Beer: Double Agent IPL
Brewer: Boston Beer Company (Sam Adams)
Style: India Pale Lager
Description: This fantastic beer from the Boston Beer Company, known by most of us as Sam Adams, is a combination of the hoppy IPA style and the smooth lager style. This combination creates a hoppy, crisp, smooth, and very drinkable beer. The beer itself pours a beautiful golden copper color with a thin white head that leaves a fine-looking lace on the glass. The aroma, oh the wonderful aroma, notes of grapefruit, tropical fruit, and a slight pine emanate from the glass, and this aroma lasts throughout the drinking experience. The first sip will bring about a strong malty sweetness, which quickly morphs into a wonderful citrus bitterness and then ends very dry and clean, exactly what you would want from any hoppy beer. The lager base for this beer gives it a great body on which to build the excellent hop varieties. This is truly a match made in heaven; the one negative is that it took so long to create this wonderful beer!
Food pairing: The combined characteristics of this beer make it very versatile with a wide variety of dishes. This could easily go well with all of your traditional summer foods; burgers, hot dogs, or chicken on the grill. A personal favorite of mine with this beer is a wonderfully smoked BBQ brisket; the caramel flavors from the meat and the sweetness of the malt combine for a beautiful experience in your mouth while the citrus hops add additional flavor and the moderate carbonation cleanses your palate for you to start the experience all over again with every bite. Looking for something a little different with this one, though? How about a delicious chicken Parmesan dinner! The lager base gives this beer enough heft to stand up to the thickest of sauces, while the hops character compliments the cheeses and chicken very well, and again, that wonderful carbonation cleanses the palate every time! This is a beer you can find your own combinations with, though, and try a wide variety of dishes, so be adventurous with this beer!
Is it worth trying? Without any hesitation, yes! This is just a fantastic beer to enjoy this spring/summer while sitting around the pool, at the bar, or a nice relaxing night on the porch with friends. The hops choices in this beer are all very well thought out and combine for a truly wonderful hoppy beer without being overly bitter, and its only real negative aspect is that it is too hard to put down. Yes, this beer truly is that good. Don't believe me? Then go try one for yourself!
Rating: W W W W V
Where can I get it? Currently available in bottles at: Exit 190 Beer & Deli, Dickson City; Krugel's Georgetown Deli & Beer, Wilkes-Barre; and Wegmans, Wilkes-Barre and Dickson City.
Remember, enjoy responsibly! Cheers!
-Derek Warren is a beer expert, avid homebrewer, and beer historian. Derek can be reached at NEPABeerGeek@gmail.com.