Saturday, February 27, 2010

242. Three Floyds Dreadnaught Imperial IPA

In our never-ending quest for beer nirvana, we’ve decided to embrace Three Floyds “It’s Not Normal” mantra. Dreadnaught marks our third Three Floyds beer; we’ve previously rolled through Black Sun Stout and Blackheart IPA. We grabbed this when we were down in Louisville, and we took it over to record night at our friend Jeffery’s and Tracey’s. My one mission for the evening was to make sure that everyone had to listen to my single of 19 by Paul Hardcastle. Mission accomplished. Yes, I bought it when it came out. And I still have it. It is that awesome.

Dreadnaught pours a lightly hazy copper, although it is almost more gold than copper. The head is thin and white, and the nose is dominated by hoppiness—there are citrus, floral, and grassy aromas—with just a touch of malt in the background. The front opens with a soft malt sweetness that has bits of breadiness and biscuit before moving into the big hoppy middle; there are fruity and citrus hop flavors all over the place as well as some citrus fruitiness before the bitterness starts to kick in. Dreadnaught finishes bitter and sweet—there is a nice lingering bitterness mixed with citrus and light grassy flavors than sit well on the tongue. The body is medium and so is the carbonation; while the beer starts soft, the carbonation picks up in the final third, finishing rather bright and sparkly on the mouth. There is also a fair amount of tongue curling in the back of the mouth from the big bitterness, although the bright citrus does minimize it a bit. The bitterness also helps covers over any potential alcohol warmth; a bit did emerge when the beer got warmer, but even then in very minimal amounts. Overall an excellent and very drinkable Imperial IPA—Dreadnaught is smooth enough that it would be hard to peg it as an Imperial without the prior knowledge. We just wish that Three Floyds would hurry up and get that distribution deal going in Ohio so we could drink their beer all the time.

From the Three Floyds website: “A hophead’s dream beer. This Imperial India Pale Ale has an opening salvo of mango, peach and citrus hop aromas that sit atop a pronounced caramel malt backbone. Although Dreadnaught is a strong and intensely hoppy ale, its complex flavor is both smooth and memorable.”

ABV: 9.5%
IBU: 99


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