Beer: Double Blizzard
Brewery: Tröegs Independent Brewing (Hershey, PA)
Style: IPA – Imperial/Double
8.3% ABV / N/A IBU
Will Cook of Metalheads Podcast believes that the winter seasonal IPA Blizzard of Hops is intended to be a tribute to Ozzy Osbourne, but the fine folks at Tröegs Independent Brewing are leaving it open to interpretation. That’s probably a good move, since Baltimore brewpub The Brewer’s Art already had to change the name of its Belgian strong golden ale from “Ozzy” to “Beazley” after a cease-and-desist order in 2014. In keeping with the opening track of Blizzard of Ozz, I don’t know, but Blizzard of Hops is another heavy-hitter on this Hershey, PA brewery’s impressively deep bench.
As for Double Blizzard, Tröegs has been tinkering with taking the basic formula of Blizzard of Hops and turbo-charging the hops with its experimental Scratch series for years, but this is the first time it has been available outside of the taproom. At 8.3% ABV, Double Blizzard will not get you double slizzard, and it actually drinks a lot like a lower-gravity brew. It’s not much to look at when you pour it into a chalice — skip the recommended serving style and just drink straight from the pounder can. And I’m not on board with the brewery’s description of the beer as semi-hazy. It’s not even remotely hazy, no sediment, no occlusion and probably too well-thought out to lead to any kind of accident like that.
The carry-over hops from Blizzard of Ozz are Chinook, Centennial and El Dorado. The Chinook is what gives both Blizzard of Ozz and Double Blizzard a pine-y flavor, proof that there is no war being waged on Christmas, at least in the microbrewery realm. The hop flavor, overall, is pretty mellow, with peach/pineapple notes from the addition of Australian Galaxy hops during the dry-hop phase. There is some bitterness from the hops, but the colder temperatures of both the kettle and dry-hop phases ensures that Double Blizzard is high on hop flavor without astringency. When it comes to IPAs, you should drink fresh and drink local whenever possible, but if you’re in the middle of nowhere (like central Pennsylvania, for example) and you see this DIPA on the shelves, consider yourself very lucky.
For more info, check out Tröegs here.