They say…

Des de Moor
Best beer and travel writing award 2015, 2011 -- British Guild of Beer Writers Awards
Accredited Beer Sommelier
Writer of "Probably the best book about beer in London" - Londonist
"A necessity if you're a beer geek travelling to London town" - Beer Advocate
"A joy to read" - Roger Protz
"Very authoritative" - Tim Webb.
"One of the top beer writers in the UK" - Mark Dredge.
"A beer guru" - Popbitch.
Des de Moor

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Knee Deep Simtra Triple India Pale Ale

Knee Deep Simtra Triple India Pale Ale

Simtra Triple India Pale Ale

ABV: 11.3%
Origin: Lincoln, California, USA
Website: kneedeepbrewing.com

I asked the staff of small but outstanding specialist drinks shop Healthy Spirits, in San Francisco’s Duboce Triangle, for a recommendation of a new West Coast IPA to try and was pointed to this example from Knee Deep at Lincoln, in Placer County in the suburbs of Sacramento. I was glad I asked, as this triple IPA turned out to be a huge and complex stunner.

As its name suggests, Simtra is hopped with a blend of Simcoe and Citra, deployed in apparently enormous quantities. My example, in a bomber bottle, was warm gold, with a dense, just off-white head and a strong and slick hoppy aroma with notes of citric lime, honey and blackcurrant pastilles.

There was also that sharp, animal-like, endocrinal aroma associated with Simcoe that’s sometimes referred to indelicately as “cat pee”— but if it’s attractive in perfume, why shouldn’t it be in beer?

A richly syrupy and mouth-filling palate revealed successive layers of flavour – toffee malt, lemon, pine, liquorice, sherbert, fenugreek and tropical fruit. An obvious alcohol warmth was soothed by silky honey-like notes.

More herbal flavours like rosemary oil emerged alongside citrus on a resinous palate, with a long developing and lingering burry bitterness smoothed off again with unguent lemon and honey flavours.

Knee Deep beers first appeared in 2010 when founder and head brewer Jeremy Warren started contract brewing at Mount Tallac near Lake Tahoe. The next year, with the help of investors, he took over the defunct Beermann’s brewpub in Lincoln and since then the beers have been more widely available.

Jeremy’s nickname, the Hoptologist, makes clear where his main brewing interests lie and Simtra exhibits a notable skill with the resinous bine. It’s also an excellent demonstration that ultrahoppy beers needn’t just be about massive bitterness and aroma.

Incidentally, note the warning on the label — despite the strength, this is a beer best drunk fresh for maximum hop effect.

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