It’s no secret that Waterloo, Iowa-based SingleSpeed Brewing is one of my favorite breweries. Living less than ten minutes from their beautiful and historic industrial-style brewery certainly helps. More than that though, ever since founder David Morgan started the company in 2012, SingleSpeed has produced one world-class beer after another. I genuinely cannot think of one release I strongly disliked.
I watch SingleSpeed’s release schedule like a hawk and as a local, I often have access to their beers the day they’re released.
One of my favorite things from SingleSpeed is their Nimble Series. The series began with a lone experimental IPA and has continued through several limited releases focused mainly on pale-ales and various styles of IPAs.
Nimble Series efforts 001-015 were each incredible in their own diverse ways. So naturally, when I saw the release announcement for effort 016 (Sixteen Sandals), I marked my calendar. On Friday, June 11, I was onsite purchasing a four-pack, beyond excited to taste this new brew in its purest, freshest form.
Sixteen Sandals is a Double Dry Hopped New England-Style Double IPA. It has an ABV of 7.5% and an IBU of 24. On the can, SingleSpeed describes the brew as follows:
“Hazy Double IPA [that] offers hop driven notes of fruit and white wine; perfect for poolside consumption”
I couldn’t have said it better myself, but I am going to take this opportunity to elaborate further.
Appearance and Aroma
On the pour, Sixteen Sandals is a deep orange. It’s a visually hazy beer with little to no light passing through. It pours with a medium-sized head.
The aroma is delightful. It’s fruity and juicy on the nose with notes of tropical fruit and berries. After inhaling for a while I started getting some slight dry and earthy hints as well. For a while, I was struggling to dial in on something in the aroma, until I remembered the label quote and realized it was the white wine. Once I realized it, the wine was apparent.
Flavor and Mouthfeel
In the mouth, Sixteen Sandals is light and refreshing. The tropical fruits are present right away but they’re not overpowering. I caught faint hints of pineapple and pear. The white wine notes are even more apparent in the taste. It’s not a sweet wine taste though. I’d compare it to a chardonnay or pinot gris. I did get a slight pine taste on the swallow.
SingleSpeed did not list the specific hop formula on the can, but considering the flavor profile, my guess is that Sixteen Sandals is laden with Enigma hops.
When you combine the chardonnay-esque notes with the double dry-hop process, you have quite a dry finish. That dryness sticks around for some time in the mouth, but it’s not at all intrusive. It does, however, make you want to go back for more.
As previously mentioned, SingleSpeed put it best when they called this beer “perfect for poolside consumption”. It truly is the perfect summer beer. As I drank it on my deck, I found myself subconsciously kicking my feet up and leaning back to bask in the hot Iowa summer sun.
Call it hometown bias, but if you try it yourself I know you’ll agree. SingleSpeed has now gone 16-for-16 in their Nimble Series.
Sixteen Sandals is simply another fantastic offering from one of Eastern Iowa’s premier breweries.