Two new IPAs from Drake’s Brewing Co., located just around the corner in San Leandro, California — both monster IPAs worth a look.
Drake’s Aroma Coma IPA – Atypical of IPA, with immediate coffee and gentian notes up front in the palate. It builds on that with dark caramel notes and an intense note of salted licorice that really attacks the palate on the finish. The typical citrus of IPA is missing here, replaced with a heavy earthiness and occasionally vegetal note that does not feel entirely IPA-like, but which, at least, changes the conversation around the beer style. 8% abv. B / $8 per 22 oz. bottle
Drake’s Aroma Therapy Triple IPA – An aggressive and equally unusual brew, this IPA includes rye and orange blossom honey and is massively dry-hopped with Citra, Nelson Sauvin, Motueka, and Idaho #7 varieties. Heavy with citrus notes and surprisingly sweet with honey, the intense bitterness is almost a requirement to make Aroma Therapy manageable. Perhaps, though, I have that backwards: Maybe it’s the sweetness that’s needed to balance out all the hops. Either way, the beer is a bruiser that offers notes of pungent gentian, roasted carrots, amaro-like licorice, and plenty of citrus peel to keep things dancing on the palate. Complex and worth exploring, it evolves considerably in the glass as it warms up. 11.3% abv. A- / $NA per 22 oz. bottle