The 10 Dankest Beers
Hoppy 420 Everyone. It is a national holiday for those who enjoy smoking bud. Some people like bud, some people like beer, and some like both. Those who are a connoisseur of both have taken to attributing the term ‘Dank’, a term that means pungent, funky and odoriferous, to both good weed and very hoppy IPAs/IIPAs. I would like to provide you with a guide to the 10 dankest beers, according to my nose. While I won’t cop to being a weed connoisseur, I will say that some of these beers have been labeled dank by other comrades who distance themselves from weed, but can still identify a dank IPA with the ganj. Here they are listed, 1 being my favorite.
1. Avery The Maharaja – Good heavens. This beer is vibrant, and has whiffs of grapefruit, orange and pine from a mile away. The flavor profile lends the same as the aroma, and is held together with a spicy malt backbone. Avery should add a spliff to the Maharaja logo if I do say so myself. Click here for tasting notes.
2. Green Flash West Coast IPA – Unlike The Maharaja, the nose is a bit more spicy. The flavor is much more bitter, and might be too bitter for most not ready for this. This beer is packed the brim with aromatic and bitter hops. Green Flash will be main stay on this list. Click here for tasting notes.
3. Pliny The Elder – Hands down my favorite beer. When I first had it at the vanished Liars Club in San Diego, some nice mates at the bar gave PtE the nickname “Christmas Tree in a Glass.” This beer would be the dank bud that smells like a pine forrest, but also has its share of citrus notes. Magically large and balanced at the same time. Click here for tasting notes.
4. Ballast Point Sculpin – This beer whacks you upside the head with a danky mixture of pineapple and mango, and tastes exactly like it smells. Some how as sweet as it smells, it is a fairly dry 1.5 IPA (not quite a double IPA). This one is hard to find, but if you do, you will see exactly what I am talking about. Click here for tasting notes.
5. Alpine Exponential Hoppiness – For a while, this beer didn’t make it outside of San Diego county. The beer has a nice whiff of orange zest, grapefruit and a touch of pine. As high as the IBU levels are, the oaked treatment makes this beer fairly smooth, and not so abraisive. I think I could smell this beer for a good hour before taking the first sip. Click here for tasting notes.
6. Nectar Ales IPA – My first experience with a danky IPA. This beer is more floral than anything, but just smells wonderful. This beer took a back seat to Union Jack a few years ago, but is still a great find when it’s fresh and on the shelves. Click here for tasting notes.
7. Green Flash Hop Head Red – Jon and I held a tasting at Whole Foods Market in Pasadena last year. One of the beers I picked for the lineup was Green Flash Hop Head Red. Almost everyone who we gave this to informed us this beer smelled like weed. Enough said. Click here for tasting notes.
8. Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale /Formerly Known as Stone 11th Anniversary Ale – This was my first experience with this new fan-dangled Black IPA fad. Knowing how Stone does, I knew no matter what color this ale poured, it would be hoppy. What I wasn’t ready for was how dank the nose is. That was my introduction to the magic of dry hopping with Amarillo hops. This is the same hop Hop Head Red uses, and really makes for a humongous hoppy nose. Apparently I wasn’t the only one who loved Stone 11th Anniversary Ale, as it was renamed and placed on a limited yet year round rotation status by Stone. Click here for tasting notes.
9. Caldera IPA – Burried at the bottom of my local Bevmo are these bright yellow cans of IPA. I’ve been a fan of what Oskar Blues and Maui Brewing have been doing, so I took a chance and picked up a six pack. This beer was bursting with not only flavor but with crazy dank aroma. Big grapefruit over took the decent level of spicy malt. Click here for tasting notes.
10. Sierra Nevada Celebration – It is in fact, a celebration bitches. As I’ve mentioned time and time before, every November, I circle around my local beer stores looking for the first shipment of Sierra Nevada Celebration. Every year, it seems slightly different, but one thing remains the same, the hop nose is off the charts, and yes…super danky. Why this was #10, is because some years, the spicy malt gets in the way of the beautiful dry hopping. Still, an amazing experience. Click here for tasting notes.