Category Archives: IPA’s

Bridge Road Brewers ‘B2 Bomber Mach 9.0’ Imperial Belgian Black IPA

Rating:

“Bridge Road Brewers reached the 15th year of brewing in 2019. To celebrate we have continued the tradition of brewing a new yet bigger incarnation of the B2. This year we have stepped things up to reach Mach 9.0.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Pitch black with a dark brown fusion. It conjures up a loosely held  layer of foam which doesn’t hang around. Miniscule spotty lace sticking to the glass as it subsides.

Aroma: Wow…complex! Our first thought are those new dark chocolate and caramel Tim Tams. Followed on with molasses, old leather, toffee, cotton candy, espresso coffee, prunes/dates/stewed fruits, black forest cake, cherry jam, earthy spices and fresh vanilla bean. There’s some really subtle piney notes but they sink in to the rich complexities.

Flavour: Smooth as silk! Lots of vanilla, espresso coffee, creamy lactose, semi-sweet dark chocolate, fruity yeast driven esters and dark fruits like raisin and dates. Belgian candi sugars moving in to a subtle line of hop bitterness mid way. Reverting back to creamy vanilla sweetness and lactose, piney hops and eventually subtle espresso bitterness, roast and ash adding to the dryness in the long finish.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly lean but we may be getting that confused with its ultra smooth texture. Medium-full body. 12% AbV – pretty well concealed for its size. Co2 is perfectly positioned.

Overall: It’s tough to find any faults in this. We’ll say this, it’s far better than last years vintage but that is on no way a criticism of it…it’s just that this is a superior drop. Probably one of then best in the series. Brilliant!

3 Ravens ‘Choc Mint’ Milkshake IPA

Rating:

“For our fourth “Shake” release (brewed for Winter 2019) we decided to answer the cries of the fans out there and revisit our 2018 GABS beer – Moussey Juicy – albeit with a few tweaks and a new hop bill. Choc Mint Shake features a creamy base of oats, wheat and Munich malt, with dark crystal malts and lightly roasted malts intertwined with dutch cocoa.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Surprisingly dark and muddy brown body with a foamy tan head. Decent enough head retention with blotchy lace clinging to the glass.

Aroma: There’s something herbaceous in there that we just can’t put our finger on…yes we’re playing silly buggers…this thing is emanating that much mint it’s ridiculous! Pretty safe to say it’s mint syrup as it comes across like mint sorbet. Getting the vanilla sweetness, chocolate and cocoa, and after dinner mints.

Flavour: Lactose and creamy milkiness upfront that works great with the chocolate. Some hop bitterness but it’s subdued. The mint is like the flavour in a chocolate mint confectionary treat. Tad artificial but not overly sweet. It’s basically the dominant flavour, with the lactose, oats and chocolate giving it that desert like characteristic…just in a liquid form. We are struggling to detect apple (it states it in the ingredients list). If it’s there, it must be green apple but we’re unsure.

Mouthfeel: Moderately bodied, a little slippery over the tongue but pretty well rounded. Minimal bitterness with mild carbonation. Only 6% AbV so it’s pretty approachable.

Overall: The aroma on this bad boy is amazing. The flavour though…hhmm not as vigorous. The coffee and blueberry milkshake IPA is still the benchmark of this series. Look it ain’t bad it just isn’t all that memorable as some of the others.

Feral Brewing ‘Imperial Biggie’ Double NEIPA

Rating:

“We’ve taken everything you love about Biggie Juice and turned it up to 11! More malt, more hops and more alcohol make this juiced up brew bigger, juicier and hoppier than ever before. Rolling out in cans nationwide later this month, get your hands on some before they disappear…”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Turbid apricot hue with a finger of tightly beaded foam which gradually reduces to a wispy overlay. Healthy lace clinging to the glass as we hook in.

Aroma: Full on fruit salad juice bomb! Tonnes of sweet tropical fruits, citrus and stonefruit…namely mango, apricot, rockmelon, pineapple, green grapes and orange blossom. We’re picking up plenty of creamy oats and hints of lactose, some peppery spice, herbals and piney/sappy resins. That is bloody unreal!!

Flavour: It has a fair bit of bite upfront. Tangy and slightly bitter citrus, tropical fruits and some grapefruit acidity. It’s a tad pithy – orange peel and rind, a bit of pine resin. Dominant fruit juice sweetness and a mixture of bitterness and warming booze for days.

