Category Archives: IPA’s

Fixation Brewing ‘Squish’ Citrus IPA

Rating:

20479682_730977807086367_976370330660055163_n“FIXATION SQUISH IS A NEW WORLD IPA THAT BLENDS FRESH FRUIT AND HOP CHARACTER FOR A BEAUTIFULLY AROMATIC AND FLAVOURSOME ADVENTURE. THE SQUISH SHOWS A CLEAN BITTERNESS, WITH AROMAS OF FRESH ORANGE AND TROPICAL FRUITS. IT POURS A HAZY PALE GOLD. THE HOP DRIVEN AROMA IS TURNED UP A NOTCH BY FRESH CITRUS NOTES PROVIDED BY ADDITIONS OF BLOOD ORANGE AND GRAPEFRUIT. SQUISH FINISHES SUPER CLEAN AND INVITES ANOTHER SIP!

Served in an IPA glass. Pours a pale golden amber with a slight haze. It constructs a finger of well retained head that deposits a fine lace on the glass.
The nose is bursting with orange citrus character. Ruby grapefruit, orange, candied lemon and tangerine mainly but there are also hints of pine resin, passion fruit and pineapple coming through as well. Not a huge malt presence but a dry and husky accent is there at the base. Super summery aroma here.
Seriously smooth and silky in the mouth. Light-moderate body with a subtle bitterness developing late. She only weighs in at 5.9% ABV so it’s a really approachable IPA.
We get a really nice and refreshing splash of mixed citrus on the fore. All of those fruits from the aroma carry into the flavour with the softest hint of pine and grainy malt creeping in. Bit of an underwhelming finish as it appears to bottom out without a great deal of length.
Look, it’s not the most amazing IPA we’ve tried but it’s aromatic, tasty and sessional so it ticks most of the boxes. It is a little too delicate and could do with a bit more body and a bit of extra oomph but other than that it is a good entry level IPA. Not bad.

 

Pirate Life Mosaic IPA

Rating:

image“Some of you may have noticed that Pirate Life has a sneaky habit of releasing new beers in a flurry. It’s been a while since the Pirate Life IPA, Hopco NZ Pale and Golden Era Golden Ale hit shelves last year and this week we have two more for you. First cab off the rank….Piate Life Mosaic IPA.”

Served in an IPA glass. She offers a bright amber glow with excellent clarity. A solid one finger head is formed which holds together well and posts a consistent set of rings down the walls of the glass.
Sometimes these single hop IPA’s can get a little one dimensional but the fruity, citrusy and piney characters of this world class hop will never become monotonous for us. These hallmark aromas of grapefruit, candied lemon, pine and orange peel balance out with a super subtle malt profile which displays crusty bread and biscuit notes. Simple but so aromatic.
The texture is crisp and clean with moderate-medium body. Nice and vibrant co2 with a somewhat restrained bitterness in the swallow. Very accommodating for a beer hitting the scales at 7% ABV.
Just like the aroma the flavour is dominated by these delicious mosaic hops. A slightly heavier pronunciation on the grapefruit with hints of orange peel, passion fruit and pine resin weaved through. The malt profile is a bit shy, a little bready if anything. Well balanced finish here – definitely citrusy with a mild lingering bitterness in the close.
Besides from a few one-off GABS entries we haven’t properly reviewed a PL beer for quite some time. This IPA has some uncanny similarities to Firestone Walker’s IPA’s in the sense of its super clean and honest aromas and flavours. We knew these guys were progressing but we may have underestimated the trajectory! A fine offering here.

Bacchus Brewing Co ‘Blood Buccaneer’ Double Red IPA

Rating:

image“A double version of our crimson corsair. Same recipe, just mashed at a lower temperature for a slightly drier body and higher ABV. The beer still has a lovely rich malt character balanced by the tropical American hops. Blood Buccaneer was aptly another nickname for the star wars character crimson corsair, a delphidian pirate who wore a distinctive red kaleesh mask and reputed as being the region’s best pirate.”

