Category Archives: IPA’s

Revision Brewing Co ‘Smoke & Mirrors’ Double IPA

Rating:

74615474_1200699036780906_1418015141043109888_n“Citra, Mosaic, and Amarillo hops form a power trio of tastiness in this double dose of liquid goodness. No illusions here, see with your mind and flavour and aroma receptors what’s really going on. The answer is stoke.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Hazy pastel orange with pale straw golden highlights. About a thumb of tightly beaded foam on top which gradually recedes. A lovely cascading lace is left on the glass as we imbibe.

Aroma: We get a nose full of Citra hops straight off the bat. That signature grapefruit and orange rind scent is easy to recognise! Oodles of tropical fruit mingling with pine needle, mango, fresh herbs and orange citrus (mandarin, tangerine). Detecting an almost Belgian-like yeasty sweetness and a doughy malt at the base. Can’t help but think how much this reminds us of a West coast IPA rather than a “North East-style”.

Flavour: Certainly acts more like a North East-style IPA now. Plenty of west coast hop flavour but it’s smooth and creamy with a focus on this kind of orange and vanilla fusion. It evolves in to stonefruits and tropical fruit then on to a sticky, resiny finish with fruit sugars and pithy citrus on the back palate.

Mouthfeel: Well weighted while still feeling light and aerated. Mild bitterness (30 IBU) and a well concealed ABV (8%). Nicely done.

Overall: It’s a decent drop but we feel it’s just missing that knockout blow. The upside is it’s super dangerous drink-ability…they’ve smashed that out of the park.

3 Ravens ‘Peak Hype’ Sour NEIPA

Rating:

72573498_1198104450373698_3220433548750094336_n“Is this it? Is this the logical progression? Should we, just because we can? Does the end justify the means? Is the end justified? 3 Ravens and Mr West contemplated these moral quandaries while brewing this “IPA” (Triple Cryo Dry Hopped Wine Grape Skin Contact Barrel Blended Milkshake Oat Cream Sour New England India Pale Ale) to celebrate Mr West’s second birthday – and answered yes to all of them. Happy birthday Mr West!”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Turbid AF! It has this kind of deep pastel orange hue which resembles apricot juice. Not much in the way of head…a small collar forms at the rim and struggles to produce much lacing.

Aroma: Straight up juice. Definitely dialling in on that frosty fruit scent along with concentrated brekky juice, papaya, pineapple, guava, apricot, peach and slightly tart lemon citrus, subtle creamy citrus, creamy oats and lactose, grain husks, piney/evergreen characters, we’re even picking up a super mild bubblegum accent. Jeez there’s a lot going on here but it all comes together quite nicely.

Flavour: Very unique… when there’s as many adjuncts as this beer offers it’s bound to be a little complex! Lovely fusion of fruit juice and pine with that subtle line of tart citrus cutting through. Hints of herbal spice and dry hop bitterness leads in to a reasonably smooth finish with a flutter of citric acidity and piney hops in the tail.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and moderately weighted with some gentle bitterness in the swallow. 6.5% ABV well enough hidden not to notice.

Overall: We love that these guys are having a dig at today’s tendency to abbreviate everything. But not only that they’ve backed it in with a really solid beer. The one thing we’d have liked to see more of is the sourness but hey the overall fun factor outweighs it. Decent!

Tallboy & Moose ‘Pillow Fight’ Oat Cream IPA

Rating:

72038510_1182077805309696_8881071690348494848_n“Like getting hit in the face with fluffy pillows of hoppy fruity goodness. A hazy IPA base with a double dry-hop treatment using El Dorado, Galaxy and Amarillo. From there we layer in lactose to build further body and sweetness, and grapefruit to lift the fruit character to another dimension!”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Super hazy dark pastel yellow with a short and impatient head atop. What little bubble is left settles at the rim with little lace to show.

Aroma: Soft creamy citrus, pink grapefruit and nectar are hitting the olfactory’s initially. The latter playing in to that frosty fruit character nicely. Sweet and sticky tropical fruits like mango and pineapple, further lactose and or vanilla sweetness along with very delicate hints of aniseed and tea. Quite unconventional and we’re digging it.