Mouthfeel: Quite a sticky texture to it, sappy and resinous with medium body. Co2 is spot on but that 8% AbV has a bit of a sting to it. Some creaminess from the rolled oats too.

Overall: For Australian standards it’s a pretty damn good Double NEIPA. To be honest we’d love to see the bitterness dialled back a bit…unfortunately we always find ourselves comparing all NEIPA’s to the American versions i.e Treehouse, Trillium, Monkish etc. Really good but falls short of being outstanding.

Urban Alley Ruby Red Rye IPA

Rating:

66241508_1125219334328877_323331747997548544_n“Bringing you craft beer right from the heart of Docklands. Much like the city itself, Urban Alley is made up of people from all walks of life that have been joined together by a love of beer. We are committed to bringing you the best and freshest product possible, utilising both classic and innovative ingredient combinations. Urban Alley – making beer sustainable right from the city’s doorstep.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Tis a beautiful colour…clear, deep ruby red donning a two finger head which persists. Cascading lace sticks to the glass as we go.

Aroma: Moreish wafts of caramel and toffee with a sturdy hop presence to balance. Toasty/bready overtones also coming through quite nicely. A touch of peppery spice from the rye and hints of tropical fruit and pine needles fill it out. Pretty much everything stated on the can translates in to aroma. We love that!

Flavour: It starts soft almost like an ESB with its sweet caramel and bready malt profile. Then those super bitter hops come to the party! Imparting a big and aggressive dose of pithy grapefruit, orange peel and a kind of black tea spiciness. The bitter citrus really ramps up as it finishes dry, citric and bitter AF! A hint of malt sweetness works in to quell it a little bit.

Mouthfeel: Well weighted with an astringent bitterness. 6.3% AbV showing through just a tad but it’s mostly well behaved. Moderate co2.

Overall: To be honest we’d never heard of this brewery til a mate loaded up his boot full of lesser known Victorian beers and hauled them back up to Sydney! We’re glad he did it was a very nice way to kick off proceedings. Solid drop.

Garage Project X Three Weavers ‘Zeppelin Bend’ Double IPA

Rating:

65485424_1120498128134331_5402009788152283136_n“LA upstarts Three Weavers join us in the garage to create Zeppelin Bend – a bright & clean ‘new wave’ West Coast IPA, bursting with a combination of us experimental, and harvest fresh New Zealand Rakau & Nelson Sauvin from Freestyle Hop farm.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Bright golden amber with 100% transparency. It forms a two finger head which holds up and leaves a smattering of lace strewn about the glass.

Aroma: Certainly in the West Coast style that’s for sure. Smells of sweet orange citrus, papaya, mango, passion fruit, grapefruit, white grapes and gooseberry. The malt bill is semi sweet lending subtle hints of honey and caramel fudge. It has this overall crisp and ultra clean quality to it…really nice.

Flavour: Getting quite an aggressive grapefruit bitterness on entry…bolstered further by a bit of warming booze. It follows on with more bitter notes of orange peel and unripened white grapes. Tasting a flutter of malt sweetness late in the piece as it finishes with some astringent booze and hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Sharp, punchy but also rather crisp and clean. Mild-moderate body with healthy co2. 8% AbV – quite prominent.

Overall: Really don’t know what to make of this one…not entirely sure if the hop profile (Rakau and Nelson Sauvin) fits the style. Other than that it’s a well structured IPA with bitey hops and belly-warming booze. Not a bad way to round out this brilliant Hapi Sessions collaboration.

Modern Times ‘Blazing World’ Amber IPA

Rating:

65303018_1117813648402779_6039606062724677632_n“This beer is the stickiest of the icky. It’s a luxuriously hoppy amber loaded up with intemperate quantities of Nelson, Mosaic, and Simcoe hops, which are some of the fruitiest, dankest hops sweet, sweet money can buy. Despite its amber hue, Blazing World is pleasingly dry, sporting a lightly bready malt backbone that serves as platform for the huge & complex hop profile.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Bold amber with excellent clarity. The pour arouses a two finger head which persists and sheds an intricate lace on its way down.

Aroma: Super dank! Quite a sturdy malt structure here – it’s sweet and chewy but the dank and fruity hops have enough to counteract it. So much caramel and toffee…almost a hint of cedarwood while the hops throw some weedy, piney, resinous and at times spicy characters at us. As we delve deeper we pick up slightly stewed fruits and some bready accents. Some real good depth on it.