Served in an IPA glass. The attractive scarlet red body is capped by a big and foamy three finger head. It holds together incredibly well allowing a thick lace to stick to the glass.
The aroma is big and juicy with those magnificent malts only just eclipsing the fruity hops. It just exudes elegance with sweet sugary notes of caramel, toffee and butterscotch and the tropical mango, lychee, papaya and rockmelon tucked in right behind. Something a little piney and resinous in here too. Superb.
Smooth and somewhat gelatinous in texture but the 9.1% ABV presents itself quite directly. Body is nice and full with mild-moderate Co2.
Bit of a role reversal on the palate. That sweet malt flavour certainly comes through but the tropical fruits and bitter citrus fuse with the hop bitterness and dominate the fore. The malts progress nicely through the mid but is met with an assertive hop bitterness that rounds off on a dry, citric finish that provides good endurance on the back end.
We’ve had a couple beers from Bacchus recently that have missed the mark but this release reminds us why we had them as one of our best of 2016. This imperial red IPA is balanced almost to perfection with a big and warming booze to back it up. Loads of super sweet malts and tropical fruity hops for the senses. Solid offering.

Bacchus ‘Kakadu IPA’

Rating:

imageThis is an American style IPA brewed with fruits and spices including Kakadu plum, wild rosella, Illawarra plum, Quandong Mountain Pepper, Pepperberry, Rain Forest Lime, Hibiscus, Aniseed Myrtle, Forestberry herb, Goji, Mangosteen, Blueberry, Pomegranate, Flax seed, Barley Grass. Basically rich in vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and phytonutrients.

Wow. We have never had a beer this healthy! Poured into a shaker glass, we see a massive 20-25mm white head that’s big and foamy. Full of bubbles. Head retains excellently with very little change. Ubiquitous cloudy burnt copper colour for an IPA. Nose is full of flavours that we don’t recognise…we do however notice citrus, lime, berry, caramels, doughy yeasts, resins, and a herbaceous undertone. So much perfume. So complex. First sip yields decent bitterness but balanced with the malts and booze heat. Mouthfeel is moderate here and has good length. We get more resins, limes, grapefruit like bitterness/ citrus, herbs, some spices, and a fruity sweetness but not too sweet. There is a mild drying affect on the palate. Mild to moderate carbonation on the palate. There is some soapy, clumpy lacing down the glass. We note the Alc vol of 8.7% and as usual with Bacchus we are amazed by the smoothness and the balance of this brew. There are over 25 herbs and spices and most of them we have not drunk before. Fair amount of sediment at the base of the glass here. Such a complicated brew and we wonder whether all the 25 herbs and spices were needed! It’s nice that this beer was brewed from the Kakadu region in Australia. Good job. Nice IPA.

Behemoth Brewing Co ‘Sauvin Slayer’ NZ Double IPA

Rating:

image“Big Dank NZ hops will take you to the other side of hoppiness! All Nelson Sauvin Hopped Double IPA… here to collect hop heads!”

Served in an IPA glass. Sauvin Slayer pours a bright golden orange with two fingers of well retained foam perched on top. Healthy lace.
Those aromatic Nelson Sauvin hops are erupting out of the glass with big grapefruit, orange peel, tropical fruit and dank pine notes leading out. It also has a mild acidity to it, like you would get from a young sauvignon blanc. Undertones of white grapes, vines, subtle white pepper and freshly cut grass with a gentle honey malt backbone to fill it out. Great depth on the nose.
Firm texture. The 8% ABV pairs with the assertive hop bitterness (75 IBU) but softens in to a moderate dryness in the swallow. Medium bodied.
We’re getting a lot of bitter and citric grapefruit coming on upfront. Much like the aroma there are additions of orange peel and pine in support with the big hops being countered by a line of semi sweet malt cutting through the mid. The hefty hop bitterness returns with notes of fresh cut grass and grapefruit to finish it all off.
Another fine offering from this Auckland based brewery. If you’ve been keeping up with our recent reviews you’d have noticed that this is about our 3rd review for this brewery in as many days. They’re a fantastic little operation but very hard to find in Australia so if you want to wrap your laughing gear around one then you’ll probably have to order them in straight from NZ. Or mule them back like we did!

 

Boundary Road Brewery ‘Stolen Base’ Double IPA

Rating:

image“Religion in America is baseball, closely followed by religion. This cultural extravaganza can’t be properly appreciated without a refreshing brew such as the Double IPA. Our version has a rich, full body, a palateful of smooth malts and supersize-me hops that leave it bitterer than a Hollywood divorce.”

