Quick Take: This is one of the more by-the-numbers beers I’ve had from 3 Floyds, but it also happens to be one of the most enjoyable. I’m not much of a malty IPA fan, but the big grapefruit body and soft, drinkable mouth feel make this an easy beer to recommend.
Brew Facts: The stylized label art of Dreadnaught IPA, done by Lance Laurie of Zimmer-Design, has been in use since its debut well over a decade ago. The origins of 3 Floyds stretch back even further, starting in 1996 as “It’s Not Normal”, a brewer of ales and lagers.
Appearance: On pouring, I see a beer that’s not far off from the bottle color, pleasing label graphics aside. It shines a golden rod yellow with a tone of orange/amber that lets your eyes know this IPA is made of malt. A rocky, printer paper white head nestles on top with the staying power of an old man napping in his favorite chair (it isn’t going anywhere). Disturbing the glass washes the sides in a clear, coating oil slick and lacing that quick slips back into the beer. Although it has a steady stream of tiny carbonation, most likely an indication of glass imperfection, the level of clarity is surprising.
Aroma: Malty looks give way to an aroma that follows suit. It’s dominated by toasty orange juice and sugared grapefruit. To make sure you remember this is a proper IPA, an undercurrent of pine and resin wafts through, gently wrapped in a pleasant nasal tickle of booze. A rather straight-forward aroma for what could be a rather straight-forward beer.
Taste/Mouth Feel: I sip, swish it across my tongue and let it bounce around my mouth. That classic, soft 3 Floyds mouth feel is backed up with a medium, creamy malty body that gives it far more weight than one of their pales, like the flowery perfume that is Zombie Dust. The flavors that follow are of bitter pine and grapefruit, capped by the natural sweetness of ripe passion fruit. A potent hit of malt hangs around with some orange juice. It’s on the sweeter side with a building bitter that lingers past the finish for a lazy tongue ride.
Final Thoughts: This is one of the more by-the-numbers beers I’ve had from 3 Floyds, but it also happens to be one of the most enjoyable. I’m not much of a malty IPA fan, but the big grapefruit body and soft, drinkable mouth feel makes this an easy beer to recommend. A tasty, pleasant IPA, especially if you like them on the sugared citrus fruit and malt side rather than pushing ultra-fresh, dank, sticky hops in your face. Not an elite beer, but a tongue charmer that will drink well on a warm evening with friends when you just want to enjoy a beer, not deconstruct layer after layer of the craftiest of craft brews.
Recommendation: Get it when you see it.