The IPA and Double IPA markets are flooded right now and it seems like every brewery around has something to offer in these categories. As with any crowded market there's going to be some good and not so good offerings; fortunately Victory's new entry into the double IPA category, Dirt Wolf, is good... very good.
Victory is one of those breweries that most beer geeks have heard of, but probably wouldn't say any of their beers are a "must have"- I think that now changes with Dirt Wolf. Victory introduces Dirt Wolf at the cost of Hop Wallop (on hiatus for now) and will be a year-round offering. Dirt Wolf showcases German malts and a pretty intriguing whole-flower hop profile: Citra (of Zombie Dust fame), Mosiac, Simcoe, and Chinook.
So my take on it?
DW pours a golden orange with a white 2 finger head. Aroma gives off whiffs of passion fruit, mango, and pine. The tropical fruit intensifies in the taste as passion fruit, mango are there again, but pineapple, and citrus (predominantly lemon) join the party. Nice, clean biscuit malts balance out some of the earthy-pine bitterness. Like most double IPAs, this one has a middling body that borders on syrupy, but the good carbonation and dry finish keep this from being too heavy.
For me, The Alchemist's Heady Topper and Russian River's Pliny the Elder are benchmarks in this genre and Dirt Wolf approaches these in flavor, but is much more widely available, which makes it a winner. Go find yourself a 4-pack of this tropical fruit cocktail. 4.5/5