Flavour: Pretty similar to the nose but with a bit more emphasis on the tangy citrus and nectar with a line of grapefruit acidity underpinning it. If there were such a thing as grapefruit flavoured frosty fruits that’s what the mid palate would be all about as it finishes on a rather smooth, creamy and citrusy note.

Mouthfeel: Sleek and pretty damn creamy. There’s a really gentle bitterness while the 6% ABV is nicely tucked away.

Overall: This is our first entry for Tallboy & Moose and we must say we’re pretty impressed. The creamy texture and juiced up aroma and flavour is dialled in. The depth and overall balance also deserves a mention. Solid drop.

Quiet Deeds ‘Hummingbird’ Hazy Double IPA

Rating:

71713853_1178778182306325_7492607633698848768_n“Some beers are truly a labor of love. I think I can say with confidence that Hummingbird falls into that category. To quote Ned from the brewery, “Most of the low hanging fruit in the pastry stout game has been picked long ago.” And with that in mind, we put on our thinking caps and started spitballing ideas for our winter pastry offering. We went back and forth and the conversation had just started to lean towards making a pastry IPA instead of a stout when the Hummingbird cake suggestion (also Ned) popped up.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Super hazy pastel orange sporting a loosely packed thumb of white foam atop. It quickly dissipates and settles to the rim with little lace tracking it down.

Aroma: Strange but in a good way. Straight away we’re getting freshly cut lime. Come to think of it we’re getting that smell one gets when they pop their lime in to a freshly cracked bottle of corona. Strong wafts of zesty white wine like Riesling and Sauv blanc, marzipan, spearmint, tropical fruit, mixed spice and musk in support. Somewhat nutty as well. As we said before…strange but kind of appealing.

Flavour: Follows on from the nose. May we say that we don’t mind the smell of fresh lime and corona but the taste of fresh lime and corona is the pits. It almost has traits of a mojito at times. Unripened pineapple, acidic apple cider and white wine come together late and lead in to a dry and zesty finish which really lingers.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and relatively approachable for its size (9% ABV). Good weight and CO2. Low bitterness.

Overall: Honestly…not sure about this one. Yeah it’s nice and summery and we’ll give it points for being unique and somewhat fun but really it’s one of those beers we’d rather forget.

Black Hops ‘ABC Bomb’ Black IPA

Rating:

71835697_1178045479046262_2998842119931559936_n“This hoppy Black Ale is balanced by a strong citrus and pine hop aroma and a distinct roasty dark malt character. The use of American hops gives this beer a genuine IPA backbone with a unique spice flavour through the addition of rye. An American Black C-hopped bomb. One of our original 4 IPAs that comes in perfect time for winter.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Black with just the faintest amount of light cutting through. A thick and finely beaded crown slowly reduced and settled at the rim. Healthy lace clings as we go.

Aroma: Smells mighty fine…they’ve struck a lovely balance between the roasted malts and piney herbal hops. Sugar-sweetened coffee, nutty chocolate, treacle and damp earthy forest floor interweave with the piney and almost snow gum-like herbals. Definitely some grapefruit and orange peel alongside delicate savoury spice. Liking it!

Flavour: Follows on from the nose – charred malts provide those robust notes of coffee, dark chocolate and ash but the citrus and piney hops provide that crucial balance and bitterness. This harmonious marriage of flavour reaches well in to the finish and goes for days on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Dry and bitter…really coats the whole palate. Medium body and CO2. 6.5% ABV is well placed.

Overall: With all these new (but awesome) hops around these days it’s easy to forget the original ‘C’ hops which started the whole IPA craze. Citra, Chinook, Centennial, Cascade…these hops are to the IPA world what Elvis Presley was to rock n roll! They started the movement!

North Brewing X Other Half Double IPA

Rating:

71545955_1177342469116563_2769423555597697024_n“We are in awe of this beer! Super chuffed, humbled and proud! This is what it’s about, people coming together to create something great. During the madness of Hop City Leeds, Antony from Other Half Brewing Company squeezed us in his busy schedule to weigh in on how we should brew this beer together.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Pastel orange with a heavy haze. It manages a thumb of finely beaded white head which slowly recedes. Seeing blotchy lace as we go.

Aroma: Pretty conventional hazy IPA notes – bright citrus, stonefruits and pineapple supported by peppery spice, dank weedy herbs, pine and frosty fruits. There’s a really interesting scent which is hard to isolate…reminds us of kumquat and or mangosteen. A bit of warming booze giving the nostrils a tickle too!