Served in an IPA glass. This DIPA pours a relatively clear amber with a slightly red tint. It struggles to produce the short cap that quickly recedes to a halo. Although it does manage to post a consistent set of rings as it ebbs.
Interesting aroma, quite sweet actually. There’s a prominent yeasty sweetness that smells a bit like bubblegum. Behind it we can pick up hints of sherbet, rock candy, honeydew, mild acetone and a cloying honey and or caramel accent. Something a little floral about it too. Weird. Don’t know if it has anything to do with the Zythos hops as we’ve never encountered this type of hop before. A strange one.
Pretty full in the mouth. It has a rich, malty profile that lends it this thick, velvety texture. Mild bitterness for the 52 IBU. Extremely well hidden ABV of 8%. Not a lot in terms of Co2 – just the slightest sparkle.
Again that ultra sweet and artificial character presents itself. The fruity sweetness seems to be coming from the yeast instead of the hops which ultimately gives it a funky and estery taste. Getting a rosewater-like flavour before it’s rounded off by a strong floral note.
At first we thought it was quite a fun beer but by the end it’s cloying and hard to stomach. It’s like the brewers have blended an IPA and a Belgian tripel together. We’d even give them points if they had labelled it as such but we’re really struggling to see how this is an American IPA. Very underwhelming.

Sawmill Brewery Double IPA

Rating:

image“From independant brewery, Sawmill, this Double India Pale Ale is 8.5% Alc, with huge warming citrus and stonefruit hop aromas. The finish is precise with a refreshing bitterness.”

 Served in an IPA glass. This DIPA offers a slightly hazy honey colour with a short beige head perched comfortably on top. The head retains well though, posting healthy rings as it ebbs.
Bam! The nose on this bad boy is absolutely superb! Layers of citrus and tropical fruits are doubled down by lovely crisp pine and just the right amount of warming alcohol. Loving this tangy character as well, hinting at tangerine and mandarin. Gorgeous caramel malt structure too, just an all round magnificent aroma.
It’s quite aggressive in the mouth. Big, punchy bitterness with a prickly burn from the 8.5% ABV. Dry texture. Medium body and Co2.
The flavour reminds us of those highly hop forward IPAs of yesteryear – overflowing with pithy yellow grapefruit, pine resins, passion fruit and unripe pineapple. Tonnes of grassy hop flavour forming late with little malt sweetness to counteract. This palate wrecker finishes with a harsh hop bitterness, grapefruit and a substantial alcohol burn in the tail.
Certainly one for the hop heads! Can not fault the aroma but even for us the bitterness seemed to just tip the scales on the palate. That’s the only negative though, everything else about this DIPA is top shelf. Unfortunately there’s little chance of bagging one of these in Australia (we muled this back from NZ) so if you see this on the shelves anywhere in Oz grab one post haste!

Saint Archer Brewing co IPA

Rating:

imageSaint Archer Brewing Co was founded by world class Brewers, artists, musicians, surfers, skateboarders and snowboarders…all coming together with their passion and commitment for handcrafted beer.

Poured into a shaker glass, we see a slightly hazy golden straw colour with a small thin white head that subsides quickly and just leaves a rim of white around the glass. Mild carbonation seen through the haze. Aromas of pine, citrus, candy/caramel malts, doughy breads, and minimal booze. First sip is really nice and smooth on the palate. We thinking around the 6% mark given the lack of booze hit but we are pleasantly surprised to see an Alc vol of 7%! Decent bitterness on the palate with a good swish but it’s restrained and blends very lovely with the lighter caramel malts, and the pine, citrus and some white grapefruit. Crisp and drying on the palate also. Almost a tingle of spice like white pepper. Body is light to moderate and nice length after each gulp. Carbonation is mild to moderate allowing for a nice big swig. It’s kind of like a small version of a Pliny given the light colour and lack of booze hit to stated alcohol volume on the can. Good bitterness but so smooth down the gullet. As we near the end we just get more and more citrus and pine, with caramels, minimal alcohol, doughy malts, and mild spice. Beautiful aroma in the glass. So much perfume. So floral. Given this was canned only 3 months ago it’s a superb drop. We rate it highly.

