Before I begin let me just apologize, I was looking forward to doing Dragonship earlier in the week and fate refused to agree with me. Between painting our nursery after my daughter goes to bed and getting home late from work, I was unable to fit it all in. So, I am very pleased greet the weekend with open arms and instead of painting I am drinking delicious beer. With that being said, shall we begin our journey?
Coming out of East Aurora, an easy 20 minute drive from my current coordinates is 42 North Brewing Company and they have been brewing some very nice beers. I recently crossed paths with Dragonship DIPA and immediately I knew it would be one of my next Brewviews. So here we are, finally, again thanks for your patience 42 North, I hope I don’t disappoint.
With such an interesting name, I am not at all surprised at its eye opening inspiration.
Quoting from Untappd:
‘Inspired by Legendary Viking Explorer Leif Erikson who navigated his Dragonship across the northern Atlantic to be the first adventurer to land in the Americas. ‘Leif the Lucky’s’ dragon-carved ship and other longships in the Viking lore were the key tools in making the Old Norse men such prolific explorers. Our use of the resilient Norwegian Voss yeast is an ode to the rough and tough Viking culture and their seafaring vessels.’
There you have it, so the beer has a very strong name and inspiration. But what should we expect when cracking open a can or pouring a pint?
42 North writes on the can:
‘A total rethink of the Double IPA. Biotransform dry-hopped and brewed with Norwegian Kviek for huge tropical fruit notes and aroma.’
The Beer: Dragonship DIPA by 42 North Brewing Company
ABV: 8% IBU: 50
Malts: Didn’t find, sorry.
Boarding the Dragonship
Hmmm…after the week I have had it feels great to crack open a beer and take the time to fully enjoy it from beginning to end.
The overall impression I’ve gotten so far is tropical fruit, which is a very broad statement so I am going to take as much time as it takes to appreciate every aspect of it. So yes, the aromas are full of tropical fruit, more specifically though I’m getting notes of pineapple, orange/citrus, pear, and maybe some watermelon floating in there. The pineapple aroma is definitely steering the ship and leading the way. The orange/citrus notes sit closely next to the pineapple but not as strong, more of an under tone. The pear aroma ever so slightly hovers and can be easily missed. Truthfully though it is very enjoyable and I hope you can enjoy it as much as I have. Now there is some question of a possible watermelon aroma that I am not totally convinced of yet. If I had not seen it when researching the hops I’m pretty certain I would not have picked up on it. With that in mind, I’m not sure if it’s a true aroma for Dragonship.
So there are some common grounds for the hops when it comes to the aromas and some differences. The Azacca and Zythos hops can be held responsible for the pineapple same as the orange/citrus notes. The pear and possible watermelon aromas I’m thinking are provided by the El Dorado hops. Again if I did not see watermelon when reading up on El Dorado hops I’m not sure if I would have pinpointed it when taking a good sniff of the beer. Keep that in mind, sometimes I feel it’s better to get a first impression on a clear mind then do the research.
Appearance wise, Dragonship holds some strength. Very hazy, giving it a solid appearance with a light to pale amber color . Its head was two finger widths, though I’m not seeing it stick around.
Overall, my first impression of Dragonship holds up to what 42 North says about it.
Setting the Sails
Again, similar to the aromas I want to take as much time needed to break down exactly what tropical fruit flavors I am noticing when drinking Dragonship. My overall impression of Dragonship’s flavor is its strong mango taste that lingers from beginning to end. Along side it but with less forbearance is pineapple. It’s really easy to the notice the sour aspect of the pineapple engulfing your taste buds and remaining there for quite some time. Next up is stone fruit and pear. The stone fruit comes in around the middle and then gives way for a smooth pear transition, which unfortunately is a rather quick transition. At the end I’m getting a strong mango presence that transitions to a bitter aftertaste. The overall bitterness of the beer is difficult to weigh in on because I feel the different fruit flavors have their own bittering aspects. Which I guess does make sense. So the IBU 50 rating is pretty accurate. It gives the beer a strong but medium mouthfeel that lingers for quite some time.
Where do these flavors come from? HOPS! Yes, but what does each one do?
Leading the way are the Azacca hops which bring about the pineapple and mango flavors. Alongside the Azacca hops are the Zythos, both are known for their pineapple characteristics. Bringing in the rear is El Dorado, but not at all in a bad way. The stone fruit and pear flavors are essential and give Dragonship a unique aspect. I’ll touch on that in my closing thoughts.
Time to Crash the Docks
So what is Dragonship? It’s not at all difficult to pick up on the DIPA 8% ABV aspect of the beer. Though, I say that with caution because it doesn’t hit you in the face but you notice it in the fullness and thickness of the beer. It gives off a strong Viking presence. The stone fruit and pear flavors and the unique aspect I spoke of earlier is what makes this beer stick out. Let’s be honest the beer market is filling up with beers known for their tropical fruit flavors, but what makes them stand out from one another? For Dragonship the pear and stone fruit really come together and pull through. It’s not something I’ve noticed frequently in the tropical fruit beers. Which I enjoyed immensely, it’s nice to get something other than pineapple and citrus when it comes to tropical fruit.
42 North did an excellent job with Dragonship, I am very happy this is the beer I ended my week with. Solid.
Cheers! Thanks for reading!