Flavour: As anticipated there’s a hefty sweet malt base. It’s not cloying but they’re certainly flirting with it….they can thank the dank and fruity hop profile for that! Getting a fair bit of orange citrus i.e tangerine, ruby grapefruit and tangelo as it opens up. It forms a nice citric bitterness late in the piece but it’s always balanced by the chewy and sweet caramel malts.

Mouthfeel: There’s a steady weight to it, not too light not too heavy. Mild-ish co2 and a well concealed IBU (60) and AbV (6.8%).

Overall: Despite the bang on balance and all round perfect nature of the beer there’s just something we’re not totally fond of. It’s not a nauseous feeling but something isn’t sitting right. Weird! Can’t pan it though coz it’s quite a decent drop.

Garage Project X Other Half ‘Hapi Sessions’ Oat Cream IPA

Rating:

65202775_1116136908570453_1842056270039744512_n“New York city’s inimitable Other Half fly in to create No Dreams Til Brooklyn – a hazy ‘oat cream’ IPA balancing lactose sweetness with a massive burst of US Citra, and harvest fresh Nelson Sauvin from Freestyle Hop farm. Brewed to celebrate the 2019 Hāpi Festival and the New Zealand Hop Harvest.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Muddy deep orange body with a fluffy two finger head perched on top. Excellent retention and healthy lace work down the glass.

Aroma: Crammed full of fleshy tropical fruits like mango, pineapple, papaya, guava and lychee. Strong stonefruit presence here too with tonnes of rockmelon, apricot and peach. There’s a lovely oat creaminess which lends hints of vanilla and lactose, some zesty orange citrus, white pepper and a soft dank earthiness. That’s an absolute ripper of an aroma.

Flavour: Wow it’s incredibly smooth! Kind of get a bit of that frosty fruit character initially before it turns to stonefruit pulp i.e rockmelon, papaya, apricot and mango. More grapefruit, citrus and rind through the mid leading in to a somewhat pithy finish with creamy oats and mild citric bitterness on a length.

Mouthfeel: Can’t believe how smooth and creamy it is. Upfront it’s almost like a beer smoothie with a touch of booze (8.5%) and hop bitterness forming in the swallow. Medium-full body and moderate co2.

Overall: A very true-to-style NEIPA. Loving the trajectory of the Hapi Sessions release so far…this is actually better than the Trillium collab in our opinion. Much smoother and hides the AbV extremely well. Kudos GP and Other Half that’s one of the best NEIPA’s we’ve had in a while! Brilliant.

Garage Project X Trillium ‘Hapi Sessions’ NEIPA

Rating:

64416730_1112988788885265_1718207383366270976_n“Hāpi Sessions Vol. 1 Trillium X Garage Project The Hāpi Sessions – four collaborations, four breweries at the top of their game, four beers – each showcasing a different hop forward style in a playful ‘freestyle’ interpretation of one of each brewery’s flagship beers. Boston heavy hitters Trillium join us to create Aro Street – a big, juicy, hazy East Coast classic with a kiwi twist, creating a tropical fruit burst with specially selected US Mosaic, and harvest fresh Motueka from Freestyle Hop farm.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Turbid mango juice affair with a short white cap over the top. Steady reduction, settling to a wispy film with healthy lace clinging to the sides of the glass.

Aroma: Hot dam! It almost has this concentrated fruit juice character to it. Plenty of those botanicals, orange peel and spicy notes we get from all of the top American NEIPA’s. Hints of rotting leaves, dank pine resins, pithy grapefruit, apricot, rockmelon and pineapple. The malt offers doughy white bread and crusts. Trillium really showing their colours here.

Flavour: The progression of flavour is next level. It kicks off with fleshy stonefruits then the citrus jumps on board. It takes on more of a fruit juice angle through the mid. Some dankness there but the grapefruit and orange peel cuts through then moves in to an ultra dry, bitter, grassy and fruity finish. The length on this baby is incredible!

Mouthfeel: Dense and viscous yet really smooth with the assertive bitterness forming late in the swallow. Medium-full body and moderate co2.

Overall: We see this (and the other three releases under Hapi Sessions) as GP really flexing their muscles. A collab with the likes of Trillium further cements their position at the top of list of NZ breweries. Heck this could even be the best NEIPA in the southern hemisphere! Just watch them fight off the acquisitions now!

Old Wives Ales ‘Old man yells at cloud’ Double NEIPA

Rating:

imageGlassware: Poured into a schooner glass.

