Category Archives: IPA’s

Holgate Brewhouse ‘2018 Millenium Falcon’ Emperial IPA

Rating:

35473203_872233679627445_5598436286324015104_n“Get ready for a tropical hop hit from beyond the stars! May the hops be with you! First brewed in 2013 to mark our 1000th brew, the Millennium Falcon is made with pale malt and an interstellar hopping rate to produce an “Emperial” IPA that is simply out of this world.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Golden amber with a light hop haze. The head swells to about a thumb before slowly receding to a film. Seeing some nice lace work as we hook in.

Aroma: Smells fantastic. Super fresh and hiding that 9% ABV really well. Lots of clean pine needle, citrus juIce, pineapple, mango, yellow grapefruit and dank herbals. Somewhat of a semi sweet and buttery malt structure holding it all together. Solid introduction so far.

Flavour: A bit more aggressive that’s for sure. Tasting some sweeter fruits like pineapple, mango and melon initially with grapefruit developing towards the middle. A steady booze burn ascends in the background as it steers to orange rind and sharp pine/spruce to finish. Good endurance – dry and bitter but still balanced enough to show some sweet-ish buttery malts on the back palate.

Mouthfeel: Well rounded, slightly sharp and chalky. The bottle states a 100+ IBU and although it’s felt it levels out with a fine malt presence.

Overall: After returning from a West Coast brewery tour recently our palates have been treated to some of the finest IPA’s in the world. We’re stoked to say that this Aussie IIPA would easily stack up against them all. Very worthy.

Bottle Logic Brewing ‘Ocularity’ Double IPA

Rating:

35228543_869667159884097_7824067852117213184_n“A piney and resinous Double IPA made with Chinook, Amarillo, and Simcoe hops.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Hazy amber/orange with two fingers of white foamy head over the top. Decent retention and lots of lace clinging to the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: Aaahhhh a good old pine bomb! Like the IPA’s of yesteryear. Layer upon layer of weedy pine resins, tropical fruits (mango, passion fruit, paw paw, lychee), zingy orange peel, some citrus notes like grapefruit, tangerine and mandarin. The malt backing is quite sweet – some caramel/honey with a touch of buttery biscuits. A traditional West Coast IPA!

Flavour: Lots of zesty and zingy orange citrus to the fore. The booze is rather aggressive in its delivery, bringing the cocktail fruits along with it. Sharp notes of pine needle, grapefruit and mild white pepper roll in to the dry and super bitter finish which reveals more of that warming booze (9% ABV) and acidic citrus at the back end.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, aggressive and extremely bitter (100 IBU). Medium body and co2. Definitely feeling the heat from the ABV as well.

Overall: In this era of the “haze craze” we must admit it is refreshing to rewind back to the gold old days. Ocularity offers that quintessential west coast IPA character – the booze, the bitterness and the almost palate wrecking aggression. Love it!

Alvarado Street Brewery ‘Countach’ Double NE IPA

Rating:

34841081_868208896696590_5276490842100465664_n“Double IPA fermented with an expressive blend of yeasts, resulting in flavors and aromas of juicy nectarines and ripe pineapple. Dry hopped heavily with a unique pairing of American and Southern Hemisphere hops.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Murky mustard yellow body with a huge three and a bit finger head capping it off. Solid head retention with a smattering of lace left behind.

Aroma: Tonnes of uplift. As the glass just sits their idle we can still get wafts of juicy fruits like mango, pineapple and guava. It has that somewhat chalky vanilla note with flashes of minerals, herbs and botanicals also coming through. Some grapefruit, apple/pear and citrus rind in here too. Dead set right on the money.

Flavour: Holy moly this is good. Super smooth and fruity as it comes on, oodles of sweet fleshy fruits (mango, pineapple, orange, melon), some pine resin, grassy hop, creamy vanilla and grapefruit. A touch of bready malt forming as it finishes remarkably smooth and fruity with lingering grassy hop and pine resins in the tail.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and slightly chalky with the 8.1% ABV concealed magnificently. Lively co2 and a nicely held IBU (45).

Overall: Incredible. Most probably one of the best NEIPA’s we’ve ever had. Faultless.

