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Beer of the Week: Ballast Point Ghost Pepper Dorado Double IPA

Not for the timid, this is one seriously spicy chili beer

Place

Ballast Point Old Grove Brewery

10051 Old Grove Road, Suite B, San Diego

There’s plenty on the beer board for hop heads and hot heads at Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits. Specialty brewer Colby Chandler is perhaps the world’s foremost expert on crafting chili-infused beers. Allow me to clarify—we’re not talking about those watery, unpalatable novelty beers with sunglass-wearing chilies on the label. The India pale ales, wheat beers, porters, stouts, and more that Chandler heats up are complex beverages that marry the fruity essence of the brew’s hops with the flavors of the peppers he selects for each. That said, they also bring the heat.

In fact, one of the most interesting and intriguing things about these chili beers is how they set taste buds on fire while remaining refreshing enough to inspire an almost self-punishing form of desire for another sip. Easily the most popular of Chandler’s creations is Habanero Sculpin, a downright incendiary version of Ballast Point’s most popular IPA. On a recent visit, I indulged in that, then, being the glutton for punishment that I am, followed it up by trying a beer I’d never seen on tap before, Ballast Point Ghost Pepper Dorado Double IPA.

Having indulged in ghost pepper laden fare in the past, including biting into one all on its own, I can say it does an excellent job of conveying its special ingredients’ vegetal character. It certainly conveys all the heat those little buggers have packed in their capsaicin-lined ribbing. The heat washes over taste buds before finding a lasting home in the back of your throat. I would have found it hard to believe that anything could reduce the massive amount of hops in Double Dorado to second-fiddle status, but the ghost peppers are the star. Be forewarned, if you’re not a fan of big-time heat, this isn’t the beer for you. But if you are, it’s something you absolutely have to seek out and try.

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Place

Ballast Point Old Grove Brewery

10051 Old Grove Road, Suite B, San Diego

There’s plenty on the beer board for hop heads and hot heads at Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits. Specialty brewer Colby Chandler is perhaps the world’s foremost expert on crafting chili-infused beers. Allow me to clarify—we’re not talking about those watery, unpalatable novelty beers with sunglass-wearing chilies on the label. The India pale ales, wheat beers, porters, stouts, and more that Chandler heats up are complex beverages that marry the fruity essence of the brew’s hops with the flavors of the peppers he selects for each. That said, they also bring the heat.

In fact, one of the most interesting and intriguing things about these chili beers is how they set taste buds on fire while remaining refreshing enough to inspire an almost self-punishing form of desire for another sip. Easily the most popular of Chandler’s creations is Habanero Sculpin, a downright incendiary version of Ballast Point’s most popular IPA. On a recent visit, I indulged in that, then, being the glutton for punishment that I am, followed it up by trying a beer I’d never seen on tap before, Ballast Point Ghost Pepper Dorado Double IPA.

Having indulged in ghost pepper laden fare in the past, including biting into one all on its own, I can say it does an excellent job of conveying its special ingredients’ vegetal character. It certainly conveys all the heat those little buggers have packed in their capsaicin-lined ribbing. The heat washes over taste buds before finding a lasting home in the back of your throat. I would have found it hard to believe that anything could reduce the massive amount of hops in Double Dorado to second-fiddle status, but the ghost peppers are the star. Be forewarned, if you’re not a fan of big-time heat, this isn’t the beer for you. But if you are, it’s something you absolutely have to seek out and try.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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