Appearance: Beautiful Orange Juice turbidity. A sudsy 10mm off-white head recedes moderately quickly leaving just a rim of lacing. Now this looks like a ‘NEIPA’. Not a hazy look, and no obvious evidence of carbonation. As we drink there is very mild/if anything lacing down the glass…basically it just slides down like its oily.

Aroma: Breakfast juice. Basically take a pick – orange, guava, passion fruit, some pineapple and spice. Bang on.

Flavour: Virtually mimicking the aroma. Possibly a hit of green mango in there? Light on the booze which is a credit to the Brewers, being an imperial. Just a big boozy (restrained) fruit bomb. Touch of creaminess also.

Mouthfeel: Unbelievably smooth and balanced for 9% Alc vol. Despite the fruits being used the bitterness is so contained. Mouthfeel is moderate to full with great pithy aftertaste but it’s not that grapefruit bitterness. It’s sweeter and spicier. It’s dense like a proper double NEIPA should be, and we can think of only a few Australian double NEIPA’s that match this currently on the market.

Overall: Top Shelf. Has all the qualities of this type of brew. It’s thick as thieves but surprisingly drinkable, tastes like you could it for breakfast (that would be interesting), and undeniably smooth and balanced. We had some cracking double NEIPA’s in the USA last year and this would be not that far off them. A leader of the pack of this style that’s for sure. Kudos.

 

 

Stockade Brewing Co ‘Berries & Cream’ Double NEIPA

Rating:

imageGlassware: Poured into a schooner glass.

Appearance: That ubiquitous Hazy golden look with a 15mm white fluffy head that fades slowly and eventually stops leaving a sudsy, roughly 10mm  carbonated head clinging to the glass.

Aroma: Very dominate strawberry, almost like strawberry jam you eat at buffet breakfast, with deeper aromas of a frosty fruit ice-block (pineapple, and sweet sugars). This is literal.

Flavour: Strawberry again straight up, with less tropical fruits, intermixed with booze, sweet caramels, vanilla, and lactose sugars give it that milky effect, like having ice cream. It’s very sweet. Any more sweetness and it would be cloying. We feel like a moment away from developing type 2 diabetes!

Mouthfeel: Given the Alc vol of 8.6% it’s light to moderate bodied, with moderate length on the palate. All your left with is a stickiness on the lips and lingering jam sweetness. Bitterness is light on with carbonation just a bit more in the mouth. Again it’s a tad creamy due to lactose sugar, but not velvety. It’s certainly balanced well in the mouth making it easy to take big gulps

Overall: It’s basically a hazy milkshake IPA. Very strawberry dominant. Our idea of a double berry NEIPA would be a turbid orange colour with some tinge of pink. This has none of that. Again it’s sweet but so are strawberries. Look it’s a nice brew…we just take umbrage at this hazy IPA vs NEIPA category. It’s like the XPA vs Pale ale debate. It’s craft beer semantics but it’s misleading. Enough of our rant. It’s worth a try.

Murray’s brewing Co ‘Rumble’ IPA

Rating:

61101891_1098258093691668_410206773048246272_n“Rumble IPA is a celebration of a hop that deserves its own beer. Comprising of a light malt profile which lets the hops do their thing. As the name suggests Mosaic delivers big aromas and flavours of many classic American hop characters; Pine, Melon, Mango and Citrus to name a few.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Gorgeous bright amber-golden complexion with 100% clarity. Highly active co2 streaming up to the frothy two finger head which retains and drapes a sheet of lace down the glass. Looks the goods!

Aroma: Mosaic hops would have to be in our top 5 favourite hops so when we realised this was a single hop IPA using them we bagged it instantly! From memory it’s derived from Simcoe so its naturally high alpha acids provide beautiful fruity, floral and at times grassy notes. Here we’re also picking up orange citrus, berries, pine needle, mango and pineapple. Dead set one of the best aroma hops getting around.

Flavour: They’re also a match made in heaven for IPA’s as they double up as a bittering and a flavour hop. Covering everything from pine and orange citrus to berries, tropical fruits and ruby grapefruit. This one has all of the above with a bit of dank herbals, grassy and weedy notes tying up the finish. Nice and drawn out on the back end too.

Mouthfeel: Really well balanced even with the lack of malt. Some assertive hop bitterness and a touch of warmth from the 7% AbV but it’s all held together quite nicely.

