In order to be considered a beer, the liquid in your bottle (or can) must contain water, barley, yeast, and, of course, hops. While we understand that every ingredient is important to the overall finished product, we’re most interested in the hops today. The floral, earthy, herbal, piney aromas they give off and the dank, resinous, sometimes bitter flavor they impart are the basis for many a beer.

“The more hops the better” is a mantra that has grown a little dated but it certainly spurred on the craft beer revolution. It also led to a whole boatload of truly excellent IPAs. And double IPAs!

Also known as imperial IPAs, these ramped-up IPAs are loaded with more malts and even more hops than their single IPA brethren. This results in an over-the-top IPA well suited for winter drinking with its sweet, toasted malt, caramel backbone, and bold hop flavor. Oh yeah, it’s also higher in alcohol by volume than its classic counterpart and who wouldn’t want to spend winter drinking an IPA with a little extra kick to it?

Today we picked up eight great double IPAs at the local craft beer shop and ranked them based on flavor and aroma. Keep scrolling to see which double IPAs you should flood your fridge with this season.

8) Lagunitas Maximus

Lagunitas Maximus
Lagunitas

ABV: 9%

Average Price: $11 for a six-pack

The Beer:

With a name like Maximus, you can assume this is a bold, big IPA. It’s 9% ABV and loaded with malted wheat, Munich, and Crystal malts. It gets its spicy, floral, piney flavor from the addition of Cascade and Simcoe hops.

Tasting Notes:

It smells like yeast, toasted barley, pineapple, grapefruit, and bright pine. Decent nose, but nothing to write home about for such a high ABV IPA. The palate is more of the same with caramel malts, citrus peels, and dank pine. The finish is dry and bitter. It’s a decent beer, it’s just a little heavy for an everyday IPA.

Bottom Line:

Maximus is just as it seems. An in-your-face IPA that has a little too much of everything for many drinkers. Still, it’s guaranteed to warm you up on a cold night.

7) Widmer Deadlift

Widmer Deadlift
Widmer

ABV: 8.6%

Average Price: $10 for a six-pack

The Beer:

The name is a reference to Atlas having to “deadlift” the world after stealing hops from the gods. While we don’t know if this story is actually of the Greek myths, we do know this Alchemy, Cascade, Nelson Sauvin, and Willamette hopped beer is truly epic.

Tasting Notes:

Toasted malts, caramel, tropical fruits, orange peels, and floral hops are prevalent on the nose. The palate starts off fairly malt-heavy before moving into tangerine, grapefruit, tropical fruits, and dank pine. The finish is dry and lightly bitter.

Bottom Line:

While we’d grab this beer any day of the week (especially in the winter), it leans a little too heavily into the malt flavor than we’d prefer.

6) Dust Bowl Therapist

Dust Bowl Therapist
Dust Bowl

ABV: 10.4%

Average Price: $20 for a four-pack of 16-ounce cans

The Beer:

This big, bad double IPA is over 10% ABV and over 100 IBUS (international bittering units). Even with that, it’s surprisingly drinkable with aromas and flavors of sweet malts and floral, citrus, and tropical fruit-forward hops.

Tasting Notes:

The nose is a mix of mango, peach, pineapple, grapefruit, tangerine, caramel malts, and light pine needles. The palate is a great mix of sweet malts, citrus peels, mangos, guava, and floral, herbal pine. The finish is bitter and hoppy. It’s a well-balanced beer, but it won’t knock your socks off in terms of overall flavor.

Bottom Line:

For the high ABV and IBUS, this is still a surprisingly easy-drinking IPA well-suited for winter weather. It’s just a little by the book for our liking.

5) Flying Dog The Truth

Flying Dog The Truth
Flying Dog

ABV: 8.7%

Average Price: $13 for a six-pack

The Beer:

The truth is…the is a pretty tasty double IPA. This 8.7% ABV IPA was brewed with Munich malts and malted wheat as well as Warrior, Summit, Citra, Columbus, and Amarillo hops. It’s known for its mix of fruit and pine.

