I need to get a few more Oskar Blues brews on the resume. To date, I’ve had Dale’s Pale Ale, Old Chub and the pilsner. All very nice, but there’s quite a few heralded beers missing, and I’d like to change that. So Deviant Dale’s, an 8% ABV double IPA, caught my eye on account of the fact that it’s in a bigger can. Yep, call me a sucker. I’m that guy this beer was marketed to. Regardless, I have it now, so let’s take a look.
This one poured out with a slowly-building, off-white head, which built up a greater deal of foam than I was anticipating by the time it was over. Seemed a bit shy at first, but perked right up in the end. And a nice color we’ve got here, too. Ambery/orange appearance, a little coppery with just a bit of haze noticeable. You will be greeted by familiar notes once you start nosing about; grapefruit, orange and such, but there’s a hint of something a little more. Perhaps a bit of caramel tucked underneath that, but there’s a hint of something a little more herbal in a green, almost thyme-like way.
That peculiar herbal note fade once beer meets palate, but it’s for a good cause, because we’ve got a very, very well-balanced beer on our hands. As I’ve said before, my favorite double IPAs are usually doubled up on both hops and malt, not just hops. This one fits the bill. And it wastes absolutely no time. Up front, you get a nice whack of toffee and caramel, joined by all of those familiar American hop flavors; mostly pine and grapefruity citrus here, prickling the tongue through mid palate in a generous manner, but it’s all held in check for all of its bigness. It never quite crosses the sticky, resiny threshold. Instead each force is wrapped up in one another, leveling out the other. Big, yet balanced. The finish, while certainly bitter, leaves a lot more sweetness and hop-derived flavors sticking around.
The Verdict: Well worth trying, and if you’re into double IPAs, well worth making a part of your rotation. Would I choose it over Double Trouble? Probably not, but then again I wouldn’t choose any double IPA over Double Trouble. Still, this is quite good. Big and balanced.