Pure Project ‘Triple Hyped’ Triple IPA

Rating:

33720265_862081630642650_2576387556149035008_n“A dangerously drinkable 10.3% Triple IPA featuring Nelson, Citra, and Mosaic Hops.  Aromas and flavors of guava, mango and ripe tropical fruits appear over a subtle bitterness and smooth mouthfeel.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Cloudy pale gold with a two finger cap over the top. Excellent head retention and healthy lace work on the glass.

Aroma: Rather interesting it’s like the east and west coast are having a secret rendezvous in our glass. On one hand we’ve got grapefruit, lemon, orange peel and pineapple and on the other we have pineapple, mango, peach and guava. The best thing is that they work harmoniously! Very little in the way of malt, bready if we had to choose. Very nice!

Flavour: Damn smooth for a triple IPA! It leans a bit more to the East Coast with its sweet fleshy fruit profile i.e mango, guava, pineapple etc. Some flashes of citrus and pine resin here and there. How the hell is this a triple IPA!? Some prickly warmth from the booze but that all tapers off by the finish which mind you is as smooth as a baby’s bottom!

Mouthfeel: Creamy, rather light on and dangerously drinkable. The 10.3% ABV is hardly even noticeable. WTF?!

Overall: Sorry to sound like a broken record here folks but how the hell is this a triple IPA?! It drinks like something half its size and it’s smooth as silk. Extremely well structured beer. Sensational.

Toppling Goliath ‘Mosaic Dry Hop Golden Nugget’ IPA

Rating:

33686749_862072590643554_7220935786697326592_n“The combination of golden promise malt, Mosaic, and Nugget hops make this IPA a bouquet of hop, citrus, and pineapple aromas, followed by floral sweetness. a bold, hop-forward taste captivates the senses and leaves behind a pleasant bitterness.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Super cloudy golden/mustard yellow. It constructs a big three finger head that persists with a smattering lace all over the glass.

Aroma: It showcases the magnificent mosaic hop really well. Tonnes of pineapple, peach, lychee and pear. Super juicy with solid creamy and stonefruit characters……literally brekky juice! Some mild citrus undertones, a touch of spice and some botanicals thrown in for good measure!

Flavour: So juicy. It actually tastes like a fruit salad. I mean pineapple, rockmelon, pear, orange, lychee, grapefruit, peach, guava and banana are all here. Creamy and somewhat musty notes in the back seat. Smooth and fruity through the mid then finishing on a slightly bitter note with hints of grapefruit and grassy hop character on the rear.

Mouthfeel: Creamy texture with a bit of drying bitterness late in the piece. Medium body with a well masked 60 IBU and 6.8% ABV.

Overall: Hard to fault it really, it’s a damn fine NEIPA. One of those beers where you wished you had another 12 in the fridge. Sadly we don’t as we muled this back from the USA. Top notch.

Founders Brewing Co ‘Dankwood’ BA Imperial Red IPA

Rating:

33573405_861152690735544_6683822814635491328_n“What do you get when a big, bold imperial red IPA meets an oak bourbon barrel? A palate stunner that’ll send your senses spinning or, as we like to call it, Dankwood. Rich caramel notes emerge from the depths of the IPA, highlighting strong malt character while the bourbon barrel-aging develops the complexity. A dank, sticky and slightly sweet sipper, Dankwood is the perfect alchemy of wood and hops.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Very deep amber with a thumb of puffy tan foam perched on top. It’s reasonably well retained and leaves a streaky lace drag down the walls of the glass.

Aroma: Dank, boozy, sweet and syrupy. Over ripened stonefruits such as mango, rockmelon, paw paw and pineapple which seem to accentuate the super sweet syrupy notes (not to mention the hefty 12.2% ABV). Certainly picking up undertones of the bourbon oak, it’s quite subtle but there to be found. As it settles it almost gets this amaretto scent to it. Potent but very elegant.

Flavour: It hits every corner of the flavour spectrum! It’s rich, sweet and syrupy but it’s also dank, bitter and hoppy with its hints of grapefruit and orange peel early in the mid. Nutty malts, toffee, caramel and burnt sugar finish with a liqeur-ish note, stewed fruits, port and a subtle jaffa-like flavour that really goes the distance on the back palate.

