When I was small, I loved dinosaurs. I was ahead of the curve on that one-most kids I knew were not into dinosaurs; it wouldn’t really be until the 1980s that they became cool. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that my love of dinosaurs translated, at least a little bit, to a love of any kind of monster, especially giant ones.
So when I saw that Ninkasi had two beers with dinosaur themed names, I thought; if this isn’t a perfect excuse to compare them, then what am I doing with my life?
The Tricerahops Double IPA first. This beer has been around for a bit- I think it might even be part of their regular lineup, but there’s never a bad time to revisit a Ninkasi beer. The label says ‘earthy hops’ and that’s not an inaccurate description. Like wet forest. There isn’t much malt to sweeten it up though; they’ve gone in on a dry finish which accentuates the bitter send off. It’s pretty straightforward beer, when all is said and done. I don’t know if it’s a flaw in my pour or not but I wish I was getting more nose off the Tricerahops because the ending is coming on very strong and there isn’t much to prepare my mouth for it.
Next is the Velocihoptor Double IPA. The nose has a nice grassy note to it but there’s as lot more malt to the flavor. The finishing bitterness isn’t as strong but leans more into a citrus family tree. As the beer develops an orange peel flavor comes out a little more but it still isn’t overwhelming. I think I like this beer over the other: the sweetness is fuller, with a little roasted quality helps make this beer more drinkable and balanced.