Dieu Du Ciel! ‘Disco Soleil’ Kumquat IPA

Rating:

19511415_714283562089125_208756387178942515_n“Disco Soleil is a Canadian IPA by Dieu Du Ciel brewed using kumquats. In the glass, Disco Soleil pours an attractive honeyed gold with a lasting, creamy white head. The nose is fruity with fresh, juicy citrus scents colliding with peach, herbal and floral hops fragrances. On the tongue, the palate retains the same hops freshness but builds on the theme with more tropical notes including kumquat, mandarin, orange, and exotic fruits. There are also pine and herbs in evidence before a fine bitterness emerges in the finish.”

Served in an IPA glass. Somewhat hazy amber/orange hue meets the eye. It doesn’t construct much head as it struggles to produce a finger that weaves a remarkably healthy lace as we imbibe.
We’re seeing quite a lot of these fresh fruit flavoured IPA’s lately but this is the first time we’ve seen the kumquat being used. This particular fruit is part of the citrus family and tends to produce sweet but at times tart and tangy aromas – exactly what we’re getting off the nose. Sweet, juicy and tangy tangerine-like notes are filled out with a doughy/bready malt structure. Simple yet so effective.
Lovely crisp texture in the mouth. Mild-medium body with an assertive hop bitterness. Just a subtle lick of warmth from the 6.5% ABV.
The brewers have done an outstanding job bringing the subtle nuances of kumquat to the fore. Hints of juicy orange citrus blend with the super subtle tart features. The bitter citrus really kicks in to gear midway as the piney and lemony hops lay down for the hallmark American hop characters like grapefruit and passion fruit to shine. Any flavour of malt is minimal as we’re led to a dry and bitter finish with good duration on the back end.
It has been a long time between drinks for us and Dieu du Ciel. Although this release hasn’t blown us away like some of their other beers it’s still jam packed with a respectable amount of aroma and flavor. Would we seek it out again? Probably not, but on its own merits it is a bloody decent drop.

4 Pines Brewing Co ‘In Season’ IPA

Rating:

19060180_705768822940599_7001504137756714912_n“Dank, punchy, resinous hops are all-time, but they deteriorate fast with age. We change our hop varieties every season, so that only the best,
freshly harvested hops from around the globe are in your glass.”

Served in an IPA glass. Pours a bright golden amber hue with brilliant clarity. It only manages to prop up a short white head that reduces to a ring. Nice lace work considering the lack of retention as well.
The nose is super clean and refreshing with tangerine, candied lemon and pine needles leading out. There’s something a little creamy about it which kind of reminds us of key lime pie. Some stone fruit notes coming through – peach and nectarines come to mind. Not getting much in the way of malt, very hop forward (but you won’t head is complain about that!)
It’s uber approachable in the mouth. Nice effortless progression with light-moderate body. The texture is a bit lean and the Co2 is average. Could do with a bit more body.
Lovely crisp hop bitterness pairs up with grapefruit, orange and pine needle on the fore. Getting a somewhat floral honey sweetness midway, whether that’s the malt coming through or not we’re uncertain. Easy transfer back in to the citrusy hops which deliver a dry, piney and fruity finish on a length.
Decent overall beer in our opinion but it’s lacking a bit of wow factor. We like the session ability it offers but again, as it warms it seems to lose a lot of its texture and becomes a little watery. Definitely some positives but unfortunately a few negatives as well.

Modus Operandi ‘Cascadian Howl’ Black IPA

Rating:

18951449_704244453093036_3945935369343508799_n (1)“Emerging from the mountains of the Pacific Northwest, this Cascadian Black IPA is heinously howlin with heady hops whilst a subdued roast character lives in the shadows of this barbarian. Limited Edition release May 2017.”

