You know, I think the fine folks behind Everett, Washington’s Scuttlebutt brewery must be psychic. At the very least, they seem to be able to predict their customer’s state of mind when they visit their website (notice that I said state of mind, not state of inebriation). Anyway, I say all this because just before popping open a bomber bottle of Scuttlebutt Gale Force IPA the thought occurred to me that I wasn’t quite sure just what, exactly, a scuttlebutt was.
Yet, lo and behold, the answer appeared before my eyes on the home page of the company’s website. Basically, “scuttlebutt” is either a nautical drinking vessel of some sort, gossip, or the name of a brewery. There’s a bit more to it than this, but you’ll have to check out the website for yourself for further details.
Scuttlebutt beers are available in 22 ounce bomber bottles here in Georgia through exclusive arrangement with Total Wine. They’re reasonably priced, too, at just $4.49 a bottle. It’s nice to be able to pick up beers like this outside their home market. Whenever possible, I like to go to the beer, but sometimes it’s also nice to have the beer come to me, as well.
Gale Force IPA has a whopping 96 IBUs and is hopped with Golding, Cascade, and Columbus hops. Yet it’s surprisingly low in alcohol: 5.25% alcohol by volume
Scuttlebutt Gale Force IPA pours to a bright orange amber color with a thick creamy head formation and a fruity, citric hoppy nose. The palate has a firm, chewy caramel maltiness up front that’s quickly succeeded by a citric hop bitterness that only grows as it approaches the finish. Those hops become intensely bitter, but they’re full of citric grapefruit aroma as well. They linger wonderfully in the finish, with a long dry bitterness that sticks around on the tongue for some time after sipping. This one really lets you know you’ve had a beer.
What I really like about this beer is that, though you’d never suspect it, it’s only 5.25% alcohol by volume. That means I can get a big hop fix and still stay standing. Most IPAs hover around the 7% mark for alcohol by volume. These days, many “Imperial” versions of the style can top 10%. Drink enough of them, however, and you’ll soon know it.
The lower gravity allows for a higher IBU count, of course, but the end result hoppiness is still a function of the proportion of hops used to malt. Scuttlebutt doesn’t skimp, and the result is true hophead’s beer. I like this as a session IPA, and could easily imagine whiling away a spring afternoon with a six-pack or a few bombers of it.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.