Pineapple Daze - 8.2% ABV
New England Double IPA, brewed with pineapple
Ghost Train Brewing Company (Birmingham, Alabama)
Hey everyone, I'm back. I accidentally skipped the whole month of February on this blog, but I promise it was for a good reason — I'm starting a podcast! I've spent the last few weeks strategizing, recording and sifting through the vast expanse of crappy royalty free music that exists on the internet. The podcast will be called No Rhyme or Refill, and it is going to center on beer (duh) and poetry. We're still in the beginning stages, but plan to launch at the end of March or early in April, and I will share all of the details here.
Now, for the beer.
Pineapple Daze was released last Wednesday (Feb. 27) by Ghost Train Brewing Co. here in Birmingham, and it first caught my eye because of the can art. It is brilliantly designed, looking just like a Dole pineapple can. The fact that it was a New England Double IPA that was supposed to take heavily of pineapple was also very attractive.
I tried my first of these beers fresh out of the fridge, and it was sweet with a super smooth mouthfeel, ending with a slight, dry-hopped bite. This time, however, I let it sit out for about 20 minutes before cracking open the can.
Pineapple Daze pours a hazy, nearly completely opaque pineapple juice yellow. You get a little head, about 3/4 of a centimeter in a Belgian Ale glass. This dissipates pretty quickly, with a little bit of lacing as you swirl around the glass.
The aroma of this beer is also pretty great. When you crack open the beer, there's a bit of tropical fruit, and it reminds me a lot of a pineapple scent that's been cut with a bite of bitterness. Ghost Train said there's a hint of tangerine in the aroma, but I don't get that quite as much. On this glass, however, the scent feels a little more toned down as compared to when I opened it fresh out of the fridge.
On your first small sip, the mouthfeel is really bubbly if it sits on your tongue for a bit. You get that lightness to the beer, and it feels pretty full bodied. You get the sweetness and a subtle hop on the tip of your tongue. This beer was dry-hopped twice with Nelson Sauvin, Azacca and Galaxy hops. Despite a promise to myself that I'd learn more about all the different hops that are out there, I didn't know much about these guys. I know a lot about Galaxy because I've seen those in plenty of Terrapin beers, the other two were pretty new to me. So I did some research, and hopefully y'all learn something too.
- Nelson Sauvin: A New Zealand hop that gives off smoother, rich flavors. There's gooseberry and white wine flavors in the profile, and I expect this helps mellow out the hop profile of this beer. The name comes from Sauvignon as is Sauvignon Blanc, so hopefully I can remember this flavor profile going forward.
- Azacca: Azacca is a U.S. hop that gives a lot of the "typical" IPA qualities. Tropical fruit aroma, notes of spicy mango, pineapple, tangerine and pine. On sips, I can definitely get the tangerine, and I think that pine comes through in really feeling the hop bite. I think of piney IPAs as the more bitter, almost harshly bitter, versions, but having the blend of hops seems to mellow those notes.
- Galaxy: An Australian hop that gives off citrus, peach and passionfruit aromas. I don't get the passionfruit or peach in this beer, but I think the citrus blends with Azacca to tie together the hop flavors.
On a larger sip, you get a lot more bitterness on this beer. The pine and spicy mango hits you a lot harder, but it's the good bitterness. It confirms you're drinking a Double IPA, even if the beer is hazy and sweeter. I'd recommend sipping this beer, first of all because it's 8.2% and you only need to drink one, but also because you get more of the fruitiness on those sips.
While I get the tropical quality of this beer and of its hops, I was disappointed to not get more pineapple-forward notes, especially because this beer was brewed with pineapple puree. I feel like the flavor would have been the same with or without the pineapple puree, and this beer seems to rely heavily on the flavors brought in from the hops.
That being said, it's a good beer. It's fun to explore the hops a bit, and it's a tasty NEIIPA that was perfect for a Monday night.
Overall rating: 3.5/5