Brewery: Lawson's Finest Liquids (VT)
Style: Imperial IPA
Age at Consumption: 1 week
Lawson's Finest Liquids, a quiet little brewery in the Beermuda Triangle of northern Vermont, is turning out small batch beers that are just a little difficult to track down — even compared to its famous Vermont peers. At places like the Hunger Mountain Co-Op in Montpelier, regular shipments of Double Sunshine IPA sell out within minutes. Minutes... like, 5. That I managed to grab the last bottle on the shelf was a feat of extraordinary luck and the generosity of one saintly Vermonter, who decided to pass it on to an out-of-towner out of pure good-will. (I love Vermont.)
In the case of beers like this, the trick is not letting this scarcity color your opinion. Good beer is good beer, no matter how hard it was to come by. This is very good beer. A beautiful pour, Double Sunshine has a nose of pure Citra hops, their funky dankness and tropical fruit completely unbridled — IPAs as vibrant as this one start to make everything else seem muddled in comparison. The effect is deliciously funky, to the point where I'd say this almost smells vaguely like some Brett beers I've brewed. However, Double Sunshine evokes a different type of bright outdoorsy rawness: the sharp, sunshiney ray of hops. Whoa, Citra sure is a smelly hop, and whoa, do I love it. Where else but in beer could you ever find sensations such as these?
When seeking out a great IPA, I look for clarity in aroma and flavor, and depth of character. This is it; this is about as purely flavorful as I can comprehend a beer like this being. Double Sunshine is laser-focused and crystal clear. (I could've worked another "sunshine" pun or metaphor in there, but I didn't. So, you know, you're welcome.)
Availablity: 22 ounce bottle. Semi-regular release delivered to select stores at select times.