In case you haven’t noticed, Twin Sails is absolutely killing it right now. Along with Superflux Beer Co. (the recently re-branded ‘Machine Ales’) this small Port Moody outfit is definitely getting a lot of my money these days. And while their overall lineup is solid in its own right, it’s their IPA & Pale Ale game that’s really setting Twin Sails apart.
The story should be pretty familiar by now. Hot new brewery becomes the darling of local aficionados, limited releases get scooped up almost as soon as they hit stores, superlative-laden untapped reviews proliferate, and the legend grows exponentially. We saw it (and continue to see it) with Four Winds’ limited releases, and have seen it recently with Superflux (watch this space for an upcoming review of one of their phenomenal small-batch IPAs). What’s unique about Twin Sails is the frenetic pace at which they’ve been pumping out on-point IPAs and Pale Ales over the last few months. Their Simcoe-Hopped American Pale Ale ‘Day Blink’ was fantastic, but ‘Dat Juice’, their unfiltered Citra Pale Ale was sublime. On the IPA front, ‘How Bout Dat’, a triple IPA brewed with P49, was a solid companion this past Christmas, and ‘Space Armadillo’, a double IPA brewed with sacc trois, was well-deserving of the crazy hype it generated last Fall (when it seemed like every last drop was scooped up within hours of being stocked). And then we have their latest offering – Slam Dank.
If you didn’t already know, humulus lupulus (or ‘hops’ as they’re colloquially known) are in the same plant family as cannabis (the cannabaceae family, to be exact). True to its name, ‘Slam Dank’ provides a great illustration of the common olfactory profiles these two genera share, displaying so much dank on the nose that you’d be forgiven for thinking it was dry hopped with a little something extra.
Plus, like all of the Twin Sails offerings mentioned above, it’s a great showcase for the multiple hop varietals it contains. On the nose, there are pleasantly soft notes of alfalfa honey and some herbal, floral undertones from the Columbus; bright, spicy orange notes from the Apollo; and great, tropical papaya from the Mosaic. A solid burst of tropical flavours (mango, ripened and un-ripened papaya, honeydew and cantaloupe) continues through the first few sips, complimented by sweet, subtle, biscuitty malt notes. Ruby grapefruit and mild hints of black pepper provide a fantastic finish, while a soft, velvety mouth feel rounds out this gorgeous IPA.
As with all the hottest, newest releases, chances are that stocks of Slam Dank are near depleted by now in the Lower Mainland (it was released two weeks ago). However, if you can’t get your hand on a four pack or a pint around town (there are some still around, I promise), word is that a new batch will be hitting stores in early March. Until then, grab a four pack of whatever new IPA or Pale Ale Twin Sails has just released. If recent history is anything to go by, chances are you won’t be disappointed.
Photos: Alexander Turton