4/7/19: Decadent Ales' Vermont Maple DIPA

3:32 PM

I just got home from a weekend cabinning with my in-laws. We were originally supposed spend a week in Florida but, through an incredibly unfortunate series of events, that didn't pan out. The long weekend at Kentucky's General Butler State Resort Park, however, was still a great diversion from Greater Cincinnati.

Now, though, Michelle and I are home. It's only 5:30 (at the time of this writing) but the sky outside is dark and the wind is picking up--we're about to see some heavy storms. Luckily, I know a fun trick to while away the time waiting for a killer storm: drink. With that, I present to you Decadent Ale's Vermont Maple DIPA, today's beer.

Decadent's website is cool but spare. The only information to be found here is that they're based out of New York. Turning to their Facebook page, I find just a few more details: Decadent focuses on bringing fresh, unfiltered, high-ABV ales to their community.

Today's beer definitely fits within their mission. According to my can, it clocks in at 9.1% ABV. It's Beeradvocate profile lists it as a New England Double IPA (so, a hop-heavy, unfiltered IPA) to which vermont maple syrup has been added. 

The nose of my can is headed by big, juicy, floral hops. It smells amazing. There's a definite citrus here; the beer has a blood oranginess to it. I'm also finding an underlying layer of sweetness that, I would guess, is the maple aroma. However, it doesn't exactly strike me immediately as maple. If it wasn't for the ale's name, I would've never guessed, from the bouquet, that there's maple here. It's a nose that I really enjoy, regardless of the perceived level of maple. It's unfortunate (for her!) that Purrl's not a fan. She'd only deign herself to give my can three whiffs.

After Vermont Maple's aroma, I wasn't expecting to find a ton of maple in the flavor. Much to my surprise, the maple comes through in spades. It's big and on the fore of the ale. It's exactly like the 100% Grade A syrup that you'd pour over an enormous stack of waffles. This is followed by a finish of generous, citrus-forward hops. The mix of flavors isn't one I'd peg as great without this beer but, thinking about it, the whole thing makes sense. It's like having a glass of orange juice to pair with your stack of syrup-covered waffles.

This DIPA's mouthfeel is great. Full, smooth and, fittingly, slightly syrupy.

Like I said at the beginning of this post, I only just got back from a cabbinning trip with my inlaws. Michelle and I regularly go on camping/cabbining trips with them. In October 2017, the lot of us when on a camping trip to Lake Hope State Park, in Zaleski, OH. It was warm for the time of year, but the mornings and evening were still cool.

On the last morning of the trip, my father-in-law made pancakes over the campfire. These were fluffy and smoky, and tasted great when topped with the maple syrup he'd made himself from the trees Michelle's family had tapped on their property that spring. Sitting there, eating those pancakes, and looking out over the woods on that serene morning was a near-perfect experience. The maple syrup in Vermont Maple tastes almost as good as the maple syrup I enjoyed that sunny October morning.

Today's beer was a maple beer, meaning I went in with exceptionally high expectations. Here at the far end of this post, I can say that those expectations were met. Decadent Ale's Vermont Maple DIPA packs a ton of maple flavor within an excellent IPA. I'm giving it a 9.0/10 rating. This is an occasional release, but I still see four-packs of pounders here and there. If you have good enough luck to stumble across one, don't let it get away.

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