So life happens and I haven’t had the opportunity to tell you how our Bodega experience ended up. If you recall (which, of course you don’t), the Commander and I had ditched our wives and children somewhere in central Ohio, and proceeded to visit Bodega in Columbus for happy hour. After sampling the Goose Island Minx and the Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron, we had time for one, maybe two more beers.
We scoured the menu, and I arrived at Left Hand’s Twin Sisters Double IPA. It had been tantalizing me since I got there, so I had to try one (despite the Commander’s protests).
Turns out (and I’m think I may be saying this for the first time in my life) I should have listened to the Commander. I’m starting to doubt the quality of Left Hand. Their Milk Stout is great. But their Sawtooth is average, and the Twin Sisters was below average. It seems the more from Left Hand I sample, the worse it gets. The problem, at least to me, is that they seem to produce muted versions of some styles that should have loads of big, complex flavors. For a double IPA, the Twin Sisters tasted like a typical, everyday IPA. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with a typical, everyday IPA, but I ordered a double IPA. Think Pliny the Edler! Think Bell’s Hopslam! Think Avery Maharaja! I’m expecting more, damnit! Just mentioning those other beers in the same sentence as the Twin Sisters pisses me off. 2 hops for the Twin Sisters.
Before I made it even halfway through my Twin Sisters, I caught the bartender’s eye and ordered up a Great Divide Smoked Baltic Porter. I was going for #4 on the afternoon, and the Commander certainly wasn’t going to stop me.
Now this beer was a treat. The flavor profile was intense: smoked bacon, brown sugar, caramel, charred wood, and roasted malts abound with some hops to counter. The drinkability on this puppy was off the charts. At only 6.2% ABV with a medium-light mouthfeel, I could have gone through a few pints in no time (you know, if I hadn’t already pounded 3 high-ABV beers). I take a few points off because it’s not your standard Baltic Porter (which would be a little heavier, have a little more alcohol, and present with fewer hop-forward notes). But still, this gets a much-deserved 3.5 hops.
Next time you’re in Columbus (God help you), go to Bodega and have one for the Commander and me.