Mouthfeel: Sticky, dense and resinous with an intense booze burn. At times aggressive IBU (65), wouldn’t want it to be much higher to he honest.

Overall: It’s a great drop but my goodness it’s an onslaught to the senses. Points for complexity, body and fun factor but it’s just slightly palate wrecking.

Russian River Brewing Co ‘Blind Pig’ IPA

Rating:

33487291_861202230730590_6013106260537245696_n“Blind Pig IPA was originally brewed by Vinnie at Blind Pig Brewing Co. in Temecula CA. Inspired by the original Blind Pig IPA, this beer is loaded with hop character but only has 6.0% ABV. ”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Golden pour with excellent clarity. Quite a short head and minimal wavy lace being strewn down the glass.

Aroma: We’re getting that hallmark American IPA nose led by pithy grapefruit, pine needles, citrus rind, fresh herbs, some orange citrus and light florals. The malt profile is so clean it ain’t funny. We’re more inclined to say it’s grainy with some husky and sweet notes as well. Solid!

Flavour: It has that typical all-encompassing bitterness with a dry and pithy astringency in support. We’re picking up a light grainy/biscuity malt that softens the mid palate before the brawny bitterness returns with delicate honey, citrus acidity and pine needle on the close.

Mouthfeel: Incredibly crush-able. Dry and slightly warming (6.25% ABV) with mild-moderate body. Co2 is spot on. Dangerously easy over the tongue!

Overall: Extremely well presented IPA. After all it is Russian River! We hate to stack it up against Pliny but we can’t help it, somehow it finds itself in its shadow but it still has this super clean feel with enormous session ability…..just like Pliny!

Modern Times Beer ‘Avalon’ NE IPA

Rating:

33380530_860772567440223_2147041425282301952_n“The progeny of London yeast and a breathtaking plethora of juicy hops, this 7% stunner promises to be a hazy IPA of the highest order. Prepare your taste receptors for a rousing chorus of tropical wonderment that will have you singing its praises long after the final sip.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Hazy orange with soft golden highlights. It builds a finger of foamy head which reduces to a halo. It posts a consistent set of rings as we imbibe.

Aroma: Absolutely on point. Crammed full of brekky juice fruits – mango, pineapple, guava and orange with the slightest hint of apple/pear on the flank. Muted grapefruit, kumquat, stonefruits and passion fruit in there too. Somewhat buttery malt profile, kind of reminds us of Anzac cookies. Superb!

Flavour: Creamy tropical fruits to the fore – brekky juice galore! All those aromas transition in to flavour with added notes of apricot and peach. It’s unbelievable how smooth it is through the mid, the bitterness is muted, there’s a mild spicy/herbal note and a citrus accent that rolls in to a dry yet pleasant finish.

Mouthfeel: Creamy texture. Seriously well masked IBU (50) and an even better concealed ABV (7%). Medium body, mild-moderate co2.

Overall: We want to say it’s as good as heady topper but it just falls short. Pretty much faultless but as it’s not as good we can’t give it a 10….even though it probably deserves it!

Pizza Port Brewing Co ‘Swami’s’ IPA

Rating:

33059434_860734897443990_3732481542644039680_n“Swami’s IPA is a special beer to the Pizza Port family as it was the first IPA brewed in our original location over 20 years ago in Solana Beach. With a more traditional hop profile, this beer is the quintessential example of a West Coast IPA as it showcases the fresh bitterness of citrus and pine. Swami’s is named after one of the most famous surf breaks in San Diego county, which, as perfectly depicted on the can, is always crowded with surfers and paddle boarders alike. The break itself gets its name from its proximity to a Self-Realization Fellowship, a landmark in Encinitas that is also perfectly pictured on the can. Whatever your form of meditation is, we hope that each and every sip contributes to your own self-realization! Hops: Chinook, CTZ, Cascade, Centennial, Citra, Simcoe.

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Clear golden pour which caps off with a finger of loosely held foam. It peels back to a fine film which manages to work a healthy lace down the glass.

Aroma: It’s got a bit of everything. Stonefruits, tropical fruits, citrus, little jabs of pine, tangy orange along with tangerine and ruby grapefruit. Somewhat yeasty too – light phenolic citrus and spicy floral tones with little malt in the background, light and bready/grainy in our opinion. Really nice.

