Food, Beer, and Travel

a dump from the mind of Jon Piper

Posts Tagged ‘Three Floyds Brewery’

Dreadnaught IPA

Posted by jwpiper on February 1, 2009

I’ve had this several times since the side-by-side with Pliny the Elder. I’ve since decided that my original impressions of this beer were not fair. This has taught me not to taste a beer for the first time side-by-side with another excellent beer. Back-to-back perhaps, but all by itself is best. While I have a leaning towards dry, minimally sweet IPAs, this beer is an excellent example of the other style, often referred to as East Coast, though some of the best examples are brewed in the Midwest. I would never call this beer a good value, because in all honesty, the price is pretty ridiculous. But it is delicious. This will be the intersection of several tasting notes in each case the beer was poured at cellar temperature (~55 degrees) or just cooler into a snifter.
Appearance
4.5
Pours a medium orange-amber color and clear. Nice 3cm white head.
Smell
4.5
The citrus is better described as lemon and oranges than grapefruit. Not orange peels, like some hopped beers, but oranges. Malt sweetness.
Taste
4.5
Very nice orangy sweet flavor. Not overly bitter, and the bitterness on the finish is carried and accompanied well by the sweetness.
Mouthfeel
4
Thick, creamy, and smooth without being chewy. Medium bodied, and not dry. Not as clean or dry as I prefer in a big IPA.
Drinkability
4
Very much a sipper. Mouthfeel slows you down. ABV not as well hidden as
Founders Double Trouble or Bell’s Hopslam. Not a refreshing thirst quencher.
Overall
4.4
The Dreadnaught is right on par with the excellence of Bell’s Hopslam. An excellent beer which actually serves to show one of the ways that Hopslam is so excellent – the light honey sweetness rather than the heaver malt sweetness. Definitely among my favorite big IPAs. Though, in reality, this is no more available to me than is Pliny the Elder.
Price
$12/22oz. Come on, this is still ridiculous. A good beer, but not that good.

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Alpha Klaus

Posted by jwpiper on January 10, 2009

Thanks to Matt C., I acquired quite a few of these while I was last in Chicago, and they were recently delivered, along with some Three Floyds Dreadnaught IPA. I’ve been impressed with the Three Floyds lineup which isn’t distributed locally, so I went into this tasting with pretty high hopes. Split at cellar temperature from a 22oz bottle into snifters.
Appearance
4.5
Dark black with an off-white head which turns quickly into a thin layer.
Smell
3.5
Coffee is the dominant aroma, with other warm roasted malts, a floral hop note, and a slight sourness.
Taste
4
This turns out to be a somewhat classic, light-bodied, coffee, smokey porter. Not quite as special as I was hoping, but still good. My wife, who knew what was coming next, immediately set it down figuring it wasn’t worth the calories. My reaction wasn’t nearly that strongly negative – but I like a porter.
Mouthfeel
3.5
Light, with high carbonation. A little mouth-coating, but minor.
Drinkability
4
Easy drinking, though not terribly interesting.
Overall
3.95
There are several other porters I’d much rather drink. Somewhat of a letdown.
Price
$9/22oz. Tough to think of this as a decent value given the availability of better porters for a fraction of the price.

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Pliny the Elder vs Dreadnaught

Posted by jwpiper on January 10, 2009

Lately, I’ve relished the opportunity to taste excellent examples of a style side-by-side. While it is fun to compare two beers which have long been favorites, it’s also a way to emphasize potentially subtle flavors and really distill what makes a particular beer special.

Given their limited and non-overlapping distribution, such a comparison between Russian River Pliny the Elder and Three Floyds Dreadnaught IPA would be quite difficult. Fortunatley, I’ve been to both breweries recently, so I have on hand reasonably fresh examples of both. Both rated among the best DIPA/IIPA’s in the world (and indeed among the best beers in the world), this tasting was greatness in the making. Each bottle was poured at about 50 degrees and split between two 500ml krugs.

In the end, Dreadnaught had a much fuller, richer, heavier malt profile. Pliny was much more floral and citrus on the nose and palate. Pliny was cleaner, drier, and more refreshing. When going from Pliny to Dreadnaught, the offering from Three Floyds felt sticky and and didn’t have nearly the strength or aroma or hop flavor. It emphasized the malt profile and even brought out a little roasted and nutty flavors. The transfer from Dreadnaught to Pliny made the piney and grapefruit peel notes dance on the tongue and tickle the nostrils.

Another worthy comparison was suggested by the impressions of these two beers: Dreadnaught vs Buckeye ’76. That tasting will be forthcoming – just as soon as I can get my hands on some more fresh ’76.

Matt C. and I both found the Pliny to be a much more satisfying IPA. Pliny the Elder just continues to amaze.

Russian River Pliny the Elder

Appearance
5
Pours a wonderful orangish-yellow with a thick head which is retained for quite some time. Pillowy off-white head which leaves foamy rings as the beer is enjoyed.
Smell
5
The aroma is amazing – so much floral hops, with citrus and pine. Some fruit, but its dominated by the hop profile.
Taste
4.5
The flavor too is very hoppy and floral with just enough malt backbone which is in no way sweet… seems to be there just to balance. As the flavor dissipates, the bitterness catches up – it’s there, but not dominant. There is citrus fruit on the palate as well it lasts all the way through. It makes the bitter end taste like grapefruit rind/pith. A very clean, balanced flavor.
Mouthfeel
4.5
The beer is well carbonated and very clean feeling. Clean, dry, and light on the palate.
Drinkability
5
This is an incredibly drinkable beer. It’s quite enjoyable after a day’s work in the yard, and it’s perfect for an introspective evening of beer enjoyment.
Overall
4.75
Truly one of the finest of one of my favorite styles.
Price
$4.50/500ml. An excellent value for this quality beer. If you can get it, do.

Three Floyds Dreadnaught IPA

Appearance
4
A darker beer than Pliny the Elder, also with a nice thick head on the pour.
Smell
4
A lesser floral and citrus profile. The citrus is better described as lemon than grapefruit. The aroma is much more subdued. A definite East Coast (er, I suppose non-West Coast) IPA.
Taste
4
Much sweeter, but still in the IPA range. The bittering hops don’t bring as pleasant a flavor, but perhaps it’s not fair to review this beer while comparing to Pliny the Elder. It does have a nice and much stronger malt backbone.
Mouthfeel
4
Thick, creamy, and smooth without being chewy. Medium bodied, and not dry.
Drinkability
4
The malts are thick and the taste is heavy, which forces a sipping approach. Not a thirst-quencher.
Overall
4
Overall, this is a very good beer. It does not fare well against Pliny, but in its own right is quite good.
Price
$12/22oz. This turns out to be a very expensive beer, and it’s tough to think of it as worth it, especially side-by-side with a better beer which is half the price. It’ll be interesting to see how it stacks up against Buckeye ’76 which is more in the same style and even less expensive than the Pliny.

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