Flavour: Remarkably smooth. It’s a total fruit salad upfront – everything from citrus and stonefruit to tropical fruit and melon. Nice hit of frosty fruits giving it that sugary artificial sweetness. Pine and herbal spice come through before a spike in warming booze tapers off in to a smooth and fruity finish.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth and somehow approachable for an 8.3% Double IPA. Medium body. CO2 is spot on.

Overall: This is our first crack at North Brewing however this is not our first crack at Other Half! We don’t have to cast our minds back too far to recall the masterstroke they collab-brewed with Garage Project…it’s obvious these guys can brew an epic NEIPA. And yes we think the one with GP was better!

Quiet Deeds ‘Long Days & Pleasant Nights’ Hazy IPA

Rating:

71472456_1175019932682150_6742894124082397184_n“Not long after I moved to Australia, I started using the phrase “Long Days & Pleasant Nights” to describe my new life to my parents. The phrase originally comes from the Stephen King’s Dark Tower series of books, which I read at university. Of all the adventures in those books, I always kept the phrase “Long Days & Pleasant Nights,” as they use it as a greeting in the series. We thought we could use the phrase as a greeting to the wonderful people out there that are enjoying our beers. And frankly if you want to say, “Hello, I’m an IPA,” you need to put a strong effort in that can.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Cloudy light orange to pastel gold…depending on which angle we look at it! A short white head doesn’t hang around long but manages a reasonable lace as it ebbs.

Aroma: Smells nice and fresh. Driven by juicy notes of pineapple, grapefruit, passionfruit, peach, melon and gooseberry. There’s also a hint of dankness to it – evergreen, pine and forest floor with that slight weedy-ness also happening. The grain bill offers a dry, spicy bread crust character alongside a pinch of oats. A well structured aroma.

Flavour: Seems to have a stronger focus on citrus…pithy grapefruit and orange peel with the sweeter tropical fruits i.e pineapple and passionfruit taking the back seat. Tasting the kinda sharp pine cutting through then the warming booze and assertive bitterness rolling in to a dry and slightly astringent finish.

Mouthfeel: Rather smooth initially then it turns harsh in the swallow. Medium body. The 7.2% ABV certainly adds a bit of sting.

Overall: We’re on a mission to find an Aussie NEIPA that can stack up against the likes of Treehouse, Monkish, Other Half etc. NEIPA’s like this are getting closer but we’re still so far off. The quest continues…

Mr Banks Brewing Co West Coast IPA

Rating:

70730364_1173945812789562_1692220202705485824_n“Our Take on a West Coast IPA. A little less Bitterness than traditional with a Lean body for the Hops to really shine through. Tropical Fruit, Citrus, Orange, Grapefruit, passionfruit with a touch of pine.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Slightly hazy golden orange. It forms a frothy two finger head which breaks down to a sudsy collar. Pretty decent lacing as we go.

Aroma: Packed with tropical fruity hops like pineapple, passionfruit, green mango and stonefruits. Layers of pine (and some resins), mixed citrus, soft juicy notes and a biscuity malt in support. Kind of confusing because there’s more NEIPA qualities than West Coast. Can’t say we’re totally sold on the nose.

Flavour: Our main gripe is that’s it’s lacking that crisp and sharp cut-through so synonymous with good West Coast IPA’s. Yes there’s fruity hops but they’re sweet and a tad juicy. The mid is smooth with delicate bitterness…some peach and mango coming through and leading in to the relatively mild finish.

Mouthfeel: Fairly well rounded, smooth and approachable. The 6.2% ABV is well concealed and the 55 IBU neither nor there.

Overall: Were kind of struggling to get where they’re coming from. It’s called a West Coast IPA with descriptors of “fruity, piney and dank” but we see a hazy appearance with sweet juicy fruits and low bitterness. It’s not a bad beer by any means it’s just not really a West coast IPA.