Flavour: Quite the citrus bomb upfront. More pronounced grapefruit, orange peel and sharp piney notes which carry a bit of that boozy warmth with it. She really intensifies midway, all that grapefruit acidity, pectins and hop bitterness hits a crescendo then tapers off in to a dry but well tempered finish.

Mouthfeel: Typical IPA intensity. Bold, bitter and drying with a bit of boozy warmth (6.8% ABV) in the swallow. Medium body and co2.

Overall: A solid IPA with plenty of big and slightly aggressive aromas and flavours to back it up. Good body and an assertive IBU (72). Would buy again, if we could get our hands on it in Australia!

 

 

Barrel House Brewing Co IPA

Rating:

33226089_859774800873333_4078472052036599808_n“We built this delicious unfiltered West Coast IPA around a unique blend of specialty hops delivering mouth-watering juicy dankness. Put it in your mouth; you can thank us later. Cheers!”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Slightly hazy gold with soft amber highlights. We’ve got a finger of puffy white foam that persists and draws a soapy lace as we indulge.

Aroma: Lots of tropical fruit hop notes. Wafts of mango, pineapple and melon with light citrus accents. It’s hinting at grassy hops, maybe just a flutter of dankness in there. We’re also picking up a resinous pine with a soft caramel malt sweetness to balance it all out. Not bad.

Flavour: A little bit less tropical fruit and more resinous pine and a touch of candied citrus (mostly lemon and lime) on entry. Becoming quite pithy and acidic through the mid palate. Very mild malt sweetness rolling in to a drying finish with the acidic bitterness and slightly warming booze in the tail.

Mouthfeel: Dry and somewhat astringent with that big 76 IBU developing in the swallow. Minimal balance though, making it aggressive and kind of unapproachable.

Overall: Not quite what we were expecting (or hoping). It’s slightly unbalanced with a piercing alcohol warmth and aggressive bitterness which only intensifies as it settles in the glass. Decent enough but it needs some fine tuning in our opinion.

El Segundo Brewing Co ‘Steve Austin’s Broken Skull’ IPA

Rating:

33248908_859710287546451_5722336265928441856_n“A bad-ass 6.7% IPA designed by Steve Austin and ESBC for the working man & woman. It features Citra, Cascade, and Chinook hops to deliver big flavor with an easy finish. Now stop reading and start enjoying this awesome beer!”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Slightly hazy golden amber with a pillowy thumb of white foam over the top. The head holds its shape well, settling to a decent overlay which weaves a wavy lace down the sides of the glass.

Aroma: Choc a block full of those hallmark West Coast IPA scents – citrus (orange, tangerine, lemon, Ruby grapefruit), pine needle, mild jammy notes, melon and light florals. Somewhat of a doughy malt structure, hitting crusty bread notes in its delivery. Pleasant and pretty well balanced.

Flavour: Well transitioned in to the flavour profile. An even fusion of orange citrus, piney undertones and bready malts to the fore. Subtle hints of grapefruit acidity coming through the middle and leading to a smooth finish where the bready malts appear to carry the hops very nicely. Length is pretty good.

Mouthfeel: Drying texture and moderately bodied with reasonably well hidden bitterness (39 IBU). 6.7% ABV also nicely contained.

Overall: A fairly crush-able IPA. Quite impressive considering the ABV too. Although nothing really seems to stand out, it’s just a nice and simple mid arvo thirst quencher.

Dogfish Head ‘120 Minute’ Imperial IPA

Rating:

33216258_859400270910786_4601829974721167360_n“Clocking in at 15-20% ABV, 120 Minute IPA is continuously hopped with a copious amount of high-alpha American hops throughout the boil and whirlpool, and then dry-hopped with another pallet of hops. Unfiltered and abundently hoppy, it’s the Holy Grail for hopheads!”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Nice bright amber hue with a thumb of persistent head perched on top. Thick lace decoration as we hook in.

Aroma: Holy moly! This is massive. First thoughts are dank, extremely boozy and aggressive with a sweet toffee malt structure. Tonnes of stewed dark fruits, cognac/sherry, burnt orange, tree sap, syrup and resinous pine oils. The booze content (16.5% ABV) is fierce and really stings the nostrils! You could very easily mistake this for an American style barleywine. Absolutely mammoth.

