Parish Brewing gets a ton of well deserved acclaim (some may say hype) for their double IPA, Ghost in the Machine. Bottles fly off shelves within hours of release and kegs are drained quickly. That’s all with good reason. Ghost is a world class double IPA, and it would not shock me one bit if it takes home a medal in that category at the Great American Beer Fest later this month.
But if you missed out on the latest release of Ghost in the Machine, never fear. Parish has released a new batch of their black IPA, Dr. Hoptagon, and bottles of this are much easier to find. According to Parish:
Parish Dr. Hoptagon is a badass Black IPA. Pleasantly offensive, this serum is bursting with bitter hops and black roasted malts. If you prefer weak, yellow beer or rainbow pooping unicorns, put this bottle down and slowly back away.
I do like rainbow pooping unicorns (who doesn’t?), but I certainly detest weak, yellow beer. And Dr. Hoptagon is anything but weak and yellow. It pours a jet black with an off-white head that fades relatively quickly. This black IPA is best served around 50° range, because it really lets the hop aromas shine. I get a huge blast of what I’m guessing are Galaxy hops, because there’s a distinct passionfruit and citrus aroma to it, as well as some apricot. The roastiness is somewhat muted on the nose, which for me is a plus. This almost drinks like a clean double IPA, because the hops are the star, shining through in the aroma and giving you a blast on the palate. There’s a hint of that roast on the finish, but it’s clear that the hops are the main attraction. If you close your eyes, you almost don’t even realize this is a black IPA. Some black IPAs end up drinking like hoppy stouts. If that’s what you’re looking for, put this bottle down and slowly back away. This is an IPA, first and foremost. The mouthfeel is not at all chewy, but there’s a bit of heft to it. The finish is a medium dry, but without much bitterness. The good doctor weighs in at 7.5% ABV, so it’s right on the cusp of being a double black IPA. This beer has been released several times in the last couple years, and I think this is the best version yet.
I do wish Parish would create a single IPA with a similar hop bill to this that would fit in between their Envie pale ale and Ghost in the Machine DIPA. A 6.5% IPA hopped up like Dr. Hoptagon would instantly become the best single IPA available in this state.