I’ve known this beer for many, many years and usually I’ve enjoyed it immensely, but this is the first time I’ve had it in the bottle and seems like a very different experience than all of my previous draught encounters. The color looks fine, but there are a HUGE amount of yeasties in the pour. Bottle-conditioned in the extreme, apparently! Really nice, mid-golden color once the beer clears and I can actually see what’s going on. A nice sized head and some very good lace and retention when considering the ABV.
The pour leads to a VERY grassy and yeasty experience in the nose and initial tastes. Now, I have no particular problem with that feature per se, but it seems completely out of place in an American DIPA. The beer literally smells like a brewery, with that incredible grain mash smell that often strikes the nose when you open the doors on brew day. It’s absolutely POTENT! Again, this is smell that I am generally all in favor of, with some childhood memories of English breweries even being conjured, but against the backdrop of what I have come to enjoy about Seeing Double, this seems rather odd.
The beer does maintain its relatively low-impact hop profile (compared to so many other American DIPAs), and it is also remains very drinkable considering the ABV, but there is a cleanliness and an edge that is missing in the bottle that was always there on draught. The alcohol remains a fairly restrained visitor (given the 9.5%), and the malts support everything very nicely, but there’s an element missing here that has always rounded out my keg experience.
Smooth and very creamy in the mouth, with a long (but very rounded and gentle) finish. Almost feels ‘nitro’ like, BUT in a good way (if that is possible).
It’s perhaps difficult to be entirely objective, but when I look back on all my notes on Seeing Double on tap, I find happier reviews, cleaner beer, sharper edges and more ‘true to style’ experiences. This beer score MUCH higher for me on draught. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike the bottle version, but something isn’t quite adding up for me. I used to love this beer unreservedly, now I feel a tad confused.
SRM 9.4, IBU 126.