Flavour: It opens with a huge palate wrecking warmth, stewed fruits (apricot, plum and raisin) and sharp resinous pine notes cutting in. More of a sweet orange accent, syrupy toffee/caramel malts and cognac/sherry midway. It all intensifies in to a sweet, dry, warming and complex finish that goes the distance on the back palate.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, thick and dense in texture with some oily-ness to it. Average co2. Certainly for the more adventurous.

Overall: We’ve been waiting years to try this beer and it isn’t exactly what we expected. It’s excessive and aggressive! A super quaffer. To be honest the 90 minute is better!

Bear Republic Brewing Co ‘Hop Shovel’ IPA

Rating:

33057439_859388410911972_951652138751098880_n“Hop Shovel is dry, but with a soft and rounded mouthfeel achieved by using a high proportion of wheat and rye. Hop varieties Mosaic, Meridian, and Denali provide an abundance of flavor and aroma.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Clear gold with some fine suspended sediment floating around. Active co2 which builds the finger of fizzy white head. Decent retention with a thick, streaky lace as we go.

Aroma: Quite dank and musty with a strong grainy malt on the flank. Big and dank pine notes, wet forest floor, marmalade, kind of husky, boozy tropical fruits, blood orange/ruby grapefruit and a bit of warming booze. Maybe some delicate sweet caramels at the base too. Quite well balanced.

Flavour: It has a nice and bitey bitterness upfront along with soft herbal/spicy hop undertones. A good swish around the mouth offers a more restrained bitterness but a lifted citrus/orange note with the yellow grapefruit in support. The citric pectins become quite strong as it nears the dry and bitter finish. Good duration on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Dry, medium bodied and super bitter. Can’t find an IBU but our guess would put it around the mid 60’s. Pretty adventurous for the casual craft drinker.

Overall: She has all the hallmarks of a decent IPA – bitey, sharp and bitter but maybe not as well balanced as it could be. It certainly doesn’t detract from its appeal but it’s nothing to write home about.

Stone Brewing ‘Stygian Descent’ BA Imperial Black IPA

Rating:

31958028_852595801591233_5676943246203289600_n“Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA practically named itself. The perfect melding of dark malts with a downright indecent amount of hops forges a complex flavor profile of assertive dark roastiness and big, bright hop notes for a singularly sublime experience.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Predominantly black with a faint cola edge. The pour aroused a huge three finger head which retains exceptionally well. Tonnes of soapy lace sticks to the glass as we imbibe.

Aroma: Really dominant bourbon notes initially. Lots of woody oak tannins, spice, vanilla, treacle and mild smoky tones in support. Can’t find any real hop character, just a whole lot more roasty dark chocolate, charred wood and earth. Getting a subtle hint of the peppery rye as it warms.

Flavour: Pretty much follows on from the nose – top notes of sharp and semi sweet bourbon with piercing booze, woody oak tannins and burnt chocolate. Tasting some of that earthy spice on the flank as very very subtle hints of pine/spruce come through the middle. Roasted malts, toasted grains and spicy whiskey are finished off with a warning booze burn in the tail.

Mouthfeel: Nice and full. Well warming (11.6%) with medium co2 and a well tempered 90 IBU. Aggressive but surprisingly smooth.

Overall: It’s certainly a complex little number. The time spent in KY bourbon and rye whiskey barrels is the biggest contributor along with the subtle smoky notes. Look, it’s nothing to write home about but it’s still a decent drop.

Mornington Peninsula Brewery ‘Squid Rising’ NEIPA

Rating:

32086386_852528854931261_5501193304710053888_n“Created from the depth’s of a brewer’s complex mind comes Squid Rising. A stronger, meaner New England IPA. It’s fat, it’s cloudy, it’s mouthwateringly juicy and shatteringly hoppy!”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Cloudy mustard yellow with a soft orange tint. It builds a nice two and a half finger head that persists, leaving a thick and soapy lace as it ebbs.

