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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Beer of the Week: Drake's Abominably Jolly is a Perfect Winter Seasonal for California

Posted By on Thu, Dec 5, 2013 at 11:00 AM

click to enlarge drakes_abominably_jolly_imperial_white_ipa_label.jpg

In case you missed it, IPAs are pretty popular. That wallop of hoppy goodness has come to epitomize American craft brewing, and so much so that we've bastardized (in a good way) the style over and over again. Double IPAs, Wet-Hopped IPAs, Belgian IPAs, India Pale Lagers...if you can imagine it, it probably exists. One of the newer iterations is the Black IPA (aka American Black Ale, aka Cascadian Dark Ale, aka Whatever You Want To Call It). As it turns out, roasty + hoppy meshes quite nicely. As a natural reaction to that, the "White IPA" was born.

See also: Beer of the Week: El Segundo Hop Tanker

Beer of the Week: Speakeasy Payback Coffee Porter

Firestone Walker XVII

Generally speaking, a White IPA is aggressively hopped like an IPA, but brewed with wheat and occasionally spiced like a Belgian Witbier. Not to be outdone, local hop savants Drake's Brewing have upped the ante with Abominably Jolly, an imperial white IPA. Given the abominable snowman on the label and the 9.5% alcohol content, you might expect a heavier, warming brew. What Drake's has created, however, is quite the opposite.

The large amount of wheat in the brew lends a hazy appearance and grainy flavor reminiscent of a German Hefeweizen, but that's where the comparisons end. The dominant aroma and flavor is from the combination of New Zealand and American hops that create a punchy, bright, citrusy aroma. This is a beer that warms you by way of pure sunshine rather than heavy booze. Flavors of kumquat and freshly squeezed tangerine juice liven up the palate and give way to notes of green melon. We'd be hard pressed to imagine a more appropriate winter seasonal for California -- sunny but crisp.

Drake's Abominably Jolly is currently available at better beer stores throughout the Bay Area. Space heater and furry slippers sold separately.

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