Nick Carr on May 16, 2016 1 Comment Quick Characteristics Brewery Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits Location San Diego, CA Style Double IPA (Imperial) ABV 10.0% IBU 90 Hops ? Malts ? Shelf Life 3 to 4 months Suggested Glass Tulip or IPA Glass Serving Temp 46-50°F Availability Year Round Food Pairings Shrimp Po Boy, Grilled Salmon, Asiago Cheese, Pineapple Custard The practice of adding fruit and vegetables to beer stretches back into the furthest reaches of beer’s past. Many styles still enjoy a recognized relationship with fruit; cherry stout, Lambic, etc. IPA has always had something of an informal tie with fruit… one of the main families of hop character being “fruity.” But, as I mentioned when I reviewed SKA Brewing’s Modus Mandarina it’s become more of a fad of late to add other fruity elements to augment the hops’ statement. Ballast Point has become known for stuffing all sorts of off-the-wall ingredients into their tried-and-true recipes. Interestingly many of these recipes are of the IPA ilk. They have three Frankensteins of their original Sculpin IPA recipe; grapefruit, pineapple, and habanero. They’ve doctored their Even Keel session IPA with mangos and, as you’ve already guessed, their Dorado double IPA has found the watermelon patch. And this is to say nothing of their Indra Kunindra, an export stout whose very darkness hides the strange and unexpected flavors of curry, cumin, Kaffir lime leaf, and coconut… a tasting for another time. If you happen to drop by the brewery in San Diego the list gets even more impressive because many a dabbling never makes it into the bottle. They carry a whole line of peppered beer on draft along with libational wonders like a sour blackberry ale; a breast cancer awareness ale brewed with hibiscus, cherry, and honey; and any number of further IPA explorations. Shop Ballast Point on Amazon All this to say Ballast Point is no stranger to augmenting beer in wonderful and sometimes downright strange ways. Watermelon in general seems like a strange place to take a beer, though I can see where it might work with a lighter wheat or lager, maybe a pale, and several other breweries have watermelon beers of this ilk on offer. New Belgium just came out with Heavy Melon, 14th Amendment Brewing has Hell Or High Watermelon, and Thomas Hooker Brewing makes a Watermelon Ale. But I’m a little more suspicious of melon flavors jiving well with a double IPA. Guess we’ll find out. Ballast Point’s website has this to say about the Watermelon Dorado: “Our Watermelon Dorado Double IPA is not one to back down from big flavors. Mash, kettle, and dry hopping blend to create a huge hop profile that is balanced with a blast of watermelon. The result is a refreshing brew that is all summer and no seeds.” THE TASTING Below are the tasting notes I took while drinking Watermelon Dorado Double IPA. If you tasted this beer or you’re enjoying one now as you read this review, please share your thoughts with me in the comments below. Pour and Aroma: Brilliantly clear, Watermelon Dorado drops into the glass, a deep golden with slightly reddish undertones in low light. A fizzy, small-bubbled head rises to about a finger’s height, sits serene for a short moment before falling back, sucked down by high alcohol and hops. The watermelon comes through loud and clear even when the beer is quite cold. As the beer warms I can catch brushes of honeydew, slight lemon, some graininess, and a low touch of bright honey-like sweetness; along with low alcohol tones. Mouthfeel and Taste: Body is medium and satiating. Mouthfeel is slightly prickly and carries a good size alcohol presence with it. Carbonation is medium. Sweet upfront with a mix of melon and restrained bread. Small nuttiness before the hops blossom fully with citrus, lemon; and the watermelon always sweeping along. A resiny stickiness hits hard mid-palate bringing with it high hop bittering. Some of the fruitiness returns at the end before dropping away in a dry finish. Aftertaste is interesting, a lingering fruity/floral bitterness, that with the melon flavors, translates into something like what you’d get chewing on melon seeds. FINISHING THOUGHTS I’m honestly not entirely sure how I feel about this one. For me there was a strange separation between the watermelon flavors and the hops. I’m not exactly sure how to describe it, but the flavors just didn’t seem to balance or flow quite right and that watermelon seed bitterness in the aftertaste was a little unusual, though I will say it definitely made me want to take another sip. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad beer, for me the watermelon comes on just a little too strong though, and I found myself ready to be done with it as I approached the bottom of my glass. Overall, an interesting beer and one I enjoyed — probably will again too — for the pure novelty of it. If you have a secret love of watermelon this is absolutely worth a look. What’s a summer without watermelon, right? Cheers!