Dinner (Maine Beer Company)

Style: Double/Imperial India Pale Ale

8.2% ABV

OG: 1.069

Malt: 2-Row, CaraPils, Caramel 40 & Dextrose

Hops: Citra, Falconer’s Flight, Mosaic & Simcoe.

From: Freeport, ME

Bottled On: 7/31/14

Brewery’s Note: “Our first Double IPA – dry, refreshing and hoppy. We really focused on hop flavor and aroma here. To maximize hop character, we dry hopped Dinner twice with over 6 lbs. of hops per barrel. For the best experience, please enjoy fresh as possible.”

The beer pours a gorgeous, golden, orange, settling into the glass with a creamy, off-white head of minuscule bubbles that lasts at a fingers width above the beer. The head leaves sticky fat fluff of lacing when it rescinds. In body, the beer is a nearly opaque murk of tiny particulates and haze. On the nose is where this beer is king. From the moment you pop the bottle you know you are in for a tropical fruit bomb. Even from a foot away, my glass is oozing fruit salad scent across the nose, but when I get my nostrils nicely in the glass’s bulb, I’m met with decadent and complex hop aromas. Pine resin blends with pineapple, mango, soft melon, and fruity caramel. Alcohol does prickle at the edges of the nose, but only if you search for it, and as a whole the nose just comes off smelling like a hugely aromatic fruit salad with accents of pine. This has got one damn fine nose. On the tongue, the beer tastes sweet up front, but with definite bitter balance that builds into the middle and finish of the beer wonderfully. Booze makes its presence known towards the finish of the sip, punching through some of the decadent hop notes while acidity is faintly present on the fringes of the tongue. In flavor the beer begins as pineapple juice, moving more towards pine with flashes of medicinal hops, bright grass, lemon citrus, and grapefruit juice. Slight alcohol and caramel hops enter in the middle of the sip, but the finish of the beer is straight ruby red grapefruit juice with just a hint of booze. The aftertaste is of piney/grapefruity hops. In the mouth, the beer feels medium to full bodied, with a middling carb that provides a healthy scrub to the tongue. Mouthfeel is crisp and effervescent, if a touch heavy towards the finish of the sip. Overall, this is a hell of a Double IPA. I’ve already heard it compared to the Headys and Plinys of the world (gasp…) but I think that was a forgone conclusion. MBC makes some damn fine hoppy beer and this is no exception. This beer strikes towards the top of the DIPA list for sure, and is a true work of art in terms of juicy, tropical fruit hops. I do have some quibbles with it, however, as I do with any beers. For starters, I think the booze could be a little better integrated, as it does add a bit too much heat towards the back of the sip. I also feel that the nose far outweighs the taste in terms of overall decadence and hop character, which can be argued as an attribute of DIPA’s, but since we are talking God-Tier DIPA’s I must say that others of this plateau have met that balance more so than Dinner. The nose is where Dinner is a winner, for sure, and she is a damn fine winner. Drink the beer fresh. Enjoy it. Wait in line for three hours if you want to. It’s a nice beer.

Happy IPA Day every one!

 

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3 thoughts on “Dinner (Maine Beer Company)

  1. Sounds like a delicious beer. Was it hard to come by a bottle? I was in New Hampshire a couple of weeks back and saw that it was going to be released at the brewery on a Thursday night but I was not able to make it over to Maine to get some. I wondered if it was one of those beers that sells out in a day, or is it more widely available.

    1. It is unfortunately one of those beers that sells out in a day. I waited in line for three hours and almost didn’t get any bottles… I would bet MBC is going to revamp their plans for next release and have a food cart, etc… but this release caught them off guard a little. Great beer though.

      1. Some food and entertainment would make the wait more enjoyable. This makes me feel a little bit better because if I had changed plans I could have made it up to MBC the day after the release, but it sounds like I would have been too late for dinner (which was my guess). Anyway thanks for the review so the rest of us can have a sense of what it was like.

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