What do most movie sequels and beer variants have in common? They are both absolutely a money grab, designed to capitalize on the success of the original. But see, while movie sequels often pale in comparison to the first, slightly tweaked versions of popular beers rarely suffer the same fate.
It took Bell’s over 20 years to finally double down on its classic IPA, but the result was, unsurprisingly, delicious. Goose Island releases more Bourbon County styles than I can count, but each brings something worthwhile to the table. So when I was finally able to get my hands on the imperialized version of one of my favorite pale ales—Half Acre’s Daisy Cutter—I didn’t roll my eyes and lament the bastardization of a classic. No, I floated out of the store with as much Double Daisy Cutter as I could carry.
A lot of midwest-brewed IPAs have the same look. They are slightly hazy, with a coppery orange hue and big bubbly head. Think Bell’s, Boulevard, Revolution and yes, Half Acre too. Double Daisy Cutter fits the bill, and features the same layer of thick, foamy bubbles resting on top of the every-so-slightly cloudy, rusty-orange bodied beer.
While the original Daisy Cutter has an aroma that steers more towards lemon, pine, and grassiness, the doubled version is much more fruity to complement the bright grassiness. Juicy citrus plays backup to a wallop of stone fruits and white grape. Double Daisy Cutter’s aroma is nearly all sweetness, with almost no hint of any bitterness that may be to come.
The original Daisy Cutter is a stunner, and this version manages to achieve the same heights—even if it does so differently.”
The flavor is in direct contrast to the aroma. It features much more of the grassy bitterness with the fruit flavor veering more toward the skin and oily pith as opposed to the sweet flesh. Fittingly, Double Daisy Cutter is like a turned-up version of the original. It’s boozier, thicker, and fuller, ratcheting up the familiar flavors of its predecessor at a much higher volume, and there is nothing at all wrong with that. The original Daisy Cutter is a stunner, and this version manages to achieve the same heights—even if it does so differently.
Of course, beer sequels perform better than their movie brethren. After all, it’s not like a brewery will sub out your favorite brewer for someone less expensive or suddenly change the quality of its ingredients in an effort to maximize profits. More of a good thing, even a slightly different good thing, is better in my book. So, I’ll say it: I want more variants. Take a chance and dump in some more adjuncts, double the hops and ABV, age it in whatever barrel you can find—just make it with the same care as the original and I’m bound to buy it.