Served in an IPA glass. Deep cola pour that reveals faint ruby edges when held to the light. A solid two finger head forms on top and maintains its shape brilliantly. Superb lace work as it ebbs.
Pretty much everything we’d want in a black IPA is emanating here. That pin point balance between the dark toasty malt and the clean piney American hops is dead set spot on. Every time we take in some roasted coffee the citric grapefruit is there to balance it out. Same goes for the licorice, tobacco and beef jerky against the white pepper, citrus and onions. Everything just evens out. So harmonious!
The texture is unbelievably approachable. The rich malts make for a smooth ride as the hops add their touch of bitterness around the edges. Moderate Co2 and medium body with the 8.1% ABV very well buried.
Again, that balance between roasted malt and piney hops plays out on the palate with just the slightest pronunciation on the toasty malt. A big drive of bitterness carries citrus notes across the mid as the dry, roasted coffee and malts set it up for a long burnt finish which reveals a hint of biscotti and subtle citrus in the tail.
Wow, just as we remembered it from GABS. This was almost the winning beer of the day for us but it was pipped at the post by a deserved winner. Another absolute cracker of a beer from Modus.

Moon Dog Craft Brewery ‘A Phine Mess’ Imperial IPA

Rating:

19030707_704244466426368_3752795386373524336_n“This beer is the hoptastic liquid equivalent of a relaxing vacation at a 3.5 star tropical resort. The fresh fruit platter from the breakfast buffet. A cooling dip in the lagoon. Paddle up to the swim-up bar for cocktails in the sun.”

Served in an IPA glass. Super cloudy orange pour, muddy even. Has a NEIPA look to it. Healthy two finger crest forming on top. Retention is superb which allows for a thick and blotchy lace to cling as we indulge.
There’s a fair bit going on here, quite complex indeed. The most notable feature is the dank, boozy pine resins that are being well supported by fleshy tropical fruits like mango, paw paw, rockmelon and lychee. Hard to miss the chewy caramel malt base too, bringing this moreish sweetness to the party. Something we can’t quite put our finger on as well…musk maybe? Whatever it is it works in well.
The 10% ABV certainly shows its hand early on. As the burn subsides the somewhat oily texture develops an assertive bitterness on the rear. Medium body with unexpectedly low Co2.
Flavour wise….well, there’s two words. Palate wrecker! The booze plays too big a role and once the 70 IBUs take hold there isn’t a whole lot of flavour allowed through. In saying that though, we can pick up a hint of sweet caramel malt with a dominant grapefruit tone over the top. Some unripe pineapple and a heady spice rounds it all out.
It has been a long time between drinks for us and Moon Dog. Not sure what happened really, they kind of fell off the face of the earth and returned a little while back with their new pale and dark ales. It’s great to see Moon Dog back brewing their edgy and super crafty beers again though.

Balter IPA

Rating:

image“This IPA is like frolicking through a spring forest and dive-bombing off a mandarin scented waterfall. Clean, piney, and citrus aromatics with bitterness that’s refined yet relentless”. We have been waiting with baited breath for this addition.

Poured into a shaker glass, we see that ubiquitous burnt orange colour with a 10mm compact off-white head that retains perfectly. Minimal budge after the pour. Slight haze noted. Aroma is delicious..full of pine, yellow grapefruit, unripened pineapple, passionfruit, sweet citrus, sweet malts & caramel. First sip is everything we were hoping for! Such balanced flavour in the mouth. Very refined bitterness that lingers softly over the whole palate but never dominates. Superb balance. Everything tapers off very nicely leaving you ready for the next gulp. We get that nice tingle on the sides of the tongue with a somewhat pleasant and innocuous texture. We note the booze content of 6.8% Alc vol and think it’s perfect cause you really can’t taste it at all. Just loads of caramel malts, passionfruit, pineapple, clean and crisp pine notes. It reminds us of a mini Korben D in terms of flavour and balance. Lots of patchy lacing down the glass as we get half way through. Carbonation is mild in the mouth and allows you to imbibe with complete disregard of one’s health. Body is moderate but excellent in length. We are absolutely thrilled by this brew. The Balter lads have seriously stepped it up here. It’s seriously a contender for top shelf Australian IPA. Hard to fault.

 

 

Stewart/De Molen ‘Problem Solved’ Double IPA

Rating:

18664697_695599187290896_7877930230394937673_n“We had a ‘First World Problem’…De Molen hopped across from Amsterdam and solved it. We are proud to present to you ‘Problem Solved’, our Belgian Double IPA with hints of Grapefruit and Citrus.”

