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Nov 3, 2011 01:04 PM

One for the Hopheads!

Recently returned from a road trip back east. Enjoyed many a brew along the way, but one really stood out, and I am severely bummed there was none available for purchase to take back home.

When in the Hickory, NC area head for the Olde Hickory Tap Room and enjoy their Death By Hops. A really fine Double IPA... right up there with the favorites. If you are luckier than me they will have some in their cooler to go.

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  1. It's a great beer and I'm glad that it is local to me but, at 7% ABV, it is not a Double IPA.

    14 Replies
    1. re: brentk

      I tend to agree with you, and note that Tallgrass Oasis (KS) describes their Oasis as a double IPA/red ale or some such thing, and this one is 7.2% abv.

      I suppose there's some wiggle room in the definition (and I also suppose the Brewers Association defines it fairly precisely), but I would place that grey area up around 7.8 or 8, rather than the low 7's.

      1. re: Jim Dorsch

        SN Torpedo calls itself a Extra IPA. At 7.3 they felt it was in the grey area.

        1. re: Bobfrmia

          I had always taken the "Extra IPA" subtitle as an allusion to the beer's additional hopping process.

          Acme IPA, which I used to encounter on the west coast, had 7.2% ABV, precisely the same alcohol content as the Torpedo, and no one familiar with this brew ever suggested it was anything other than an IPA. (The brewers of Acme IPA have since brought the ABV down a touch.)

          1. re: Kenji

            I'm going from a post by Sierranevadabill on Beer advocate that stated
            "The Beer:
            Torpedo is in a grey area, somewhere between an IPA and a Double IPA...We are calling it Extra IPA...
            7.4% ABV
            IBU's in the high 70's to 80's"

            1. re: Bobfrmia

              Were they still tinkering with the beer at the time of that post, I wonder? Every bottle of Torpedo I've seen listed the ABV as 7.2%, while the website says the brew has 65 IBUs.

          2. re: Bobfrmia

            The brewers can call it whatever they want.
            There is no official designation for what constitutes Extra/Double/Imperial and what have you. These are _marketing terms_ that sometimes (but not always) suggest some vague meaning about what can be expected.

        2. re: brentk

          I usually consider 8% abv to be the dividing line, but other factors like malt density and "fullness" are also determinants.

          1. re: brentk

            So the term "double" is defined only by alcohol content? At 108+ IBUs Id say they can make the argument although if the body is really light then who knows. If you ask me these terms have become so limiting and meaningless theres no sense arguing about it. If Im a brewer I can call it whatever the F I feel like calling it. If hop heads think its too weak for the category then choosing to call it a double IPA may hurt my business. Although if I go the reverse route it may have a 'hell yeah' effect among the beer nerds ala Three Floyds insisting that Alpha King (70 IBU?) is simply a pale ale and not an IPA.

            1. re: Insidious Rex

              To me, the IBUs are not the primary determinant of whether a beer is an IPA or a Double IPA. According to the BJCP guidelines, an IPA ranges from 40-70 IBUs and the ABV range is from 5.5-7.5%. An Imperial (or Double) IPA's IBUs range from 60-120 but the ABV is from 7.5-10%.

              Note that there is crossover in the IBUs but the ABV has a clear demarcation.

              1. re: brentk

                The BJCP has to do with judging homebrew competitions, which has nothing to do with commercial applications. IIRC there are some English Old Ales that top out at 4.5%. Not what I would call an Old Ale, but I'm not the brewer

                1. re: niquejim

                  Thank you for that observation about the BJCP guidelines... I agree with you 100% and have been harping about the very same thing for years.
                  The BJCP _is_ and should be regarded as all about _homebrew_competition judging (which was the stated purpose when the guidelines were written).
                  But those same guidelines have little real meaning in the world of commercial beer.

            2. re: brentk

              Interesting... they bill it as such. I was not aware the designation was based on ABV. DBH definitely had that over-the-top, citrusy hop thing going on as found in the other DIPA's I prefer (Boulevard's Double Wide is my all time favorite).

              1. re: GroovinGourmet

                Death By Hops is based on a homebrew clone of Russian River's Pliny the Elder. I found DBH. There are lots of double ipas out there. I'm not sure what's distributed out by you. You might want to try Lagunitas Hop Stupid.

                1. re: Tom from Raleigh

                  I've enjoyed Hop Stupid. I think my favorite Cali DIPA is Firestone's Double Jack. We have some excellent DIPA's brewed right here in SLC... Squatter's Hop Rising and Red Rocks' Elephino. And Epic Brewery does a really nice Imperial IPA.