Can you imagine a 26,000 pound behemoth charging at you with hate in his eyes? Now imagine he has 30 of his friends hanging around him. Thoughts like that make me grateful that I live in an age post Jurassic Park. How in God’s name did anything other than a dinosaur survive on this planet when they were roaming around? Out of respect, or perhaps pure fear, Oregon based Ninkasi Brewing Company decided to pay homage to these ravishing beasts by brewing a larger than life Double IPA called Tricerahops. Standing at 22 ounces and full of booze, it’s time to unleash the wrath of Tricerahops. Let’s run them numbers.
Appearance: Amber in color with an off-white head that lasted for a while. A darker IPA would signify a malty IPA, so I’m curious to see if this West Coast brew has an East Coast flavor. On the second pour, some schmeg came out of the bottle and I had some floaties lingering.
Smell: Malt forward, spicy, sweet bread, some pine and a pinch of citrus from the hops. The smell doesn’t surprise me given the colr.
Taste: Similar to the nose with the malts landing the first punch. The grain in here is not excessive, but it’s definitely the thing I notice most. It’s quite similar to the spent grain smell that engulfs you when visiting a brewerey – a little sweet, a little roasty. It almost reminds me of a roasted butternut squash with a light, distinguishable, charred, and refreshing taste. The hops in here are rather tame considering this brew’s wicked cool name; they lean towards the piney and resinous side like a standard East Coast IPA. However, the hops in here are true to the Pacific Northwest. If you’re expecting a pineapple, grapefruit, mango bomb, then you might be searching for a while with this beer. You do get some elements of those flavors long after you swallow, but the come and go faster than a one night stand.
The pineyness from the hops complements the grain and the alcohol in this brew. At 8% ABV, it stands out and is most identifiable when you first start drinking Tricerahops. As you get though the first pour, the flavors meld together like a melting pot of harmony. Everything just works in this beer. The mouthfeel is a bit on the thicker side – this DIPA has the body of a Triceratops. Carbonation is OK, a bit on the flatter side for my tastes, but it doesn’t take much away from the beer. I think more bubbles could have cut through the thicker body, but that’s just my two cents.
Overall: Tricerahops drank very smoothly. Ninkasi wasn’t afraid to feature the malt in this brew, and for me, the sweetness from the grain did a great job of taming the hops in here. You got a little bit of everything without you palate being assaulted by bitterness. I appreciate this beer and it’s one of the better malt forward IPAs I’ve had in a while. I give it a final grade of a B+. Maybe those dinosaurs we’re so rageful as I thought.