We've heard about Marin Brewing Company and read several mouth-watering reviews of their beer, but we haven't been able to lay our hands on a bottle where we live. This bottle was smuggled to us in a friend's luggage, and boy oh boy, were we excited to finally get a taste!
Beer Details: White Knuckle Double IPA from Marin Brewing Company in California. (8% ABV)
Appearance: This poured a very lovely hazy apricot color with a half-inch head of soft, pillowy foam. We seriously wanted to dip a finger in and lick a mouthful of that foam! The head dissipated after a few minutes, but lacing clung to the glass all the way down.
Aroma: Spicy citrus hops hit us over the head right off the bat, just as we'd expect from a double IPA. Underneath the hop bomb, we detected a honey maltiness and sweet floral notes.
Taste: The hops were definitely present in the flavor in a big way, but we thought they were more nuanced and varied than other doubles we've tried. Instead of simply tasting "bitter," we tasted notes of pineapple, grapefruit, and orange. This mellowed into some sweeter apricot (and maybe even peach?) flavors with a caramel-honey backbone. There was a refreshing pine flavor throughout, and the orange pith finish was long and lingering.
This beer had a thick and slightly effervescent mouthfeel, almost like a smoothie. It coated the entire mouth and hit every taste bud. The alcohol is well-hidden in the flavor, but we could feel it spreading warmth through the belly and throat.
Food Pairings: This is a great beer with food. We had it with roasted chicken and roasted root vegetables, but it would be equally at home with grilled steak, seafood, or even a hearty dinner salad. Its flavors stand up well to rich foods while not overwhelming every bite.
Have you had this beer? What do you think of it?
(Image: Emma Christensen)