Toppling Goliath ‘Scorpius Morchella’ Double IPA

Rating:

70102102_1173524992831644_7190176377679642624_n“Brewed each spring to celebrate our brewery’s annual day off to go morel mushroom hunting, this excitingly hazy double IPA is a tribute to our love of great hops and morels. Created with a combination of Pacific Northwest and Southern Hemisphere hops, Scorpius Morchella is meant to be shared with friends on a warm spring afternoon.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Extremely turbid mustard yellow complexion. It forms a fluffy two finger head which holds together well. Kind of a wavy lace pattern as it ebbs.

Aroma: One word…amazing! It’s bursting out with fruity hop character – we can’t find the hop profile but it’s a mix of Pacific Northwest (Citra and Ekuanot is our guess) and Southern hemisphere (Galaxy & Nelson Sauvin..again another guess). The list of scents in support is mind blowing: frosty fruits, Thai basil/aniseed, concentrated breakfast juice, ripe yellow grapefruit, gooseberry, pine needle and apricot/peach. Next level.

Flavour: So damn smooth it’s criminal! Fruit juice bomb on entry picking up some spicy accents, dank herbals, frosty fruits and pithy citrus (grapefruit, lemon, rind) as it approaches the mid. More cocktail fruits late in the piece (mango, pineapple, peach) and finishes with a little peppery spice and some warmth in the tail.

Mouthfeel: Unbelievably smooth and creamy. It feels really light and airy while still maintaining a decent body.

Overall: These guys are freakin masters. Nevermind the New England brewers the boys from the Midwest are taking over! This has to be one of the best NEIPA’s we’ve had to date. Brilliant.

Black Hops ‘#100’ Continuously Hopped IPA

Rating:

70385558_1172419739608836_2028305585505566720_n“Our latest release is a big milestone for us, being our 100th unique beer we’ve brewed since Black Hops existed. To celebrate, our latest limited release, #100 is a continuously hopped American IPA crafted in the tradition of Dogfish Head’s famous 90 minute IPA. 100 minutes of continual hopping in the boil by the whole Black Hops crew, delivers a classic IPA with all American hop complexity.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Bold amber with excellent clarity. It builds a healthy two finger head which holds up pretty well and makes a total mess of the glass.

Aroma: Not getting a great deal off it to be quite honest. We’re picking up indistinct berries and dark fruits with a more obvious prominence on caramelised sweetness, toffee, malts, subtle toast and honeysuckle. We can see where they’re going with this…the beer is based on the Dogfish Head 90 minute IPA and it’s not a bad overall attempt.

Flavour: Almost sweet enough to call it a red or amber IPA. Then again they would need a huge malt bill to counteract 100 minutes of continual hopping. Caramel, toffee, honey and mild roast balance a deep and pithy hop bitterness, pine and sappy resins. Maybe some burnt orange developing late. Raw and bitter finish really endures.

Mouthfeel: Somewhat sticky and gelatinous. The hefty 100 IBU flexes it’s muscles while the 7.7% ABV adds a certain warmth to it. Medium body and CO2.

Overall: Well, it’s no 90 minute but it’s a fairly unique IPA and we must say we like it. It’s well balanced yet punchy and full flavoured. It took us a bit to come round but we did in the end!

Cloudwater Brew Co ‘Soft & Juicy’ IPA

Rating:

70362532_1172051459645664_2521268651701567488_n“Juicy, soft, and full of ripe tropical fruit flavours from a blend of hops and aromatic yeast, this IPA is our modern take on a classic style. Showcasing hop flavours and yeast esters against a big body from high protein malts, to replicate the mouthfeel of tropical fruit, this beer finishes with a low bitterness to let the hop aromas and flavours linger on your palate.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Turbid mustard yellow with a sturdy two finger head which maintains its shape. Lovely lace work clings to the glass as we go.

Aroma: There’s a strong floral note cutting through the thick, syrupy and fruity breakfast juice (paw paw, orange, melon, apricot, mango, pineapple). Soft peppery rye, dried oats, botanicals, straw/hay and subtle grapefruit pith filling it out. Outstanding aroma…on par with some of the best NEIPA’s in the world.

Flavour: Proper juice bomb upfront – paw paw, mango, melon, orange, apricot, peach…you name it. Nice little addition of botanicals/herbals fused through with a late hit of peppery spice forming mid-palate. Quite pithy (grapefruit, rind etc) and a bit dank as it rounds off. Grassy hop, citrus and peppery rye drawing out on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth, mineraly. Gassy vibrant CO2. Really well rounded. The 6.5% ABV is inconspicuous. Flawless really.

