“This collaboration with Garage Project was brewed especially for Bridge Road’s annual harvest festival, The High Country Hop. It’s a black IPA, bursting with the unique flavours of freshly harvested local hops from HPA’s Rostrevor Hop Garden. The 2022 vintage uses fresh Galaxy hop cones, picked and added to the beer within 6 hours.”
Appearance: About the darkest shade of brown one could imagine. Topped off with a short tan head which slowly disperses. There’s decent lace work considering the diminishing head.
Aroma: Oooh yeah the roast emanating off it is pretty direct. This is what we love the most about black IPA’s – the second the charred malt and smoky/burnt wood/ash component hits the olfactory’s the sharp and clean pine needle, oily citrus rind and fresh green tea pulls it right back. The combination of it all reminds us of a block of herb-infused chocolate. Very alluring!
Flavour: Atypically bland and indistinct for a Collab between two Antipodean heavyweights. The sharp separation of malt and hops displayed on the nose has been totally blurred on the palate. All that’s left is a limp roasted malt profile and a tired hop presence which when combined is pretty pedestrian. It almost tastes watered down. What the hell?!
Mouthfeel: It holds up ok. Pretty smooth and palate-friendly texture, flattish Co2. A well concealed 6.6% ABV.
Overall: We can’t work out what’s happened here. A big, punchy aroma then a dead and lifeless palate. It’s still pretty fresh so age isn’t an issue. We’re stumped.