Overall: We can always trust Murray’s with a west coast IPA. Even over the years with changing head brewers they’ve always consistently released top notch IPA’s. This is a prime example. Solid offering.

Offshoot Beer Co ‘Relax’ Hazy IPA

Rating:

61142082_1097014970482647_8180263147970494464_n“Relax [it’s just a hazy IPA] embraces the new way to enjoy IPA – unfiltered, fresh and full of hop flavor and aromatics… without the bitterness to stand in the way of kicking back with a juicy beer. It features a combination of Citra, Centennial, Simcoe and Amarillo hops, imparting fruity, tropical and citrusy notes to complement the round, soft mouthfeel of a hazy IPA.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Hazy off-yellow with a faint orange tint. It forms a short and frothy white head which retreats to the rim. Lace is wet and streaky as we go.

Aroma: With a hop bill reading like Citra, Centennial, Simcoe and Amarillo it’s no wonder it’s a proper fruit salad! Super juicy notes of pineapple, mango, melon, mixed citrus, guava, peach, paw paw and lychee just to name a few. We’re also getting that palm sugar sweetness which is becoming more and more frequent these days. Maybe just the slightest touch of vanilla and or lactose there in the background. Lovely stuff!

Flavour: Follows on from the nose with that fruit salad character – tropical, mixed citrus, stonefruits, subtle apple, maybe even a hint of white grapes. The malt bill provides good balance along with notes of rolled oats, straw-like grains and a slight creaminess as it moves in to the dry and fruity finish.

Mouthfeel: Unbelievably smooth with a soft creamy texture. Mild-moderate body and co2. Very well concealed AbV (6.8%). Super approachable for its size.

Overall: Well it ain’t a groundbreaking hazy IPA but it’s tidy, super fruity and highly palatable. One of those beers that’s good but unfortunately not very memorable. Not bad.

Murray’s Brewing ‘Gardenia’ IIPA

Rating:

60913821_1094979504019527_1558755322342932480_n“Murray’s is no stranger to big IPA’s and our latest offering ratchets it up a notch. We’ve got massive citrus and pine aroma from classic US hop varieties that hits you up front. The middle is all malt and warming alcohol, giving way to a firm delivery of bitterness to polish off the experience.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Bright amber with almost full clarity. It builds a thumb of finely beaded foam which persists and decorates the glass on its way down.

Aroma: The American hops jump out of the glass and smack us in the face! Almost Korben-like with its crisp pine, orange peel and mixed citrus. The malt structure is nice and tight…crisp, clean with a hint of mild sweetness. Tropical fruits start to open up as it settles as does a flutter of herbal spice i.e aniseed and basil. Freakin awesome aroma!

Flavour: West Coast IPA eat your heart out! It’s a dead set pine bomb on entry fuelled further by citric bitterness and belly warming booze. She gets real pithy through the mid – almost like biting in to grapefruit rind. Next to no malt balance as it surges in to a super bitter, sharp and citric finish.

Mouthfeel: It’s an absolute palate-wrecker. Can’t find an IBU but it’d surely have to be up around the 80-90 mark. Nice medium build with the 8.5% AbV on show. Co2 is spot on.

Overall: This is a true oldschool West Coast IPA – smells absolutely divine then it goes to town on the palate! We’d have loved to see a bit more malt balance…just to take the heat off some of the insane bitterness. It is what it is and it’s a damn fine IIPA!

Counter Culture ‘Sticky Nectar’ Mango Milkshake IPA

Rating:

60350352_1090044244513053_8597724850926125056_n“Let your mind warp and be transported back to a long-gone languid summer day, illuminated in golden possibility. Drop out and dissolve into a hazy IPA, brewed with lactose, vanilla and dripping with mango puree. With heady tropical fruit aromas from the Galaxy, Citra and Amarillo hops, this shape shifter has a smooth and creamy mouthfeel and a firm bitterness that might make you see the world a little different..if only for a moment. Altered from reality, Sticky Nectar is the second limited release from Counter Culture – beers that go against the grain. Get in quick this won’t last long.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Hazy golden/yellow pour with a finger of finely beaded head. Good retention and healthy lace work as it subsides.

Aroma: The potency of the mango is simply next level it’s just so captivatingly sweet and luscious. It follows up with a bit of lychee, peach and nectarine along with a creamy vanilla lactose sweetness. Maybe a bit of a doughy malt at the base but really…it’s all about that hedonistic mango!