Served in an IPA glass. We’re met with a pale amber body that’s capped off by a finger and a half of tight foam. Steady reduction, settling to a film that hangs a sheet of lace as it subsides. Looks a treat!
Super sweet on the nose…heavy on the artificial fruits that pay homage to fragrances like boiled candy, dates/prunes and cola. Quite syrupy as well, we don’t want to say it’s cloying but it’s definitely flirting with it. Hints of toffee apple, dried fruits, island rum and rich caramel malt really add to the complex nature of this aroma. Strange yet enticing.
In the mouth it has a dense texture with a somewhat muted 95 IBU. Has this somewhat flat feel to it, almost no carbonation. Medium-full body.
We taste sugar-coated fruits, pickled oranges and spiced rum on the fore. Hints of mango, rockmelon and paw paw ride the booze across the mid and lead to a sweet and dry finish that provides spice, caramel and tangerine on the back palate.
This is one complex little number. One bottle is surely enough as it becomes very sweet by the end. Loads of character although it’s just a little unbalanced in our opinion. Not bad.

Last Rites Brewing Co. ‘Love Country’ Tasmanian IPA

Rating:

18581546_695599257290889_896131689292531979_n“An IPA inspired by tropical afternoons spent lounging around the hotel pool while sipping away at a Pina Colada. Liberal use of Nelson Sauvin hops gives a big fruit salad character while the pale malt base is complemented by the late addition of toasted coconut to the boil adding a creaminess and subtle coconut character with a lingering bitterness.”

Served in an IPA glass. Pouring a somewhat cloudy apricot hue with a healthy three finger head over the top. Steady reduction, weaving a thick and blotchy lace as it ebbs.
The aroma is quite fruity with a creamy accent to it. Picking up a mild coconut but it’s a little obscure. Very tropical, as noted on the can, with direct pineapple, faint hints of Malibu rum and a candied lime note flowing through. Maybe a hint of mango and papaya getting a look in as well. Building nicely.
It offers a nice progression over the tongue – beginning with a creamy texture that welcomes a subtle yet lovely boost of Co2. Certainly not an aggressive IBU but it’s nonchalant in its late delivery of dryness. Medium body.
Points for hitting their mark of a pina colada style IPA, definitely tasting the creamy pineapple, mango and coconut with that fleeting hint of island rum on the edges. Nice fruity center that leads in to a dry, bitter finish revealing a lick of bitter citrus on the rear.
We’ll admit that this is not what we were expecting. To be honest we didn’t realise it was a take on a pina colada until we got a nose full of the creamy coconut and tropical fruits – far from what we expected from a brewery residing in cold old Tassie. Although on that note…well done for offering an exciting, unique and unexpected beer. Decent.

Hargreaves Hill ‘Kenneth – Son Of Zenneth’ IIPA

Rating:

18557188_695443563973125_2774018054784985824_n“Brewed with a relatively simple grist to promote hop balance and a stronger alcohol content to carry the classic North American hop charachters to the forefront. A homage to the elder statesmen of the craft beer scene in the USA.”

Served in an IPA glass. Kenneth pours quite a deep and dark honey with a couple of fingers worth emerging on top. Really well retained head that deposits a thick lace down the walls of the glass.
The nose absolutely pops! One of the first things we notice is this rich caramel malt sweetness at the base. Plenty of dank pine resins getting amongst the sugary toffee and butterscotch as the tropical cocktail fruits begin to come through once it settles. Starting to see a suggestion of flambèd orange and paw paw coming through too. Immaculate! Great depth and balance as well.
In the mouth it’s aggressive with the 8.2% ABV displaying a short and sharp cameo. An IBU of 65 is brilliantly negotiated by the soothing malts which provide a somewhat sticky texture. Medium-full body. Moderately carbonated.
It’s all about this harmonious balance between the chewy caramels and the tropical fruits upfront. Something a little biscuity creeping in before the bitter citrus is introduced midway. It’s all carried in to a drying finish that offers good length on the back palate.
It’s seriously difficult to fault this beer. It’s got oodles of character, it’s extremely well layered and it’s balanced like a beer on a barrel. Magnificent drop from this Victorian brewery.