Aroma: Brekky juice…tick, ripe stonefruits…tick, creamy…tick! It has all the hallmark NEIPA characters thus far. It also possesses that subtle tangy sweetness that we get from blood orange and tangerine. Definitely some herbal accents in here too – mostly aniseed along with a flutter of lemongrass. Lovely stuff!

Flavour: A big impression of juicy stonefruits upfront. Think mango, rockmelon, peach, pineapple and orange. Just a slight pronunciation on this creamy peach note through the middle as it leads in to a smooth citrusy finish which also offers a blend of fleshy paw paw and grainy malt on the rear.

Mouthfeel: Mostly creamy with a kind of chalky texture to it. Minimal bitterness with a well concealed ABV (6.5%). Medium body, mild-moderate co2.

Overall: Unlike their cousin’s from the West Coast we’re still to find that Aussie NEIPA that blows us away. Take nothing away from this though, it is a very good interpretation but it just falls short of being memorable.

Capital Brewing ‘Rock Hopper’ IPA

Rating:

31942755_852239014960245_6340953591120920576_n“Big and juciy, this west coast IPA was brewed to celebrate the journey to our favourite remote places. The forward hop flavours are bursting with citrus and stone fruit (peach) flavour and aroma. It’s got a dry finish and Subtle malt flavours. It’s as if you’re drinking a refreshing fruit punch.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Relatively clear honey amber with a fluffy two finger head emerging on top. The head is well retained and works a healthy lace down the glass.

Aroma: Fresh and clean with top notes of bright citrus, tropical fruits, pine, passion fruit and cedar wood. Maybe a touch of unripened stonefruits creeping in as well. Somewhat of a grainy yet semi sweet malt profile at the base. Fairly well balanced and alluring aroma.

Flavour: Showing a bit more West Coast aggression. It opens with that distinctive bitter citrus – grapefruit, orange peel etc followed by unripe melon and a touch of malt sweetness. It hits a mild crescendo midway and tapers off in to a crisp and dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Moderately bodied, crisp and rather approachable. Average carbonation with some warmth from the booze (6.1%) just showing through.

Overall: Nothing memorable but it’s still a very solid IPA. These guys are doing a good job of brewing consistently good and honest beers. Keep em comin’!

Mountain Goat ‘Rye Fighter’ Double Rye IPA

Rating:

31363344_848141705369976_4912469926855311360_n“Our latest Rare Breed has been dedicated to the hero of one of our favourite video games, Street Fighter’s Ryu. Ryu means ‘plentiful and abundant’ and this is exactly how we would describe the hops in this brew. In addition to Amarillo and Calypso pellets, we used Simcoe Lupulin and Ekuanot Lupulin. Lupulin powders are extra concentrated and oozing with highly resinous natural oils, resulting in a dense hop flavour and a strong, balanced bitterness.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Relatively clear amber pour with a thumb of foamy white head over the top. It holds its shape well and weaves a soapy lace down the walls of the glass.

Aroma: Tonnes of citrus in there – mostly lemon, grapefruit and orange peel with flashes of pineapple, melon and peach. We’re also picking up a hint of Earl Grey tea which works tremendously well with the spicy rye malts. The booze (7.8% ABV) is peeking through a little with just a slight touch of malt sweetness on the flank. Lovely!

Flavour: A bit of a citrus bomb on entry. It explodes with grapefruit, lemon and orange peel before its reinforced with the spicy rye malts and super subtle notes of umami. The citrus bitterness intensifies late in the mid and compliments the dry, spicy and citric finish which goes the distance.

Mouthfeel: Dry and really well rounded. It coats the whole mouth nicely. 7.8% ABV and 66 IBU – both aggressive yet well tempered. Medium body and co2.

Overall: How could these 80’s babies refuse a Street Fighter-themed double rye IPA?! Impossible! Especially when rye IPA’s are one of our favoured styles….along with Ryu (sorry Ken, you were never as good!) Solid drop – flavour and inspiration wise.

Dainton Brewery Blood Orange New England Rye IPA

Rating:

31296031_848393518678128_127986623806701568_n“Blood Oranges are awesome. They give you a vitamin C hit and you get to pretend you are a fruit vampire, sucking the life out of your helpless victim. Sweet. We’ve really jumped on the NEIPA bandwagon -though we have Daintonfied it- Rye + Blood OJ. Fruity Hop Fun! Woo!”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Cloudy light orange colour which is topped off by a rocky two finger head. It slowly reduced to a film which works a streaky lace drag down the glass.