Flavour: Literally a mirror image of the aroma – chock full of that delicious mango puree with a hint of tropical stonefruit in support. Undertones of vanilla and creamy lactose fused through…handing it that mango Weiss Bar quality. Maybe the slightest hint of peppery spice before it rounds out on a creamy mango finish which endures.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth as silk! Medium body and co2 with the 6.5% AbV extremely well hidden.

Overall: This would have to be one of the best beers we’ve had from Stone & Wood. Mango is a tricky fruit to work with…we’ve seen many brewers try and fail but they’ve managed to strike the perfect balance here. Kudos S&W that’s a cracker!

3 Ravens Coffee & Blueberry Milkshake IPA

Rating:

60011763_1084561261728018_5640846700370198528_n“An unconventional IPA with low bitterness & rich mouthfeel. Combining protein rich grains, fruity yeast, new world hops, coffee, blueberries, vanilla & milk sugar for added creaminess & a sweet finish. Brewed with the help of our friends at Proud Mary Coffee.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Deep amber with a finely beaded thumb of off white foam. The head retracts to the rim with sudsy lace on the glass. FYI watch your pour as there are some serious chunks of suspended sediment here.

Aroma: Holy moly this is definitely one unique scent. The two feature ingredients (coffee & blueberry) fuse together incredibly well. The blueberries have a distinct sweetness while the coffee is a bit more subtle and creamy. Tonnes of vanilla and milk sugar with a sturdy caramel malt structure. It does get a little medicinal after a while but dead set…that’s amazing!

Flavour: And it all transitions on to the palate! First that blueberry sweetness followed by creamy coffee and vanilla. A flutter of booze warmth and a gentle citric bitterness through the middle leads in to a drying finish full of vanilla cream, blueberry and subtle coffee. Great length to it as well.

Mouthfeel: Super smooth, creamy and velvety. The 6% AbV is fairly well hidden. Medium body with mild-moderate co2.

Overall: Well the fun factor is off the charts! Session ability is a bit lower down the scale…one is certainly enough as the overall sweetness and texture could become excessive. That aside though, it’s a damn fine drop.

Cheeky Monkey ‘Imperial Monk’ Red IPA

Rating:

59939702_1082973215220156_5610720399596716032_n“The Imperial Monk is an amplified version of their core range session red ale, Travelling Monk, where the flavours coalesce rather than dominate – more a strong, silent type than a mouthy brat – and a beer that head brewer Ross Terlick says the brewing team has long dreamt of brewing.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Deep ruby red to burgundy with a sturdy two and a bit finger head. It settles to a thick overlay and weaves a healthy lace down the walls of the glass.

Aroma: Pungent! It’s bursting with rich toffee and treacle, brioche, toffee apple, buttered toast, cedar, blood orange and paw paw. There’s something that hits a really funky note here and there…it’s very intermittent and it almost hints at raw sewage. Not ideal! Thankfully the other aromas are much more dominant.

Flavour: Very malt forward on entry….lots of buttery toffee, caramel and toasty malts with the bitter citrus and warming booze tacking on early in the mid. Lightly roasted malt moves in to ruby grapefruit and orange peel and then on to a super bitter finish which really goes the distance.

Mouthfeel: Dry and warming with a fairly aggressive bitterness. Medium-full body. The 8.3% AbV plays a significant role.

Overall: Look it definitely isn’t one of the best red IPA’s we’ve tried but it does hold its own. Well balanced and full flavoured. Not bad.

Akasha Brewing ‘Wooden Leg’ Triple IPA

Rating:

56976906_1072215716295906_2076254978355232768_n“The Wooden Leg Triple IPA is only brewed once a year for our birthday. This beautiful beast of a beer is full of Simcoe, Amarillo, and Centennial hops. Triple the hops, triple the flavour and triple the love!”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Bright golden amber with a finger of tightly held white foam. She holds together well and draws a healthy lace as it ebbs.

Aroma: Right off the bat we get those Korben-esque, Simcoe-laden pine needles, mixed citrus and earthy herbal characters. Some florals getting amongst the orange citrus, pineapple and hop resins as well. The malt is well balanced…biscuity and semi sweet in delivery. These guys really know how to brew a top shelf IPA!

Flavour: Crisp pine and floral notes, mixed citrus for days, some earthy herbs and mildly dank weedy accents. The booze (10.5%) is quite prominent but at this weight it would be extremely difficult to mask. An assertive grapefruit bitterness tacks on to the warmth of the booze late in the piece and sets up the super bitter, piney and citric finish which endures on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Very crisp and prickly. We’d love to know the IBU as it’s proper in-your-face. In saying that it’s still moderately bodied and well rounded.

