odell and Marble called Megawheat Double IPA. As I remember, the beer was slightly sweet, with tropical fruits. The beer got thumbs up all around at the meeting. I purchased a couple of bombers of Megawheat from the Cardinal place in Joliet.
This Megawheat beer is not just another wheat beer nor is it just another DIPA. The brewers in collaboration, Stone out of Escondido, CA, Odell out of Ft. Collins, CO and Marble out of Albuquerque, NM all got together and designed a double IPA with “M” hops. Mosaic, Motueka and Mandarina Bavaria. Honestly, I’ve never heard of the last two.
Looking at the alpha acid contents of the three hops, my guess would be that the beer was bittered with Mosaic and then a ton of late additions of the Motueka and Mandarina as well as in a dry hop.
I enjoy tasting these beers that utilize “mystery” hops, strains that I never heard of. The Mosaic is from the US while the Mandarina Bavaria is from Germany (not China as the name mat suggest) and Motueka hails from New Zealand. It’s nice to distance oneself from all the beers that have fruit juice, fruit rinds, fruit concentrate and other fruity parts. Here is where the fruit flavors come from the hops alone.
Our bombers were bottled on 1/6/17. We should be in store for a rather fresh tasting double IPA. Let’s get started.
The beer poured yellow-orange; more yellow than orange. The liquid was only slightly hazy and I could see all the way through the filled glass. There was particulate matter suspended in the beer which I would assume to be yeast particles. No biggie. The foam came up about a half-inch and then dissipated down to just a thin layer of suds. The aroma was typical IPA hops, but this one was slightly different than but similar to the Azacca IPA of last week.
The first sip was utter bliss. A medium mouthfeel was coupled with a great wheaty and sweet taste and the fruit flavors were all in the middle of the mouth. A very slight bit of bitterness at the back. It’s there if you remember to think about it.
I’d be hard pressed to tell the taste difference between between this Megawheat and last week’s Azacca. The tastes are very similar and both are delicious. I find it amazing that different hop strains can produce these nice fruity flavors that taste very similar. Some drinkers with a finer tuned palate than mine may be able to discern the flavors of mango and/or orange and differentiate between the two.
I have to admire the brewmasters at all the great breweries for coming up with these great beers containing hops that we never heard of. There must have been a test batch or three brewed so that they could tweak the recipe to achieve the perfect taste that they were looking for. Ah, to be a taste tester in one of these brew labs. But I’d need a seat close to the pisser.
I looked at the glass and was surprised at how much was gone in such a short time. The beer is very drinkable and will be gone before you know it. Of course, the ABV has a tendency to remind you when it’s time to stop for some people. That’s why slow sipping is the way to go. But how the hell can you sip slowly when the beer tastes like this?
Megawheat was released in the last week of January and should be readily available at bottle shops that normally stock Stone or Odell or Marble beers. It’ll probably be gone in a few months. Right when the hop flavors start to fade in a beer like this. Drink. This. Beer.
Style: Double/Imperial IPA
Taste: Delicious. Nice and fruity and a bit bitter.
Smoothness: Hardly a rasp to be found.
Bang for the buck: Just about right for it’s style and taste.
Amount paid: $8.99 for a 22-ounce bottle.
Get it again? Perhaps I will.
Brewer’s website – Marble – Stone – Odell
Wife’s all-encompassing opinion: Looks like it’s dusty. (sniff) Smells mild… and a bit citrusy. (sip) Kind of grapefruity. (sip) Mild… Not bad. (sip) It’s not real dry, not real bitter. For an IPA, it’s not bad. (A change of heart from last week’s beer.)
Megawheat Double IPA [0:29]