Overall: As we touched on before this surely has to stack up against the likes of Treehouse, Trillium, Other Half. It’s got everything one could ask of a world class NEIPA…in spades. Superb drop.

 

Capital Brewing ‘Big Drop’ Double IPA

Rating:

69860822_1170859873098156_695371238335315968_n“This beer has been a long time in the works. We’ve been developing the recipe over the past couple of years, with plenty of tasting, testing, twerking & tweaks. We’re stoked to how it’s developed into what it is today.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Clear bright golden amber with a puffy two and a bit finger head. It slowly breaks down and leaves a proper smattering of lace on the glass.

Aroma: Dank, piney and pithy. Kind of has a touch of that weedy/herbal thing going on. Oodles of citrus – mostly lemon, lime and yellow grapefruit, subtle jatz crackers, unripened stonefruit, sappy resins and a bit of warming booze tickling the nostrils. It’s sharp and punchy but quite well detained. Smells the goods!

Flavour: Doesn’t stray far from the aroma with heady notes of pine needles, unripened mango and rockmelon leading the charge. More subtle notes of dank weedy herbs, sweet sappy resin in to bitter citrus i.e yellow grapefruit and rind midway. The citric bitterness really kicks in to gear late in the piece leading in to a dry, piney and citric finish which goes for days.

Mouthfeel: Fairly astringent to be honest. The booze (8.2%) is coming through quite aggressively. The 90 IBU has a lot of cut-through as well. Medium body and good CO2.

Overall: Can’t exactly say we’re fans of it but at the same time we don’t dislike it. How’s that for decisiveness! It’s just a bit rough around the edges and slightly unbalanced. This is probably the first time we’ve ever been critical of a Capital beer!

 

Range Brewing ‘Ekuanot & El Dorado’ IPA

Rating:

69647777_1167222093461934_3512695730961645568_n“We’ve made a few process changes to this latest West Coast IPA, giving a hint more bitterness on the front end, but balancing right the way through the palate. A deep orange, with a natural unfiltered hop haze, this beer is the perfect WC IPA colour. Filled with plenty of stonefruit, orange and mandarin – this bad boy is sure to please those who like their IPAs with a traditional full palate bitterness. Let us know what you think!”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Ultra deep orange with an apricot hue. It forms a healthy two finger head which persists and weaves a wavy lace down the glass.

Aroma: Not as vigorous as we’d anticipated but it still provides lovely wafts of paw paw, mango, overripe rockmelon and pineapple. We’re picking up some unique scents including canned peaches, rock candy, caramelised pear and a certain type of sensual oil which we just can’t quite put our finger on. Very interesting aroma.

Flavour: Mostly dominated by soft fleshy stone fruits and melon along with stewed paw paw, peach and apricot. Subtle hints of citrus here and there as well as a pinch of herbal spice and rind. This subtle citrus bitterness kicks on and leads in to a mildly bitter finish with orange citrus, peppery spice and stonefruit drawing out.

Mouthfeel: Fairly prickly. Can’t find an IBU but the bitterness is evident. CO2 is spot on as is the medium body. Very crushable for 6% ABV.

Overall: That’s a damn fine WC IPA. Pretty hazy for the style but then again we still are right in the middle of the haze craze. Another impressive drop from this largely unknown brewery.

Balter ‘Dazy’ DIPA

Rating:

032BCD4C-3D66-41CE-92CB-F4379B89909CGlassware: Poured into a pint glass to extract all the goodness of this 500ml can, and to get a good look as to whether this beer is ‘hazy’.

Appearance: Pours a lovely dark yellow, with a finger width white head that retains well at half a finger. It’s definitely hazy but not like a turbid NEIPA standard. There is plenty of carbonation seen. Thick lacing like soap is seen stuck to the glass.

Aroma: As the can says, “fleshy fruit flavours, spicy alcohol and an undercurrent of bitterness”. We can definitely smell stone fruits such as peach and tropical sweetness such as passion fruit and mango, with pine, red grapefruit, and citrus. There is a subtle spicy aroma also like pepper. Alcohol is well hidden amongst the fruity goodness.

