Glassware: The refreshing hops and semi-sweet malts provide the perfect taste and these flavors are enhanced when the aroma can be fully experienced. The Speigelau IPA glass is definitely the first choice with this DIPA but a snifter, nonic pint or Willi Becher pub glass will work perfectly.
Description: Rampant pours a clear orange and yellow with a creamy white head that leaves a thick lacing on the glass. The aroma is filled with lemony citrus notes with backing hop notes of spice and pine with subtle hints of light pale malts. The fruit flavors hit the palate first with lemon, orange, and grapefruit notes leading the charge followed by a kick of pine with semi-sweet malts rounding out the experience. The medium body and moderate carbonation are perfect for the DIPA style and leave behind a semi-dry finish. The 8.5 percent ABV is not apparent which aids in high drinkability factor that Rampant possesses. This is a phenomenal DIPA to have stocked in the cooler for the upcoming summer season and is a must try for all IPA lovers.
Food pairing: The semi-aggressive hops and wonderfully sweet malts make Rampant a great choice for pairing with a large selection of dishes. This is a great beer for any final backyard cookouts of the summer and goes especially well with roasted pork smothered in barbecue sauce. Rampant is also perfect with hamburgers piled high with toppings or barbecue chicken. The natural sweetness in both the meats and sauce is enhanced by the beer and the hops provide a wonderful backing citrus flavor. Another great pairing with Rampant is salmon. A particularly delicious preparation for the dish is lemon poached salmon as this will enhance the malts and bring the citrus hops front and center. Dessert is also a viable option and Rampant goes especially well with carrot cake with cream cheese icing. The carbonation is still hefty enough to scrub the palate clean between bites. This is most definitely a beer to experiment with and can find itself at home with nearly any dish.
The Final Word: New Belgium has built a strong following by brewing well balanced yet flavorful beers and this skill is on full display with Rampant. While the IPA style is undoubtedly the most popular among craft beer drinkers it is still a style that many breweries have yet to find the perfect balance within and New Belgium has nailed it. The malts and hops are in perfect harmony and provide an incredibly easy drinking beer, despite the DIPA status. The DIPA has become a style that has a lot of weight judgment attached to it and can make or break many breweries. New Belgium is one of the largest craft breweries and still brews some incredible beers. Rampant is one of its best. The balance within this DIPA is perfect and makes for one of the most easy drinking DIPA’s available!
Derek Warren is a beer fanatic, avid homebrewer and beer historian. Derek can be heard weekly on the Beer Geeks Radio Hour at noon on Sundays on WILK 103.1 FM with past episodes available on iTunes.
Brewer: New Belgium Brewing
Style: American Double/ Imperial IPA