Thursday, July 11, 2013

Clarity of Style: DOPA vs Subtropical IPA

As we prepare for the thrill of the open road and our FL-Oregon Trail, we're comparing our Dunedin Brewery Double Oatmeal Pale Ale (DOPA) and Dunedin Brewery's Subtropical IPA that we'll be pouring at the Oregon Brewer's Festival in Portland, OR in a few short weeks. These two beers are two ends of the pale ale spectrum. The first pays homage to the awesome funk-rock band Dop
apod; the second, to the love we have for the subtropics and our own home state.

The appearance of both brews is a delicious, strong orange-amber. The light passing through it looks rich and inviting. The Subtropical IPA, however, has a ruby red core like that of a perfect grapefruit sliced to the center. The head of these beers are each white and frothy, but the Subtropical IPA clings with smaller honeycomb bubbles on top as opposed to the thick lacing of the DOPA as it's enjoyed.

Going in to test the aroma, first impressions of the DOPA offer red grapes, grapefruit, and dark cherry, a richer, more dense fruit experience not unlike the light shows of the band it honors. There's even a touch of light cranberry and an orange marmalade. The Subtropical has a stronger orange aroma with lemons and white peppery spice, but there's also guava and coconut before sugared pineapple, strawberries, passion fruit, and hibiscus; subtropical indeed.

Taste-wise, it doesn't get any better than this comparison. The DOPA has a creamy orange juice with subtle vanilla bean that goes down easily with a mouthfeel of cream. The medium bitterness adds a sparkling mouthful toward the end. Here is a beer that is like velvet and champagne in one sitting.  Farmhouse grain is balanced against young delicious apple, even a touch of lemon. The Subtropical IPA, brewed with grapefruit peel, pink peppercorn, and toasted coconut, not only carries a sweet grapefruit and pepper taste with pride, but also a splash of fruit punch and strawberry juice. The best part is a coconut water mouthfeel that is slightly viscous, but carries a zing of pepper, a medium bitterness, and even reminds of the sweet-tarts of one's youth. We pull the shades over our eyes: subtropical luxury.

If you're looking for something richer, denser, and if we may be so bold, uncanny, the DOPA may be for you. However, if you're looking for something light, refreshing, and with a splash of Florida's tropical style, the subtropical IPA is a firm bet. We raise our glasses to both.

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