Flavour: First sip reminds me that I’m drinking a tasty double IPA. The bitterness is low and intermixed with some caramels from the malt, a touch of booze heat but again well contained, and the backbone of more tropical fruit as described above, alongside some sweet grapefruit, orange peel and pine resin that gives it that spice like quality. Very drinkable.

Mouthfeel: for 8% alc vol it’s well hidden. Again bitterness is subdued allowing for a decent gulp, and the carbonation doesn’t hinder the experience. Great length on the palate. Body is moderate to full. As we near the end of the glass the alcohol is registering on the brain.

Overall: we tried at GABS 2019 and whilst we didn’t give it a 5/5, on a fresh palate, it’s a decent and enjoyable offering. We have been drinking so many NEIPA’s lately that to go back to a well brewed DIPA is refreshing. 1 is definitely enough on your own, otherwise a looming headache is likely. Another well brewed Balter beverage. P.S…apologies for crushed can.

Toppling Goliath ‘King Sue’ Double IPA

Rating:

69594648_1160550670795743_6982060258428452864_n“This lusciously hazy double IPA gains its hints of mango, orange, and pineapple from the use of the delicious Citra hop.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Turbid and pale orange juice looking affair with a healthy white crown perched on top. Good retention and lace as we imbibe.

Aroma: Proper fruit salad juice bomb. Every kind of tropical and citrus fruit you can imagine. Stonefruits aplenty, melon, peach, apricot, even kumquats coming through. It holds that fresh white bready malt character so synonymous with top shelf American NEIPAs. Hints of botanicals, lemongrass, dank pine and peppery spice. Nailed it!

Flavour: Comes on with a burst of tropical fruit sweetness. Showing a bit of that 7.8% ABV early on too. A fair bit of peach and apricot which lays down for the slightly pithy grapefruit and citrus rind midway. An acidic bitterness pushes forward but settles down for a warming finish with additional herbal spice and dank pine.

Mouthfeel: Quite sharp and prickly. As stated previously the 7.8% ABV certainly isn’t shy. Neither is the 100 IBU for that matter! Fairly light on with good CO2.

Overall: Somewhat of a rendezvous between the east Coast, the Mid West and the West Coast. The Citra hop shines again here too…we’d say it’s more at home here as opposed to Pseudo (which is interesting because he’s more of a West Coast style). All in all a very decent offering.

Hope Brewing Semillon IPA

Rating:

69403323_1153851164799027_6773400087079944192_n“The 2019 release of Hunter Harvest is where grape meets grain; in a hopped up IPA. World famous Hunter Semillon from our estate adds zest and lemopn lime edge to this already piney and resinous imperial brew.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Lovely bold amber pour with a thumb of frothy white head perched on top. It falls away gradually yet still manages sufficient lacing.

Aroma: Not really picking up a whole lot of the Semillon on first smell. Getting a lot of dank pine resins, booze, sweet malts and stewed stone fruit though. As it settles some yellow citrus (grapefruit, lemon) and freshly sliced pear come through…albeit conservatively. The sweet malts become a little syrupy as well.

Flavour: A mirror image of the aroma – dank, resinous fleshy stone fruits and sweet stewy malts bolstered by a warming booze. Pithy grapefruit and lemon peel then rolls in to a dry and super bitter finish which goes for days.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, prickly and somewhat astringent. Medium body and assertive bitterness (100 IBU). The 9.5% ABV is also quite evident.

Overall: One of us is a real big fan of Semillon so it’s a bit of a shame that the wine features were a bit subdued. The imperial IPA side of it was good though… dank, hoppy but well balanced with a sweet malt base. Not really memorable but a decent drop.

 

Modus Operandi ‘Pangea’ IPA

Rating:

68613351_1150158351834975_3631560372512620544_n“Our latest national limited release merges your oral continental borders with a gobful of hops from gob smacking hop regions around the globe. Unfiltered with a distinct hop-driven haze care of six different hopping processes and a double dry hop, this international IPA will have your buds in a round-the-world frenzy. More hops than a roos honeymoon, break down borders and hop into Pangea International IPA.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Light amber to gold in colour. Very mild haze and a frothy two finger head emerging on top. Good retention and healthy lace sticking to the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: Very green and grassy, lots of herbals and weedy notes, sappy pine resins and rainforest characters. Every time we smell it we get taken away to sphagnum-covered field in Scotland. Random AF! Nice impressions of stonefruit i.e mango, rockmelon and peach with a light biscuity malt tying it all together. Very nice.

