For this installment of Tasting Notes, we feed our need for hops by getting into a few cans of Alpha Abstraction Double IPA – Vol. 9 from Wild Leap Brew Co. (LaGrange, Georgia).
Released in mid-October to “[follow] in the juicy footsteps of its predecessors” in Wild Leap’s experimental Double IPA series, Alpha Abstraction – Vol. 9 is a Hazy Double India Pale Ale that has been double dry-hopped with Michigan Chinook hops, a Midwest varietal of the Chinook hop that is typically grown on the West Coast. These hops have a “new, distinct taste” that lends this beer “the sweetness of pineapple . . . paired with a tart grapefruit bite.” Alpha Abstraction – Vol. 9 clocks in at 8% ABV and 46 IBUs.
Like all releases in the Alpha Abstraction Series, this Limited Release offering was made available in 6-packs of 12 oz. cans and on draft at select craft beer-focused establishments located within Wild Leap’s distribution footprint in Georgia.
Alright . . . now that we have provided a brief overview of Alpha Abstraction – Vol. 9’s background info, let’s get into these Tasting Notes and see how these Michigan Chinook hops carry this brew!
Tasting Notes for Alpha Abstraction – Vol. 9 from Wild Leap Brew Co.
Appearance: This Double IPA pours a burnished orange in color and is capped with over two fingers of creamy, bright white foam. When held to direct light, the color holds but bright beams of yellow do push through at the edges of the glass. The beer is super hazy, but a bit of carbonation can still be seen meandering about within. Head retention is quite good, falling slowly to a lasting half finger that absolutely saturates the glass with lace.
Aroma: Punchy levels of pine, spice and just pure dankness great the nose, providing a nostalgic sense of more old school, West Coast-style DIPAs. Things then shift gears to the more Juicy DIPA side as sweet pineapple and citrus turn up. Those juicy notes are further supported by a fair amount of nondescript malt sweetness that surfaces on the back end.
Taste: Big notes of grapefruit, orange and tangerine take the lead here. These notes are not overly bitter or tart, they just supply plenty of sweet citrus flavor with an added kick of sharpness. Pine resin enforces that sharpness a bit, but it is not at all heavy handed. Sweet pineapple, papaya and grains then engulf the experience with a burst of lasting sweetness.
Mouthfeel: Medium in body with a medium carbonation, this brew has a good weight to it and is nice and velvety on the palate. The balance here is impeccable, and the overall experience dries up nicely, is ridiculously easy drinking, and is devoid of any hop burn. The ABV reads much lighter than 8% and does not offer any heat at all. The aftertaste is all pine and pineapple.
Final Thoughts: By focusing on Michigan Chinook hops in Alpha Abstraction – Vol. 9, Wild Leap has created another memorable Double IPA that is a good mix of new and old. The aroma carries plenty of memories of old school hops and West Coast-style IPAs (even with the amount of sweetness present) while the flavor fully embraces the Juicy/Hazy Double IPA style by offering plenty of sweet pineapple and citrus laced with just the right amount of pine. Factor in the beer’s high level of drinkability, and Alpha Abstraction – Vol. 9 comes together to be just about everything you could possibly want from a modern IPA/DIPA. This beer’s availability window has all but closed, so be sure to give it a try while you still have the chance. Prost!