Alchemy Hour: The Dr. Jekyll of GLBC’s Double IPAs
It’s the time of year when there are so many great India Pale Ales and Double India Pale Ales out there that I just can’t decide what to order. I was a bit surprised to see the release of Alchemy Hour by Great Lakes Brewing Company. This is a DIPA that is out just before their regular seasonal release of Lake Erie Monster. Now that I’ve had it, I hope GLBC continues to have room in their calendar of seasonals to include both of these wonderful beers.
The first impression I get with the Alchemy Hour is the beer’s cleanliness. It is a much more reserved beer than the Monster. The Mosaic and Cascade hops come through as a citrusy and complex blend that remind me of the IPA styles of the Northwest – crisp and just a bit earthy. This is a malty brew for the style, and it comes across as quite sweet. Though a bit strange at first, it really just works together. The sweetness combines well with the hops and lends to this brew’s refined character.
One of the best DIPAs I’ve had, the four-packs that I picked up at the grocery store are having trouble staying put. I do hope a couple bottles of this stick around long enough for me to have a side-by-side comparison with Lake Erie Monster. My memory tells me that the Monster is more unrefined than the Alchemy Hour. Where the Alchemy Hour tends to highlight cleanliness and clarity, the Monster is much more complex and earthy. Hops are more pine than citrus, and Lake Erie Monster has a haze that practically says, “We don’t need no stinkin’ filter!” Still, with either brew you will be getting a first-class DIPA.