Shawn Abnoxious, my friend and a great American, will find it quite funny that I paid $12.99 for a single bottle of Three Floyds Dreadnaught. He might even advise me to have myself committed. Shawn, after all, enjoys iconic North American swills like Miller High Life and Labatt Blue. When he spends $12.99 at the beer store, he goes home with a case! I went home with 22 ounces. I must confess that I sought my wife’s consent before proceeding to checkout. She said, “Buy one, and if you like it, we can come back later and get more.” Yeah, I know: I’m a lucky man.
Here’s the really crazy part: I’m gonna buy the Three Floyds Dreadnaught again. That’s a certainty. I have no regrets about my decadent splurge on an absurdly premium beer. I mean, I wouldn’t buy that sort of brew every day (or even every month). But for special occasions, I’m willing to go a little nuts. I’m a beer lover, for Christ’s sake! Life is short! Savor the flavor! The key is that it’s gotta be worth every penny. And the Dreadnaught absolutely is. It’s one of the best beers in the United States. It deserves its own statue - and perhaps even a theme song.
I’m sometimes lukewarm on standard IPAs. But when it comes to imperial IPAs, I am all over that shit! You have to love a beer that flat-out wants to kick your ass. But like any world-class DIPA, the Dreadnaught has way more going for it than just a nuclear assault of hops. Sure, it’s strong. But it’s also balanced, drinkable, and incredibly great-tasting. Mango and peach notes add a little something extra to the familiar pine/grapefruit hop wallop, and all that assertive bitterness is countered nicely with a rich caramel malt backbone and a nice grainy sweetness. The mouthfeel is to die for: so silky and creamy that you’d think there’s no way it could have come from a bottle! Sure, the alcohol by volume (9.5 percent) and IBU count (99) are through the roof. If you like “big” beers, this one is absolutely ginormous. But while you can admire the Dreadnaught purely on the basis of ballsiness, it merits equally high marks in the deliciousness department. The clerk at the Mishawaka Belmont Beverage led me to believe that Three Floyds beers are hard to find in that neck of the woods. Apparently this brewer’s wares are distributed on such a limited basis that when they hit the store shelves, people quickly come out of the woodwork to snatch them up, beating each other with sticks if necessary. Based on what I’ve tasted from the Three Floyds beer lineup, that sort of fervor is most understandable.