So the other day I was pondering what beer I was going to use for my next Brewview and then I stumbled across the news that Big Ditch was releasing the next part of their Lock IPA series. Obviously, it goes without saying my mind was easily made up. Though I was able to plan out my next two as well. So if all goes well I’m hoping to be productive within the next few days.
But for now, let’s just focus on the gem that is Cannon Call. It is a Double IPA clocking in with an ABV of 8.4%. The highest ABV of the Lock IPA series I believe, really making it stand out from all the rest. Once you know the history behind the name, I’m sure you will understand the 8.4% ABV and the bang it carries.
As always, Big Ditch provides us with a nice introduction on the side of each can in the Lock IPA series. I, myself find this to be important as well as interesting, besides the description of the beer it also provides the history behind each name of the beer. So what should we expect with Cannon Call?
‘When the Erie Canal was completed in 1825, its completion was toasted as the “Great Celebration.” As part of the celebration, cannons were placed along the canal within earshot of each other, and were fired in both directions from Buffalo to the Hudson River and back. The entire Cannon Call took three hours to complete.
Cannon Call is a double IPA with Citra, Nelson Sauvin, Idaho 7, and Simcoe hops to yield a tropical flavor explosion with notes of orange zest and grapefruit.’
Very interesting! I am very excited to get Brewview#40 under way.
The Beer: Cannon Call Lock IPA Series#6 by Big Ditch Brewing Company
ABV: 8.4% IBU: 56
Igniting the Cannon (Can to Glass)
So Big Ditch promised a tropical fruit bomb to anyone that cracks open a can of Cannon Call and they are not wrong. A majority of the aromas for Cannon Call are tropical fruit besides a slight addition of pine. Though the tropical fruits aromas are the driving force, it’s not terribly difficult to pick up on the pine aromas as well. If you sit for a second and push through the tropical fruits aromas there you will find the pine aromas. Not quite sitting in the background but just enough that they aren’t the primary focus.
Where can we pinpoint the origin of these two aromas? Starting with the tropical fruit aromas, which include citrus, mango, and grapefruit, the Citra, Nelson Sauvin, and Idaho 7 are all contributors. Citra hops themselves are known for mango and citrus aromas which we obviously have with Cannon Call. Nelson Sauvin helps with the citrus but also provides the addition of grapefruit aromas as well. Now Idaho 7 is quite useful in Cannon Call, not only is it pungent with tropical fruit but also lends a hand with the pine aroma as well. I find that very interesting, I’ve rarely, if ever seen a hop that produces a fruit and pine aroma or flavor. Pretty cool.
Besides aromas, Cannon Call boasts a very enticing golden straw color, along with a pretty thick haze. The only thing I was able to see through this beer was mere shadows. Giving Cannon Call a very refreshing appearance. The head with each pour comes to about one finger width though, you will get a very nice creamy residue on the side of your glass as you empty it ;D.
I’ve already enjoyed a few Cannon Calls with my brother in law Josh, thanks to him I am able to write this Brewview! Cheers Josh! And honestly, the three hour cannon blast is a close comparison to how powerful Cannon Call is. As I’ve said before Cannon Call has an ABV of 8.4% and it’s easy to pick up on the higher ABV. I do believe though the fruity flavors and the sour sides of them add to alcohol bite in the end. If one were to compare Deep Cut, another double IPA by Big Ditch, you wouldn’t necessarily be able to pick up on the higher ABV as easily. That is until you’re a few deep and wondering why all the sudden you’re stumbling, happens to all of us I’m sure.
‘I said it once and I’ll say it again, man how I love being a turtle.’ I miss the Ninja Turtles ha….but seriously I know I’ve said it before and I’ll say it now, I love how a beer has a transforming flavor throughout each sip. The easiest way I can and will break it down is beginning, middle, and end to after taste.
So what happens in the beginning? At the beginning of each sip I am getting strong citrus bites, as if I just bit off a mouthful of orange, almost sour like. After that it’s a bit easier to pick up on the more tropical fruit side of the beer. As I progressed to the middle of my sip I was able to differentiate between the citrus, mango, and grapefruit and appreciate the different fruit flavors. And then comes the end, here is where I found the pine characteristic again and this lingers into the bitter after taste as well. Though Cannon Call as a whole is a more tropical fruit beer, the after taste is more pine dominant. In my opinion the overall bitterness sits in the middle for me, I guess the IBU rating of 56 says it all then. But I feel there is more to it than that. Yes, Cannon Call has its bitterness and the hops hold a pretty high Alpha Acid percentage, but that’s not all there is to speak of. Combine the high Alpha Acid percentage of the hops used to bitter the beer, the 8.4% ABV but also the orange zest and grapefruit that Big Ditch spoke of. Combine all those and if you ask me that is what gives Cannon Call the perfect bitterness/aftertaste.
Breaking down the flavors is very similar to the break down of the aromas. Tropical fruit and pine with their corresponding hop of origin. Same as before let’s begin with the tropical fruit. I think it is fairly obviously when drinking this beer that Citra hops were used in the brewing process. From the Citra hops you get the mango and citrus components of the tropical fruit concoction. Bringing in the Nelson Sauvin hops you also get the citrus flavor but also the grapefruit along with a background of tropical fruit flavors as a whole. The Idaho 7 hops are very similar to the previous two hops, coming in strong with citrus, grapefruit and orange flavors in addition to the pine flavor as well. Combine the pine characteristic of Idaho 7 and the Simcoe hops and there you have it the amazing after taste and bitterness of Cannon Call. The other day when I first enjoyed Cannon Call, I also had Deep Cut and moved onto Bourbon, and the bitterness and after taste I speak of did not at all interfere with my other drinks. I had a very smooth transition from one drink to the next. A nice characteristic to have in a beer, especially when you plan on have more than one beer of choice.
The last thing to speak of for Cannon Call is the mouthfeel. I hope you recall the creamy residue that remains on the side of the glass that I spoke of earlier. I imagine that is what my mouth feels like. Cannon Call has a very smooth medium to full mouthfeel. What remains is a creamy mouthfeel accompanied by the pine after taste. Quite refreshing if you ask me. It gives Cannon Call a very whole some characteristic.
As The Smoke Clears
Cannon Call was an amazing beer, just as I expected being part of Big Ditch’s Lock IPA Series. Possibly the strongest of the series, it leads the charge with a bang. Though each part of this series has similarities, each one has its own unique attributes as well . And it is not difficult to identify them in Cannon Call, with it’s strength as well as the enticing pine notes towards the end of every sip.
I like the direction that the Lock IPA Series is heading, I’m not sure what is in store for it though I expect nothing but the best from Big Ditch.
Cheers to Big Ditch! Thanks for reading, be sure to leave a comment whether it’s on this blog, Twitter or Facebook. I would love some input!