Double Nickel Brewing Co. "The Rising Phoenix"
16 oz. can coded "12/29/20-11:31:37". Sampled on 02/04/21.
$5.49 @ Roger Wilco, Pennsauken, NJ
Notes via stream of consciousness: This is a hazy IPA that's double dry hopped with Citra, Amarillo, and Sabro. What do I remember about Sabro? That's the hop with the coconut, cedar, and mint notes, right? I have to admit a little hesitancy then because I'm not really fond of that hop. I think it's interesting, and it certainly lends a unique character to beers, but I don't think I've found one yet that I REALLY liked. We'll see. It's poured a surprisingly dark amber/copper colored body beneath a finger's width of off-white foam. It's hazy but not crazily so. These days breweries are putting out Pilsners with just as much haze. OK, the smell... ah, that's really pleasant. It's not what I'd expect. I'm finding some resinous notes upfront, and then an orchard like fruitiness with apples and berries, followed by some orange, and finally a little bit of grapefruit. Amarillo hops always make me think of Fruity Pebbles cereal with orange and berries, and that's a big part of what I'm smelling here ~ minus all of the extra sugars of course. On to the taste then... I'm getting a combination of fruit right upfront that includes the apple-berry mix, tangerine, and some apricot and then it softens a bit. I think there's coconut underneath giving it a suggestion of sweetness. Yeah, definitely. I don't get bright "coconut" but there's some coconut there. Once swallowed, that passes and it dries, bringing out the cedar note that I was fearing ~ but fear not, it's not too strong and actually works really well. There's some caramel to the malt and it lingers a bit with some residual fruitiness, some earthiness, a touch of herbs, a dusting of spiciness, and the drying cedar. So, Double Nickel has proven me wrong, perhaps I do like Sabro hops! (To be honest, at this point I'm kind of remembering having maybe said the same thing about Sabro hops before, so there's that.) At this point the head has dropped to barely a surface covering although it remains basically solid, and the lacing is some of the best I've seen in a long time. A mainly complete sheet of fairly thick lace stretches from the surface of the liquid all the way up to where it began (2 1/2"), and wraps around the glass except for where I've been sipping from. It's medium bodied, and gently effervescent and tingly on the tongue before warming to become smoother and a little bit creamy. I think this may be one of the best beers I've ever had from Double Nickel, at least from a personal taste standpoint, and I'm questioning whether I'm being swayed in some way. This is my first beer of the day and it's only 7.4% ABV, and I haven't even finished it, so it's not the alcohol talking. Nor do I particularly like the design of this label (a phoenix in red, orange, black, and gold), although I'd never let something like that sway my mind about a beer anyway. No, I think I'm of sound mind and I'm saying that this is a great beer. It's got everything: hop resins, juicy fruitiness that's probably from both the hops and the yeast, a beautiful balance of gently sweet and lightly caramelish/biscuity malt and moderate bitterness, and a pleasant, lingering finish. It satisfies from the first whiff to the last sip (although I haven't actually gotten there yet). This is a little bit different than most of the hazy IPAs out there right now and I suggest you try to find some while you can. It's absolutely world class.