Overall: For novelty and fun factor they’ve absolutely smashed it out of the park. We still think the Korben D is better though! That little bit of extra drink-ability has it pipping this at the post. Top drop though.

Hope Estate F 11.1% BIIIPA

Rating:

imageGlassware: Poured into a goblet glass.

Appearance: Jet Black as so aptly named. Slight ruby tinge when held up to the light. There is a creamy 10mm head that retains really well, and basically doesn’t budge. It leaves a sticky wall of lacing whatever head does recede. There is tiny carbonation seen bubbling up to the surface maintaining the bottom of the cream head.

Aroma: It’s a lot more subdued out of the can or from the glass than we imagined for this strength of beer. Almost a watery aroma, combining sweet caramels/almost toffee like, some mild honey, roast, mild chocolates, mild coffee, with remnants of juicy tropical hops.

Flavour: Much more intense and rich. Immediate flavours of roasted malts, ash, strong bitterness, espresso, and dark chocolate. As we imbibe we get stewed dark fruits, some raisins, prunes almost. There is even a cognac or port like liqueur hit. The bitterness is now slowly easing after the onslaught at the start. After researching we note the IBU is a measly 111… the same as the alcohol volume. The spirit like alcohol flavour dominates but certainly does not overpower. The fruity hops combine with the roasted malts and booze well enabling a balance that is very palateable.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, with good length. Not overly oily on the lips. Certainly some stickiness. Carbonation not overly high..like an ale. As stated the alcohol vol is 11.1%. Again the balance is a real testament to the brewers.

Overall: Very tasty black IIIPA. It’s boozy but very contained. We havn’t had a lot of excellent Hope Estate brews, but we can say that this drop can finally be added to that category. One is definitely enough in a setting. Good beer.

Belching Beaver ‘Phantom Bride’ IPA

Rating:

57154197_1069186946598783_355669600446185472_n“Deftones are joining the ranks of Iron Maiden, Motorhead, Megadeth and many others in releasing their own signature beer. The California natives have teamed up with San Diego’s Belching Beaver Brewery for a beer they are calling Phantom Bride IPA, named after their recent single.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Surprisingly light straw golden pour with a fluffy two finger head neatly perched on top. Solid retention and healthy lace as it ebbs.

Aroma: Really interesting, it has a strong malt structure to it…grainy straw/hay with wheaty accents. The hops blend in to it really well with the lemon, pine and orange peel from the citra
and simcoe dominating. Picking up a spicy undertone as well – peppery and almost rye-like in its delivery. We dig it.

Flavour: Tasting a bit more dank hop and weedy notes on the palate. It still offers a lot of that grainy straw and wheat malt alongside pine needle, peach, orange citrus, earthy herbs and subtle onions. The peach carries through in to the dry and grassy finish which endures nicely.

Mouthfeel: Thin and crispy but never watery. It holds a medium weight with the 7.1% AbV nicely tucked away. 55 IBU – spot on.

Overall: Can’t say we’re totally blown away but there are some real strong, and let’s say unique, attributes to it which definitely stand out. Solid drop.

Green Beacon ‘Red’s Dead’ Red IPA

Rating:

56225938_1065798476937630_8767704173144702976_n“Blackcurrant, plum, pine and vanilla with citrus hop bitterness.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Gorgeous mahogany colour with a sumptuous two finger head. It slowly falls away and leaves a wavy lace as it subsides.

Aroma: Waves of blood orange, ruby grapefruit, pine resins and sweet plum supported by a rich, toasty and chewy toffee malt. As it settles the malt sweetness becomes much more caramelised and brings out hints of jam drop biscuits, berry compote and fruit chutney. Excellent aroma with real depth to it.

Flavour: It comes on with a hefty hop bitterness fuelled by acidic grapefruit and citrus rind. All the while that caramel malt sweetness builds in the background. The mid is all toffee and caramel with a gentle roast which meets more citrus, pine and spice in the drawn out finish.

Mouthfeel: There’s a bit of chew to it and the 50 IBU provides a hefty dryness. Medium body with the 6.5% AbV relatively well concealed.

Overall: Balance is the key with red IPA’s and they’ve struck it nicely here. A fine offering from Green Beacon.