There’s no real story behind the purchase of this beer. I saw it on the shelf, was instantly intrigued, and since I really enjoy most of what Great Lakes Brewing Co. makes, decided to pick up a bottle for an eventual review. It’s as simple as that!
On the West Coast, surfers have a term for that perfect time of day, when the waves are breaking just right and it feels like you can ride forever. They call it Alchemy Hour. In Cleveland, our surfers have to work a little harder to find a perfect swell. Dressed in wetsuits, up at dawn, they camp out on the shores of Lake Erie in near-freezing temperatures, waiting for the ultimate wave. Crazy? Yes. Extreme? Definitely. Alchemy Hour Double IPA pays tribute to the North Coast’s unlikely surf bums and the ancient quest for liquid gold, wherever it may live: on the ocean, in a lake, in a bottle.
Let’s get on with my review…
- Appearance: Cloudy red-orange color. Not much in the way of foam, i.e. it dissipated pretty quickly. A bit of lacing, but nothing over the top.
- Aroma: Oodles of citrusy hops with a good bit of sweetness to back it up. Think honey tangerine and pink grapefruit with a drizzle of honey.
- Taste: Medium bodied with a healthy dose of fizzy carbonation. Much less aggressive than I was expecting. The citrusy hops and honey sweetness play very nicely together. There’s never too much bitterness, and it’s never overly sweet. And by the time you get to the finish, the hops don’t build up like they do in other double IPAs that I’ve had. Quite crisp and refreshing given the high alcohol content.
- ABV: 9.4%
While I’ve had an IPA or two from Great Lakes Brewing Co. (Commodore Perry IPA and Lake Erie Monster), I didn’t really love them (they were good, but not great). For whatever reason, the Alchemy Hour Double IPA has definitely won me over. This beer is beautifully balanced, and given it’s high ABV, it’s also supremely drinkable. Well done Great Lakes!