Beer: DirtWolf Double IPA
Brewer: Victory Brewing Company
Style: American Double/Imperial IPA
Description: DirtWolf pours a slightly hazy gold color with a creamy white head that dissipates to leave a nice collar on the beer with a hefty lacing on the glass. The aroma is an intense punch of hops, leaning more towards the herbal and floral notes of the hop bouquet with some citrus on the back end. Sweet bready malts also make an arrival, blending in with the hops perfectly. The taste also packs a huge hop punch and is decidedly more bitter than the aroma may have led on. Up-front pine and grapefruit hops bring about slightly tropical perceptions before the more earthy hops wash over the palate, quickly chased by the sweet malts before a long dry finish leaves a bit of floral hops and some pineapple on the palate. DirtWolf is definitely an imperial IPA, but make no mistake, as this is decidedly well-balanced, which is not a surprise when it comes to a beer from Victory. The medium body and moderate carbonation gives DirtWolf an almost juicy character with the hop bouquet. DirtWolf is another world-class beer from a world-class brewery.
Food pairing: DirtWolf practically begs for Thai food; the hop notes are a perfect match for chilies and makes for an extremely enjoyable pairing. This is also a perfect match with bold Mexican dishes, such as fajitas, quesadillas, or cheese enchiladas, if you are trying to blunt the aggressive hops. However, if you are feeling more like an afternoon or evening of enjoying some sports on TV or a great movie, order yourself a pepperoni pizza and crack open a bottle of DirtWolf. Many will argue that any beer can go with pizza, but when you find the right combination of beer and pizza, you know that statement is no longer true, and DirtWolf paired with pepperoni pizza, or any other topping if that isn’t your thing, is a fantastic and simple pairing!
The final word: Victory made its mark in the hoppy beer world with HopDevil and the brewery has not looked back since; it continues to improve on its great beers, and DirtWolf is no exception. It packs a huge hop punch but may still be approachable to those new to the IPA style, though with a slight bit of caution for those newbies. However, hop lovers certainly have found a new best friend in DirtWolf. Another fantastic feature about this beer is that it will be making an appearance at the inaugural Beer Geek Festival happening at Slocum Hollow Lodge on Montage Mountain on April 12 from 3 to 7 p.m., and if that is not enough, a second, slightly altered variation of DirtWolf will be making an appearance as well, but you need to attend to see just what that version of DirtWolf has to offer.
Rating: W W W W V
Where can I get it? Available in 12-ounce bottles at: What’s Brewing 6 Pack Ale Shop, Old Forge; Sabatini’s Pizza, Wyoming; Krugel’s Georgetown Deli & Beer, Wilkes-Barre; and Exit 190 Beer Deli, Dickson City. Available on draft at Arena Bar and Grill, Wilkes-Barre.
Remember, enjoy responsibly! Cheers!
-Derek Warren is a beer fanatic, avid homebrewer, and beer historian. Derek can be heard weekly on the Beer Geeks Radio Hour on 102.3 FM Saturdays at 10 a.m.