Considering I am not that big of an IPA fan, I have done a lot of Imperial IPAs. For this post, I am covering the Starr Hill Double Platinum.
At 8.6% ABV, the Double Platinum is actually a very reasonable Imperial IPA, with the high end of the style topping out around 11% ABV. As would be expected, the hops are right upfront and in your face. If you are a hop head, definitely go for this one. It is very citrusy and has an almost sticky bitterness to it. In a very balanced American IPA, the malt guides the hops through the entire taste, start to finish. In the Double Platinum, the hops are the guide. The. Whole. Time. It was actually fairly balanced, but I couldn't fight my way around the hops to get to the malt underneath.
I realize at this point, it sounds like I don't really like the beer, but I actually thoroughly enjoyed it. The mixture of hops and booze in an unbalanced Imperial IPA is a turn off for me, but Starr Hill did a great job of only letting the hops and malts speak on their behalf, keeping the booze only in undertones. I'm sorry that I don't have more in-depth analysis of the taste, but this one was in a long line of beers that I tasted with my brothers. I'm frankly surprised that I remember this much.
Starr Hill is actually a really nice brewery. I am not entirely sure where the distribution spans, but I do know that it is available at least from Virginia (where it is based) to New York (where I can find it from time to time in my local watering hole). If you see one, give it a shot. They are generally pretty damn good.
Glassware: Pint, Tulip
Synonym Beer: Dogfish Head Burton Baton
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