Saturday Sip: 4 Hands Dakine Tropical IPA

4-hands-dakine

“Da kine” is an expression in Hawaiian Pidgin that roughly translates to “whatsit” or “whatchamacallit” in English. It’s a placeholder for those times when the speaker can’t quite come up with the word he is looking for. For instance, “I talked on my ‘da kine'” equals “I talked on my ‘thing you use to talk to people'” equals “I talked on my phone.” Or in reference to beer, “The Brett in this beer is really giving off ‘da kine’ flavors” equals “The Brett in this beer is really giving off ‘something I can’t quite put my finger on’ flavors” equals “The Brett in this beer is really giving off ‘pineapple’ flavors.” See, I’ve always known that certain Brett strains can give off pineapple flavors but I had never actually equated the Brett pineapple flavor with what I was tasting until I tried Dakine, a tropical IPA (with no Brett) from 4 Hands.

I’ve always respected beers brewed with adjuncts because they help build a flavor vocabulary and provide practice for picking out flavors produced by grain, yeast and hops. There have been many times where I’ve had a beer brewed with a named ingredient, tasted it and realized that that was the taste I had been picking up in previous beers but never quite been able to name. For instance the pineapple in some Brett beers.

Dakine is an IPA brewed with pineapple, orange zest and honey. The nose bursts with big pineapple aromas. A sip reveals pineapple and orange that is rounded out with honey, like a tropical, lighter Hopslam. The pineapple, while readily identifiable as pineapple, is much drier than any artificial pineapple flavoring. It’s this lack of sweetness I believe that has made pineapple so difficult for me to pick out in beer previously, but now with this reference point I’ll certainly know it the next time I encounter it.

As its own beer, Dakine is a perfectly drinkable tropical IPA that bursts with fruity hops and pairs well with sunshine and pools. It could even serve as a refreshing tropical break from the snow and ice in the middle of winter. But as a reference point to learn how pineapple presents itself in beer, it’s irreplaceable.

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