Aroma: We’re getting some really lovely blood orange notes emanating. They’re ultra fresh, zesty and tangy….just heavenly! Mild hints of orange peel, grapefruit, peppery spice, stonefruit and grassy/herbal hops fill her out beautifully. Not to mention the adjunct notes of mandarin, kumquat and tangerine. Brilliant.

Flavour: There’s an excellent fusion of hallmark NEIPA flavours like apricot, peach, mango and grapefruit that marry up with the tangy and zesty characters of the blood orange. It’s subtle through the mid palate, sticking to its roots with mild bitterness and co2 yet the flavours progress in to a zesty, slightly dry and spicy finish with food length.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, smooth and all-encompassing. Incredibly well hidden ABV (6%). Dangerously sessional!

Overall: We’ve been totally swept up in Dainton’s new re-labelling and their quest to craftify their range. Up until now we hadn’t been that impressed but this blood orange NEIPA has renewed our faith!

Ekim Brewing ‘Berserker’ Amber IPA

Rating:

31355632_847966595387487_8153065228913868800_n“Berserkers were Germanic warriors who fought with an uncontrollable, trance-like ferocity. Our amber IPA is inspired by this passion, but with the additional reassurance of it having rarely invoked a desire in drinkers to partake in a bloodthirsty rampage…hardly ever. It pours a deep, radiant amber with a decent head. The nose reveals floral and tropical fruit aromas from the Mosaic dry-hopping, and roast and toffee notes from a complex malt profile. The taste presents a solid bitterness; however, the malt backbone and late in the boil/dry-hop additions balance this with a rich caramel/burnt sugar sweetness and elevating citrus and tropical fruit notes.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: It pours an attractive crimson red with a healthy three finger crown. Excellent head retention which leaves a smattering of lace in its wake.

Aroma: Oodles of sweet and decadent malts hit the olfactory’s led by toffee, caramel and syrup. There’s an interesting segway in to the hop bill, it’s this somewhat berry-infused sweetness that has us captivated. Other scents like rose petals, floral pine, tree sap and plum jam add extra layers of depth and complexity.

Flavour: The first thing that we notice is the superb balance. Piney resins, passion fruit and subtle citrus which is countered by sticky toffee apple and nutty caramels. Getting more of that IPA-like citrus bitterness midway which moves in to a dry finish with discernible malty sweet notes on the back palate.

Mouthfeel: Slick and gelatinous but with a subtle drying effect developing in the swallow. Medium body, mild-moderate co2. 6.2% ABV is well concealed.

Overall: We must say it was much better on tap. It’s had over 4 months in the can so that could be playing a bit of a role. It’s a tasty and well balanced drop but it’s just not as good this time around.

Dainton Brewery Double IPA

Rating:

31355632_847966595387487_8153065228913868800_n“Double India Pale Ale This beer was brewed for Nat Reeves, the electro-synth composing, pink tee shirt wearing, hop wizard of Cheltenham. If you don’t know who he is, then you should probably not drink this beer.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Lovely amber hue with a soft orange fusion. Good co2 level – lots of active bubbles rising up to form and retain the two finger cap. Some streaky lace drag on the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: Smells nice and fresh. Lots of citrus and stone fruit along with a good dose of floral pine. Maybe a touch of herbal spice such as aniseed and basil. The malt bill is sticky and sweet, borderline cloying but saved by those super fresh hops! A bit of booze stinging the nostrils too.

Flavour: It follows through with slightly pithy citrus, spicy herbs, passion fruit and a flutter of sweet-ish stone fruit. A healthy booze burn bridges the mid as orange peel and grapefruit lead in to a rather bitter, spicy and drawn out finish.

Mouthfeel: Sharp and oily with a sturdy warmth from the 8.3% ABV. Every bit of the 80 IBU is felt also. Medium body and co2.

Overall: A fairly decent DIPA. One we’d classify as good without being great though. It’s big, aggressive and boozy but it comes with little balance and is a bit rough around the edges. Still, not bad.