Sunday, June 23, 2013

Double Mountain Brewery - Cluster IPA

Cluster what?
It's hard to go wrong with the beer brewed by Double Mountain. This outfit in Hood River, Oregon makes some mighty good stuff, and that includes the delicious pizza they serve at the taproom. I can't get the pizza here in Portland, but the beer is sold in pint-sized bottles all over town.

I found a bottle of Cluster Single-Hop IPA hiding out in the cold case at Whole Foods. The stuff is brewed with only one variety of hops--Cluster. I'm not too familiar with Cluster Hops, but the label says they were once "the dominate hop in the US brewing industry literally for centuries." The reported ABV of this beer is at 7.3%. I'm thinking this is the same beer I tried under the name "Clusterf#ck". They must have changed it to protect the delicate sensibilities of cold case browsers.

Whatever it's called, the beer poured into my pint glass a slightly hazy, golden yellow color. The head white was plentiful and clumpy. Copious amounts of sudsy lacing was left all over the glass.

Aroma was citrus and mild grassy hops. There was a fruitiness to the smell. Sweet malt in the background.

Taste delivered a large, bitter hops bite right up front. Indistinct tropical fruit and citrus. Some pineapple, guava, grapefruit and lemon, but no flavor dominated. Nice malt taste after initial bitterness backed down. Interesting. This brew had a lot more complexity than I would have thought, given the single hop used to flavor it.

Medium mouthfeel with medium carbonation. Semi-dry finish left some spiciness and the bitter hops taste on the palate.

This is a really tasty IPA. Masterfully brewed. Double Mountain never disappoints me and Cluster is a keeper. I need to get some more for my next BBQ cooler fill. I'm giving Cluster a BeerGuyPDX rating of 3 1/2 crushed cans out of 4 AND a Droolie. Merry the Wonder Beagle did a few laps around the dining table after sniffing this beer.

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