Like the Capulets and Montagues, IPA lovers seem to divide into two separate camps that truly cannot find common ground. (They haven’t dueled to the death, yet.) There are those who are rabid for hazy, fruity, even milky New England-style IPAs—and there are those who hate them. I want to take each of their hands and bring them to the middle, reminding them that dear friends, it is 2018. We beer drinkers can have anything we want! You want tropical fruit aromas with some classic mandarin citrus flavor and a gently bitter but still dry finish? It exists, in a single beer!
I’d keep a few of Lone Tree’s Double IPA in the fridge because this 8 percent ABV beer combines the best of what I love about “juicy” new-school IPAs with the technical solidity of well-made classic versions. (Note: This beer was formerly named Hoptree IIPA.) I can’t imagine many hopheads not enjoying some aspect of this beer: Its sunny tropical aroma or its softly mint-and-orange hop flavor or its dry but not bracingly bitter finish.
It’s good-looking, too, with a soft haze, light orange color and moussey khaki-colored head that sticks around. The aroma is new-school: Orange marmalade and ripe mango dominate, layering over sweet mint, spruce, and chive. As the pour sits, my nose can pick up Cheeriolike malt scents underneath the hop tapistry. My boyfriend described it as smelling like “one of those bro-y juice beers,” which means he’s picking up the same mango-citrus-tropical vibe I’m getting.
The flavor is less tropical fruity and more in line with the onion-orange hop profile of classic IPAs. The same neutral cereal grain sweetness leads the sip before a swell of soft mint makes the hops’ presence known. That mintiness carries through to midsip before a flash of sweet white onion arrives on the scene. The swallow finishes with a clementine-like citrus note, but quickly dries out to a gently bitter full stop. If you, like me, sometimes crave an IPA on the less-bitter side that doesn’t taste as sugary as Tropicana, this is it.
So kudos to you, Lone Tree, for creating a beer that stands neutrally balanced in the ongoing juicy-versus-piney IPA debate. I salute your double IPA, the Switzerland we so desperately need.
All of Lone Tree’s canned beers are distributed widely throughout Colorado, and in select locations in Kansas and Nebraska. Special-release, 22-ounce bombers are only available in Colorado.
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