Recently Big Ditch added to their Lock IPA Series with #7, Dart. Same as the rest of the series and similar to most beers from Big Ditch the name, Dart, is rooted in the Erie Canal.
On the side of each can Big Ditch gave us the motivation behind the name Dart.
‘When the Erie Canal revolutionized the grain transportation industry in the mid-1800s, a solution was needed to move the grain off the ships quickly. Joseph Dart, along with his business partner, Robert Dunbar, were credited with financing and building “Dart’s Elevator”, the world’s first grain elevator, in 1842, which was an instant success.’
I’m sure Big Ditch’s Dart will prove to be an instant success in the beer industry, similar to the success of ‘Dart’s Elevator.’
The Beer: Lock IPA#7: Dart American IPA by Big Ditch Brewing Company
ABV: 6.6% IBU: N/A
Hops: Vic Secret
Grains: Malts Oats
On the side of each can we are fortunate to be provided with a nice description of Dart, same as we are with all Lock IPA beers.
Big Ditch writes:
‘Dart is brewed with lots of adjunct grains, mainly malted and flaked oats, as well as Vic Secret, Mosaic, and Citra hops. The oats make this beer luxuriously creamy while the hops add immense flavors of pineapple and passion fruit to the beer.’
Dart boasts a very attractive pour! The pour itself produces a nice golden haze topped with a strong creamy head that will leave a nice creamy residue on the side of your glass. The haze is very appealing, not totally cutting off all vision through Dart but only allowing slight shadows.
The aromas are delicious and allow all three hops to shine. Primarily there is a strong mango, tropical combination but with some effort comes pleasing results. After really sticking my nose in the glass I’m getting notes of pineapple, citrus, and passion fruit with a slight touch of oats. A very delicious and well rounded aroma that has a very welcoming and wholesome presence. The aromas provide an excellent first impression that gives Dart a strong presence that would make it stand out from the rest.
Ride The Elevator
To begin I would like to state that there is a very intriguing nature to Dart that I haven’t found in many beers to date.
When taking my first sip I’m hit with a combination of citrus and pineapple flavors both possessing a slight sour bite. This sour bite is a component of the intriguing nature of Dart, it gives the sense of a ‘false’ bitterness. I say ‘false’ because it quickly dissipates with the changing of the flavor characteristics. Shortly thereafter I’m noticing a shift from the citrus to a smooth mango and passion fruit flavor. There is a nice sweet touch from the passion fruit that works well with the lingering pineapple presence. There still remains a slight sour bite, almost like a small bite from a chunk of pineapple. Once you hit mid sip the ‘luxurious’ creamy nature of the beer seems to come forth. I’m really enjoying the use of the oats in Dart. It provides a nice well rounded nature of Dart that matches the ‘false’ bitterness I spoke of earlier and smooths it over.
Towards the end of the sip one is almost made to think there will be some bitter presence but instead the creamy mouthfeel stands in its place. I’m getting a burst of the pineapple and passion fruit that Big Ditch spoke of. Accompanying the delicious creamy mouthfeel is a nice sweet overtone, it almost seems to be a combination of the pineapple and passion fruit flavors. The after taste itself has a pillowy soft nature with a strong pineapple and citrus flavor.
As I said before Dart has a very intriguing nature to it. When first taking a sip I was lead to believe there was going to be a strong bitter presence. Instead that bitterness transformed into a delicious creamy mouthfeel that enhanced the flavors of Dart. This beer is a perfect combination Vic Secret, Mosaic, and Citra hops. Add in the oats, both malted and flaked, to provide the perfect mouthfeel and Boom! Big Ditch created a delicious American IPA. One you would not want to miss out on. Hopefully the brewery still has some or maybe Big Ditch has plans for distribution. Either way, do yourself a favor and keep an eye out for Dart. You won’t be disappointed!