Chicagoist's Beer of the Week: Half Acre's Double Daisy Cutter
By Jason Baldacci in Food on Oct 25, 2013 6:20PM
These days when we sit down in a bar and choose what beer to drink we try to drink as seasonally appropriate as possible. It makes us more excited about the seasons changing to offer up these opportunities. This week, however, we're not sure if it wants to be autumn or winter out there so we were mostly excited when we saw a very special local beer on tap.
Double Daisy Cutter is a limited release from Half Acre Brewing Company that we'd like to think is more than just a stronger version of their incredibly popular Daisy Cutter Pale Ale. It pours a beautiful copper-red into the glass and the aroma bursts to life immediately with big notes of earthy citrus and a hint of caramel. We picked up prominent notes of grapefruit (both bitter rind and juice) on the palate along with an essence of herbal tea and floral notes that linger on the finish. Despite being wonderfully hoppy, Double Daisy Cutter comes with a solid malt backbone that lends just a touch of sweet caramelization to balance out the hop bitterness. The whole thing is delightfully juicy in the middle but dries up nicely on the back of the palate. At 8 percent alcohol content by volume, Double Daisy Cutter is considerably more potent than standard Daisy Cutter but still manages not to come across as overdone. If we were to open a 22-ounce bomber of this beer with no one else around we probably wouldn't have too much of an issue polishing off the big bottle alone.
We love hops but we love balance in our beers more. With the popularity of IPAs and other hoppy styles a lot of brewers have gone above and beyond to extract as much sticky, resiny goodness as possible to make their beers hoppier than ever before. The only problem with this trend is that a lot of these beers end up as one trick ponies. They're stringently bitter, don't have enough body, lack complexity and missing the most important thing: balance. If you catch a little malty sweetness in a beer like Double Daisy Cutter, you'll appreciate the hop profile even more. Half Acre does a fantastic job of balancing this beer. While the hops may be front and center, they make great use of specialty malts to make sure Double Daisy Cutter is anything but one dimensional.