I think I might have a new favorite Double IPA, or at least one tied with my other favorite IPAs - because ya can't beat a 10/10, folks! SOUTHERN TIER GEMINI is what it's called, concocted of course by our heroes over at Southern Tier Brewing in upstate New York. The recipe is very simple: take 50% of Southern Tier Hoppe (rated 9/10 by us) and 50% of Southern Tier Unearthly (rated 8/10 by us), pour them together, and you've got yourself a 22-oz. bottle of GEMINI. It's an Imperial, Extra, Double, Bigtime IPA, and it's one of the best beers I've ever enjoyed. Revelations like this are why I keep up at this, uh, "hobby".
SOUTHERN TIER GEMINI's smoothness and ability to disguise its 10.5% alcohol content is a big surprise. It tastes like it was bottled five minutes ago, and is incredibly refreshing (I know for a fact I've had it in the queue for two months now). It's an orange-colored ale, with very little head - what there was disappeared very quickly. I taste the pale malts - it's got a really strong malt backbone - and naturally the hops, which are smoothed-out enough that even an IPA-hater like my wife said, "I could drink this". There are loads of different hops in this thing. The chemists that put it together must've gone one of two ways while creating it - the hard way, which was through much trial & error & refermentation & experimentation (it sure tastes like it); or the easy way (take a big tank and start draining Hoppe & Unearthly into it until it's full). Whatever they did, I'm on this train for good. I'm going to make this an every-few-months treat, despite it not being sold within 2500 miles of my home. I'll figure it out. 10/10!!