Category Archives: IPA’s

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!

3 Ravens ‘Choc Mint’ Milkshake IPA

Rating:

67389813_1133882220129255_7273359204029562880_n“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 opening up as it settles.

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 – a 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:

67555744_1133879846796159_6266159497325051904_n“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!