I didn't get to try the original DIPA but to date their best for me has been the superb v2, consumed 9 days after bottling and as fruity as a RuPaul/Boy George duet while manfighting with mangoes and passion fruit. Um Bongo on speed, bliss.
v3 was something similar, a beery grapefruit and orange pith combo but just... not... quite v2.
But that was then and this is now. Time for v4 and v5.
v4 first. Label says dry hopped during fermentation. Slightly fruity aroma, slight fizz, doesn't seem 9% abv, thinner than other DIPAs, not as fruity as hoped and certainly not the fruit bomb of v2. Hmmm, lets see what v5 brings.
Much cloudier. Label says dry hopped after fermentation. Again a little touch of fizz and well hidden alcohol, though this has more of the gummy mouthfeel of a DIPA. Still not as fruity as v2.
In my opinion v5 edges v4 but where they really comes to life is with a blending of the two. I'll be honest and say I was reluctant to do this at first. Why should the customer blend the two, isn't that Cloudwater's role, to decide how the beer is made?
Three blends were created, 75% v4, 50/50 and 75% v5. In my opinion a half n half mix was the perfect combo: dank passion fruit, mango fizz, sublime, everything that I recall about v2.
The 75% v5 came in a close 2nd (not as fruity) with the 75% v4 a distant 3rd. (too thin)
It seems strange that both versions were below CW's high bar but a mix of the two created some sort of Utopia.
So is the v4 and v5 a genuine test of which is better or a clever Cloudwater marketing ploy to make you buy 2 beers? You decide.
Or maybe just opt for their other DIPA Three's Company, which is a belter. Confused yet?