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Tandem is tops in the Valley

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Meet the best locally bottled beer in town.

I’m currently running down a list of our Valley’s locally bottled beer, as there is quite a strong selection at the moment. Joseph James, Big Dog’s and Tenaya Creek are giving beer lovers a serious reason to maybe skip that six-pack of Deschutes, Stone or even Dogfish Head.

Let me just get this out of the way: Our local beer is good. Very good. I have yet to try one that disappointed. But tops on my list is a product from Tenaya Creek that also recently won the honor of “Best Locally Bottled Beer” in our annual Weekly Awards: Tenaya Creek’s Tandem Double IPA.

Fans of the Booze Blog will know I’m all about two things in particular in the booze world: Bourbon and India Pale Ales. To say I’m obsessed with both would not be an overstatement. The top shelf of my fridge is now packed with Stone’s hoppy product, thanks to an incredible half-off sale at Lee’s Discount Liquor. There’s just something about the taste of IPAs that has ruined me for just about any other type of beer. Maybe it’s a phase, but if so, it’s the longest “phase” of my life to date.

And I was very excited to try Tandem. I haven’t tried many “double” IPAs up to this point, so the concept of doubling down on the hops was beyond intriguing.

Tandem lived up to expectations, and then some. It’s got a wonderful aroma, definitely on the fruity side, and the flavor is a deep combination of the hoppy bitterness and a touch of malty sweetness. I couldn’t quite put my finger on the fruit I detected, but if I had to guess, I’d say orange. But just a hint, mind you. Easily the most unique locally bottled beer out there.

Though it's worth noting that this is in no way an easy-drinking beer: It clocks in at 9 percent ABV, and it is a bit on the dense side, but if you’re an IPA connoisseur, you absolutely have to give this a try. I have a feeling there will always be a bottle of Tandem in my fridge.

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Ken Miller is Las Vegas Weekly's associate editor, having previously served as assistant features editor at the Las Vegas Sun ...

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