7/2/18: Dogfish Head Craft Brewery's Lupu-Luau IPA

5:33 PM

And, ladies and gentlemen, I'm back just like that. It's been nearly two months since my last actual "Oh hey, I drank a beer and wrote about it" post and almost four months since I've posted regularly. Hopefully this post will usher in a new era of twice-a-month (or more?) posts.

I'm married now (!) and a homeowner (!!), and those are the two big 2018 things I had to do. Which means now I have time for beer and video games. I drank a lot during my wedding reception and honeymoon. Most of all this will be added into my Untappd account at some later date, so keep an eye on that if you're keen to know what I've been up to lately (I didn't check in much of what I drank while I was actually drinking because I was having too much damn fun).

Anyway, today's post is months in the making: Dogfish Head's Lupu-Luau IPA. How does it fare?

I've written a few previous posts about Dogfish Head, so check those out if you want the details of their history. Here's the quick and dirty: Sam Calagione started Dogfish Head in 1995. The brewery's always been headquartered in Delaware. What was once a small brewpub has become an awesome, craft brewing mover and shaker. Sam's authored (and been featured in!) numerous books about beer. There was a Dogfish show on The Discovery Channel. And, hell, I love everything the brewery creates. Here's more information through what is a much more official channel than my memory and opinion.

Like I said, today I'm drinking Lupu-Luau, which is a coconut loaded IPA. Seriously, straight from Dogfish's mouth, the ale has toasted coconut and dehydrated coconut water in it. Both its flavor and aroma a tropical and coconutty. It also clocks in at a sizable 7.3% ABV (it's definitely not the lawnmower beer I've taken to drinking it as).

When I take a whiff, I'm immediately hit with coconut, followed in quick succession by a punch of pineapple. With most IPAs I find a lot of pine in the bouquet, but that's not the case here. Lupu-Luau's nose a tropical, mildly hoppy affair. It's stellar, but don't just take my word for it. Purrl gave it eleven whiffs. That's high praise from my little cat.

The flavor isn't as hoppy as I'd expect an IPA to be. Don't get me wrong, hops are definitely present here, but they help lend to the ale's tropical qualities. A swig from my can doesn't give me anywhere near the fruitiness a waft does, but that's okay. The coconut is still here in force and, really, that's why I bought this beer in the first place.

Before moving on, I need to say that I was hesitant to buy the a sixer of this. While I like coconut, I've never had a good experience with it in a beer. By that, I mean, almost exclusively, that I do not believe coconut will ever have a place in a porter. But, I trust Dogfish Head. So I took the plunge. Turns out I'm not disappointed in the slightest.

In terms of mouthfeel, I'd say Lupu-Luau is almost creamy. That could possibly be due to the wheat in the malt. I don't know exactly where the perceived creaminess comes from, but that doesn't matter. What matters is that it works very well with the ale.

One of my biggest guilty pleasures is related to "Cleanse Song" by Bright Eyes. It's my rainy day song. Literally. I got Cassadaga, the album the song is on, the summer it was released. That was the first summer I could drive and the summer of my first job as a lifeguard at my city's public pool. Since my city was in Ohio, it rained pretty frequently. It seemed like "Cleanse Song" was playing through my car's speakers each and every time it rained.

It was cool. It helped to turn rainy, humdrum Ohio into some tropical oasis where a slide guitar welcomed me to paradise. When I take a swig of Lupu-Luau, I get the same feeling I got from listening to that song on those warm, rainy Ohio days.

Is Lupu-Luau on par with the quality I've come to expect from Dogfish Head? Easily. Is it the only coconut beer I've come across that's actually worth drinking? Hell yes. I'm giving this tropical IPA a 9.0/10. It looks like this stuff will be around through the end of the year, so you have plenty of time to track some down. I highly recommend you do so.

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