Flavour: It offers a fair amount of dank pine resin, bitter citrus (yellow grapefruit, orange peel) herbal spice and gooseberry on the fore. The mid really hones in on the acidic citrus, hop bitterness and subtle warmth from the booze while the finish provides a bit of astringent bitterness but lovely citrus and herbal notes for days.

Mouthfeel: Quite sharp and prickly. Medium body with an aggressive bitterness. Just a small bite from the 6.5% AbV.

Overall: If you like your big and punchy west coast IPA’s then you’ll be all over this. Has a bit of old school flavour sidling up to some new world ideas (apparently the hop bill touches all corners of the globe!). All in all it ain’t a bad drop.

Bentspoke ‘Big Nut’ Black IPA

Rating:

67108553_1137854843065326_1488147988437008384_n“Our latest release is part of the Drifter series, a range of seasonal beers that drift in and out. Big Nut is a black IPA that’s been a long time coming for customers at the brewpub. Big Nut has been one of our most popular winter beers at the brewpub. Our Draughters’ members have been heckling us for years to put it in a can.More than just the beer, Big Nut began its story at the Braddon brewpub in the most literal sense, a big nut used in a tap handle.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Solid black with a sturdy thumb of tan foam perched on top. Retention is excellent and the lacing makes a mess of the glass.

Aroma: The nose is filled with big roasty malts, subtle smoke, charred wood, bitter espresso and licorice. Enter the hops! They come in with a piney, herbal, grassy and citrusy profile that balances everything out. Black IPA’s are one of our favoured styles for this reason…taking scents from both ends of the spectrum and blending them together. Brilliant!

Flavour: Even better than the aroma…and that is rare! We’re getting all of that dark roasty malt, coffee, chocolate, mild smoke etc, all the clean, piney, herbal and citrusy hops but the clincher is the overall silky smoothness that wraps it all up. Pithy grapefruit and orange peel forming late and finishing with a dry bitterness alongside a mild roast and charred malt character.

Mouthfeel: As we touched on previously the overall smoothness is next level. The bitterness (45 IBU) and the booze (7% AbV) are both incredibly well disguised. One of the most session-able black IPA’s we’ve ever had.

Overall: What else can we say? Other than this is an absolute ripper of a beer. Bentspoke do it again!

Sauce Brewing ‘Raspberry Dreamshake’ Milkshake IPA

Rating:

66085208_1127643640753113_7660332944195584000_n“A lightly hazy milkshake IPA, loaded with raspberries, lactose, vanilla and cacao.
With a light pinkish hue and soft carbonation, we’ve created something very different to our usual hop-bombs.”

Glassware: IPA

Appearance: Slightly hazy golden orange with a finely beaded two finger crown atop. The head gradually dispersed and settled to a fine film with healthy lace following it down.

Aroma: Instantly we’re thinking creaming soda! It almost has that over-the-top artificial sweetness if not for the superb albeit subtle white chocolate note. The two actually marry together really well. The more we take it in the more we pick up this crystallised sugar character which reminds us of jelly and concentrated cordial. It’s fun but extremely sweet.

Flavour: An exact mirror image of the aroma: straight up creaming soda on the fore with a very mild hint of creamy white chocolate in the background. Artificial raspberry flavours all the way through it, finishing exactly how it started with just the faintest flutter of hop bitterness in the tail.

Mouthfeel: Kind of creamy but it’s a little thin for our liking. Co2 is a bit flat as well. The one upside is the nicely disguised AbV (7%).

Overall: We love a good novelty beer but if the brewery doesn’t nail it they can end up tasting cheap and gimmicky like the good ol ‘pop ale’. This one falls in to the cheap and gimmicky bracket unfortunately….too one-dimensional and far too artificially sweet. Not for us.

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

Rating:

67338286_1133881086796035_6905497020358721536_n“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. Spotty lace sticking to the glass as it subsides.

Aroma: Wow…complex! Our first thoughts 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 nicely.

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, it’s far better than last years vintage but that is in no way a criticism of it…it’s just that this is a superior drop. Probably one of then best in the series. Brilliant!