So the idea to create this blog post came from Gregory Nagel at OCBeerBlog. A mutual homebrew club member had mentioned that the new Tongue Tickles should be deemed the “Knuckle Killer” and that sparked the conversation of all the West Coast DIPA’s that had just released in the recent weeks. While over at OCBeerBlog, KS, TT and Better Weather were compared together, here i am replacing Better Weather for Enjoy By, as that was deemed to be the missing West Coast DIPA needed for this true battle. In true battle fashion, i had my girlfriend pour my glasses and take all my photos so i did not know what it was i was drinking. These to my knowledge are all fresh offerings, with Enjoy By and Tongue Tickles being released this week, and my growler of Knuckle Sandwich having been filled last week during the release. So we are talking a time frame of a week here, possibly two from bottling date. So the following is my blind tasting notes, later adjusted to the proper beer when matched after my notes were taken.
Enjoy By: The lightest in color also has the dankiest aroma but the palate was a bit more smooth rounded drink lacking a crisp finish compared to several of its previous versions. Real slick on the mouthfeel with a strong and very pungent sharp hop characteristic nice and oily. This was probably the least appealing on the aroma of the three for me, but i suppose if you are into that big danky oil like hop character this would be your favorite. This version of the Enjoy By is very easy to drink in comparison to the others.
Tongue Tickles: A shade slightly darker by a hair than Enjoy By, but more of a nice balanced Imperial Style with strong notes of tropical fruits; pineapple, mango and other passion fruits. The mouthfeel is a little bit lighter and a very crisp allowing the hops to really power through. Great bitterness lingering on the finish the Galaxy hops stand out like an english IPA trying to be west coast; this really is impactful. Though not as pungent as the Enjoy By, this really takes the best from the hops and makes it work.
Knuckle Sandwich: On appearance alone this is clearly the darkest, and that coincides with the fact that beer is also the maltiest of the three. Big caramel notes stand out, but are muddles by the IPA tropical characteristics. The first thing that pops into my mind is a pineapple upside down cake. In my opinion this beer over the years has fallen from grace. Though I think it has been said that the recipe never changes, i feel as if the quality or maybe ratios in which the beer has been made has changed over the years. The hops are clearly present and this is a better Knuckle Sandwich than the previous, but still nowhere near what they were in their days of youth.
So what does it come down to? These beers are really preference based, all beers are good and none of these beers are what you would say bad by any means. However personally to me,I feel as if one beer stands out over the rest in balance, taste, and just overall impression; Tongue Tickles from Noble Ale Works. It really just came out of the bull pen and it came out swinging hard against two big hard hitter with well known reputations. It is almost as if Noble Ale Works knew they had to impress right off the bat, and they knocked it out of the park. This is definitely worth picking up while it is still available, on tap or in bottle and the Champion of these Fresh West Coast DIPA’s.
Is there a beer out there and easily accessible for me to obtain in the Southern California Region? Let me know and ill do my best to obtain it and share my thoughts with you! Just leave a comment or contact me at [email protected]
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