New York-based Decadent Ales is among the bevy of brewers blasting contract-brewed hazy IPAs from the Northeast out across the country via a partnership with the 12 Percent Beer Project. As we’ve seen before, these contract brewing arrangements can go either way. In the case of Decadent’s double dry-hopped double IPA Multiflora, however, the result is mixed.
Decadent’s Multiflora is a change of pace for double IPAs in that it is only slightly hazy as long as you dodge the final half inch of hop sludge in the can. A big bubbled, almost soapy-looking head forms right off the pour. The body of the beer doesn’t hold much light despite a golden hue, and there isn’t much carbonation to see either. There’s nothing wrong with how Multiflora looks in the glass, but it doesn’t offer much to point to either.
Floral honey and orange flesh dominate what is definitely a sweeter aroma. The honeybees on the can should have given that much away. Some pine and blueberry come through as well, with the former of the two working with citrus rind to provide some bitterness. Multiflora doesn’t quite have the hoppy, fruity punch I’m looking for from the aroma of a double dry-hopped Mosaic double IPA. It’s not tremendously lacking, but it doesn’t approach the big hit of complex tropical, berry, grassy, and resinous aromas that the best Mosaic-hopped beers possess.
Multiflora has the hop profile of a single IPA with the malty sweetness and ABV of a double.”
The taste follows the aroma, as Multiflora is hyper-sweet and doesn’t make full use of its lead hop. Each sip is mostly honey and floral notes, with candied orange finishing off the list of sweet flavors. As expected off a pour with very little activity, Multiflora is lightly carbonated, which adds to the sweet, thick mouthfeel. Mosaic is one of my favorite hops, and while I’m getting a decent dose of the stone fruit and berry flavor that made me fall in love with the hop in the first place, it is hidden underneath all that sweetness and boozy heat. Multiflora is still a well-above-average offering, but I had hoped for more.
Looking around the online rating sites, I’m left wondering, have I missed something here? Multiflora scores a solid 4.02/5.00 on Untappd, an outstanding 92/100 on Beer Advocate, and an equally strong 95/100 on RateBeer. Did I get an older four-pack (add visible date codes, brewers!) or did the contract brewing arrangement makes this beer more susceptible to inconsistencies? Regardless, the Multiflora in my glass has the hop profile of a single IPA with the malty sweetness and ABV of a double. It’s a combination that works fine and leads to a solid beer, but leaves room for a lot of potential.