Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Tasting : Good Day Sunshine (Lawson's Finest Double Sunshine clone)

Sorry for the delay on this one; I had no intentions on letting the tasting notes for a DIPA to go this long. But summer always seems to go by so quickly, and for some reason I don't find the time to write on here as often as I'd like to. Anyway, on to it!

I brewed this beer in late May, and have been drinking it for about a month now. Bottom line: it's quite tasty. This isn't a real surprise to me; any beer that is brewed solely with a healthy amount of Citra hops is probably going to taste at least pretty good, as long as the grist isn't swimming with Caramel malt and there isn't a rampant infection going on. Since I've never had Lawson's Double Sunshine, I can't answer what should be the real question, here - is the beer cloned? So, I'll try to answer the next best thing - is this an EXCELLENT Double IPA?

I would have to say... no, not quite. It's very good, it really is. The first few days, the beer had a strong cat pee aroma that you usually find in beers hopped heavily with Citra, but it didn't last long. Now, it's tasting very fruity, with some dank character in there that I like. Sometimes IPAs and DIPAs can be TOO dank, but I don't find that to be the case with this beer. The fairly-busy malt character doesn't distract too much from the hop character, but it does confirm for me that I prefer a really hoppy beer with less specialty malt. I've had people taste this beer after drinking my Societe The Pupil clone, (about 75% 2-row, 20% wheat malt, 5% Carapils) and they've mentioned - without prompting from me - that they prefer the Pupil clone, especially the malt backbone. I can't put my finger on why, exactly, but maybe the simpler malt bill just allows the hops to shine through more?

Regardless, this Double Sunshine clone is a pretty darned good recipe, and if you're a Citra fan, by all means give it a try. What really strikes me with this beer is how drinkable it is; you'd never guess that it's an 8.3% ABV beer. The hop aroma and flavor could be a bit bigger, and I can't say for sure if it's, again, due to the malt bill or the fact that the Citra I used wasn't as fresh as it could have been. So... try it! Just do your best to find as-fresh-as-you-can-get Citra.

Appearance: Pours with a moderate-sized, white head that shows good retention, leaving a bit of lacing on the glass. The body is a burnished-gold color, with very good clarity.

Aroma: Now that it's been pouring a few weeks, the cat pee has faded, and is barely there at all. A big citrusy, tropical fruit punch comes through in its place, with a light dank character that works well. Some background malt presence, but luckily the beer doesn't smell sweet. No flaws.

Taste: Prominent tropical fruit hop flavors, again with a touch of dank. The hop character is a bit less than in the aroma; more malt character (maybe a bit bready, not too sweet) backing up the hops that are there. No real alcohol presence, surprisingly. Quite smooth. Medium bitterness in the finish; still fairly dry despite the presence of specialty malts.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, moderate carbonation.

Overall: An easy-drinking DIPA, with great Citra character throughout. Would like to see it a bit hoppier; a grist that concentrates more on 2-row would help, along with fresher hops. Still, a highly-recommended recipe, especially for Citra-lovers out there (and who isn't, really?).


  1. My clone has been fermenting for three days now. Do you recommend adding to the dry hop to increase the perceived hoppiness? Currently I think the recipe called for 3 oz?

  2. I thought the recipe from the article made for a very hoppy beer. How fresh is your Citra? I'm pretty sure I was even using up some from an older harvest, and it still came out great, so if you have 2013 or even this year's crop, you should be fine sticking with the 3 oz the recipe calls for.