Drinking on a Monday is a short column where I share that one bottle that I open after the most dreadful of all weekdays.
There’s no debating how spoiled we are with IPA’s in California. I’m not sure I’ll ever have it as good again, with beers like Double Jack, Enjoy By and Pliny are standard fair and a beer like Mongo IPA from Port is considered underappreciated. But even with these heavy hitters, its the local offerings that really put us over the top. El Segundo and Beachwood BBQ are brewing some of the tastiest IPA’s on the market these days, and Noble Aleworks out of Anaheim is right at the top with them. While Noble’s ‘Shower’ single hop series gets them a lot of (rightful) attention, I’m always much more interested in how 2-3 varieties of hops bounce off each other, and the return of this award winning double IPA really shows that off.
Tongue Tickles Double IPA won first place at last year’s LA IPA Fest, and its one hell of a beer. Hopped with Galaxy, Citra and Simcoe, it follows in the great Noble IPA tradition of having just enough malt backbone to really lets those little cones of flavor shine. It avoids being syrupy in its malty-ness, which lesser DIPA’s can fall victim to. All three of the hops bring big tropical and citrusy flavor and aromas to the beer (think passionfruit, pineapple, grapefruit and melon), but the use of Simcoe adds that musky catbox quality that, while turning some beer drinkers off, balances out that fruitiness (and without too much of that onion-y flavor that Simcoe can also bring). There’s also a definite white wine character that likely comes from the Australian Galaxy and just enough dank resin to really make you feel it in your cheeks. Its an incredible ping-pong of amazing hop flavors, and kind of a master class for hop blending.
On a sort-of-related note, this weekend I grabbed a bottle of Noble’s Chinook Showers which I absolutely loved. Its great to see Noble using classic hops like Chinook in addition to the uber-cool hops like Nelson, Simcoe and El Dorado. The beer community sometimes gets so caught up in whats new and different it tends to forget that you can make fantastic IPA’s with hops that have been around for decades. I don’t imagine there’s many more bottles of Tongue Tickles kicking around town, but definitely grab any IPA from Noble if you can. Its always worth a purchase.