Tasting Notes:

Meyer lemon, pineapple, tangerine, peach, and floral hops make for a promising nose. The palate starts with some toasted malts before moving on to more peach, pineapple, grapefruit, and dank, resinous pine. The finish is a mix of sweet fruit and bitter hops.

Bottom Line:

This is a well-balanced, memorable double IPA. While it’s not for everyone, it’s definitely a great beer for the tropical fruit and citrus crowd. It’s like a respite from the winter rather than a cold weather enhancer.

4) Squatters Hop Rising Double IPA

Squatters Hop Rising Double IPA
Squatters

ABV: 9%

Average Price: $10 for a six-pack

The Beer:

This year-round 9% ABV double IPA gets its point across right on the can — with its brewmaster hoisting a pitchfork featuring a massive hop. Brewed with Bravo, Cascade, and Columbus hops, it’s known for its aromatic and flavorful use of hops.

Tasting Notes:

A nose of caramel malts, cereal grains, tangerine, grapefruit, clover honey, berries, and herbal pine gets you amped to sip this beer. Drinking it reveals notes of caramel, toasted malts, wet grass, berries, straw, pineapple, grapefruit, and dank, resinous hops. The finish is a pleasant mix of caramel malts and bitter, herbal hops.

Bottom Line:

Seek this beer out. It’s a great example of a classic double IPA done right. There isn’t too much of anything and all the flavors work well together. A great beer for a frigid winter evening.

3) Troegs Double Blizzard

Troegs Double Blizzard
Troegs

ABV: 8.3%

Average Price: $15 for a four-pack of 16-ounce cans

The Beer:

This winter seasonal is eagerly awaited by double IPA fans because of its kettle use of Chinook, Centennial, and El Dorado hops before being dry-hopped with a massive blizzard of Galaxy and Chinook hops. The result is a bold, hazy, hop-fueled banger of a beer.

Tasting Notes:

There’s a ton of citrus on this beer’s nose. Tangerine, lemon, and grapefruit throughout as well as light caramel malts and a nice kick of dank pine. The palate starts with some sweet malts and winds its way into wet grass, pineapple, grapefruit, orange zest, lemongrass, and a healthy dose of floral earthy, resinous pine at the finish.

Bottom Line:

It’s boozy, citrusy, and overall delicious. This is the kind of warming double IPA that you’ll want to sip after a long winter’s day.

2) Bell’s Hopslam

Bell’s Hopslam
Bell’s

ABV: 10%

Average Price: $18 for a six-pack

The Beer:

There aren’t many winter IPAs more eagerly awaited than Bell’s Hopslam. Usually only available from January into the spring (although it’s been released earlier in recent years), this popular beer is brewed with six different hops before being dry-hopped with Simcoe hops.

Tasting Notes:

A nose of honeydew melons, pear, caramel malts, honey, citrus peels, and pine greets you before your first sip. The palate is highlighted by more caramel malts, honey, pineapple, mango, tangerine, grapefruit, and spicy, herbal, dank pine at the end. The finish is bitter but very pleasing.

Bottom Line:

This is a complex beer. It ticks all the double IPA boxes but really shines because of the caramel and honey sweetness tempering the bright hop flavors. All of these flavors make it an epic winter beer.

1) Victory Dirtwolf

Victory Dirtwolf
Victory

ABV: 8.7%

Average Price: $12 for a six-pack

The Beer:

We’re not sure what exactly a dirt wolf is, but this beer is howling with fresh hop aroma and flavor. This 8.7% ABV double IPA is brewed with Pilsner and Pale Crystal malts. It gets its hop presence from Citra, Simcoe, Mosaic, and Chinook hops.

Tasting Notes:

Complex aromas of caramel, toasted malts, orange peels, lemon, grass, mango, pineapple, and resinous, floral hops start things off on the right foot. Sipping it brings forth notes of sweet honey, caramel, mango, guava, pineapple, tangerine, grapefruit, and a forest of pine needles. The finish is a gentle mix of malts and bitter hops.

Bottom Line:

Sweet malts, citrus, juicy tropical fruits, and a nice, crisp, dry, lightly bitter finish. What more could you ask for in a wintry double IPA?

Source: https://uproxx.com/life/double-ipas-perfect-for-winter-ranked/