Dinner. Everybody’s favorite meal. There is nothing more satisfying than coming home after a long hard day and putting in the sweat equity to savor every bit of a well deserved dinner. You can have it out, BBQ it, bake it, fry it, sauté it, broil it, boil it, microwave it, or in this case, drink it. That’s what Maine Beer Company decided to do with their newest creation and their first Double IPA. Dinner is a sequel to Lunch, and if it’s anything like its little broda, it will certainly be a meal you will never skip. Let’s do the numbers…
Smell: Super juicy but also very dank as well. Tropical fruits galore with mangoes, pineapple, melon, grapefruit, oranges, and a whole ton of citrus. It’s like unwrapping all the Starburts and putting them in your mouth at the same time… awesome, sweet smell. The hop presence isn’t lost on the nose either with a pungent smell of earthy and dank hops towards the back end. Complex and terrific smell from Dinner… so sweet smelling that having it for dessert seems more appropriate.
Taste: This beer was bottled on May 21st, and I had it on May 27th… only 6 days old (in accordance to the warning label on the bottle…). That being said, the hops in this beer are the most discernible amongst all the flavors in the brew. A well defined bitterness gallops across the palate as you initially get a hold of this brew; the hop charge that you taste slowly transitions into citrus flavors (most notably grapefruit and orange rind). There is a bite towards the finish of the beer that is oddly similar to the spiciness (but not the flavor) you would find in a freshly diced onion, and as strange as that sounds, it sort of works with the beer. I suspect that that spiciness actually comes from the ABV in Dinner, which sort of gives itself away as the alcohol can not necessarily be tasted per se, but does tickle the throat a bit as you drink – 8.2% can be tough to mask. As the beer dwindles from your pint glass, the hops continue to be fairly dominant, yet it’s very inviting to come back to and it’s not like you’re trying to get down a pine tree. I’d guess a New Zealand variety of hops with some Cascade, Citra, or Centennial.
The malt in Dinner is virtually undetectable, but I bet that if you sat on this a little bit, it may add some sweetness to the beer. Carbonation is fine and mouthfeel is just a tad bit thicker than most IPAs, but pretty standard for many double IPAs. A very tasty beer indeed.
Overall: I have to say that Maine Beer Co. has another hit with Dinner and I give the brew a solid A. I feel that I’ve been spoiled recently with the IPAs I’ve been drinking, and Dinner is another one that can be chalked up on the top 5 list. Unfortunately, this beer is very tough to get your hands on and the availability of it kind detracts from the overall experience of drinking from the brew. Unless I’m in Freeport the day this is being sold, I will likely never have it again. However, I do feel that it’s better than Pliny and Heady Topper… not so sure if it tops Abrasive. If I ever had to request a last meal, it’d be Dinner.