Wolf Of The Willows ‘Wolf Blood’ Red IPA

Rating:

18300861_688519214665560_1452170414984531964_n“Wolf Blood is a fresh and intense red IPA produced in collaboration with Bloodhound Bar in Brisbane. It’s all about hops, hops and more hops balanced by lovely caramel malts. Those hops are of a “citrus, pine and stone fruit” bent with some toasted malt aromas, resiny hop flavours and a dry rear palate and signature IPA bitterness”

Served in an IPA glass. She pours an attractive deep amber hue that reveals a strawberry edge when held to the light. It constructs a sturdy two finger head that retains beautifully, hanging a sheet of lace down the walls of the glass.
Absolutely loving the buttery, caramelized malt sweetness here, offering some really good uplift on the nose. Moreish toffee and butterscotch infuse magnificently with the tropical fruity notes of mango, rockmelon, paw paw and pineapple. Some very interesting undertones to it as well – we detect hints of toast, tree bark, rotting leaves and musk. Superb aroma.
Incredibly smooth and silky texture with the hop bitterness (66 IBU) developing late. Spiked with a bit of warmth from the 7.1% ABV but ultimately it offers a pleasant progression over the tongue.
Nice transition on to the palate. All that sugary caramel sweetness presents with an added focus on a somewhat toasty accent. Good carry through the mid, making room for those fleshy tropical fruits along the way. Strong finish, displaying its IPA origins with a lengthy hoppy conclusion.
Impressive stuff. Prior to this we’d received mixed reviews of this breweries beers but if this one is anything to go off then we’re keen to try the rest of their range. Solid offering.

Stone Brewing ‘Tangerine express’ IPA

Rating:

18118983_683798835137598_7323195235284954294_n“Imagine the tropical haze of a lazy afternoon- into-evening. Your official duties for the day have been to maybe take a hike to a secluded waterfall, perhaps grill something, definitely chill with plenty of sand between your toes…and crack a phenomenal beer to complete the experience. Check, check, check again and…pfffft…check.”

Served in an IPA glass. She pours a bright amber hue with a pillowy two finger head. Reduction is gradual, settling to a fine overlay that leaves a streaky drag down the glass.
Wow the aroma certainly pops with heady wafts of orange, tangerine, mango, pineapple and passionfruit. It smells like a lovechild between a tropical breakfast juice and sunkist. A subtle piney note cuts through as the somewhat biscuity malt base fills it out. They’ve nailed the aroma, so summery and alluring.
Definitely showing its IPA characters more in the mouth. Smooth-ish chewy texture, medium body, slightly warming alcohol (6.7%) and an assertive 75 IBU. Co2 is moderate. Quite pleasant actually.
Not as much of the pulpy citrus sweetness in flavour, displaying more of an artificial orange tone that makes way for more of the bitter grapefruit and citrus rind through the mid. Just a hint of that biscuity malt offsetting the bitterness before a fairly fruity yet boozy finish rounds off.
Initially we were a little dismayed at how the beer was progressing but we’ve come around in the end. We can’t speak for all IPA lovers but we don’t want our IPA’s smelling and tasting like fruit juice! The more aggressive palate gives the beer depth and complexity and more importantly reminds us that we’re drinking beer! Kudos Stone, that’s a fine drop.

Mash Brewing ‘Challenger’ English IPA

Rating:

18118413_681834495334032_283237386177540419_n“Brewed in the English style with generous whirlpool and dry hopping from English and N.Z hops. Tropical fruit on the nose moving into Apricot and Orange with complimentary caramel malts. Our IPA finishes with a bitter, lingering resinous kick.”

Served in an IPA glass. Slightly hazy amber with a two finger crown assembling on top. The head retains quite well, leaving a smattering of lace as it ebbs.
Certainly a more malt driven aroma with the buttery caramel malts leading out. A vigorous twirl of the glass awakens the feature Challenger hops that impart a kind of earthy citrus character. We’re also getting a certain herbal note with hints of crisp pine and lemon drops here and there. Not too bad.
Nothing overly exciting happening in the mouth. Pretty smooth with a medium body. Good Co2. A little dry in texture with the delicate bitterness forming on the rear. Only 5.8% so the alcohol isn’t a big factor.
Again, the palate favours the malts but it offers more of a jammy sweetness as opposed to the buttery caramel on the nose. Subtle hints of herbal hop, citrus and a pinch of spice delivers a dry earthy finish with lingering bitterness in the tail.
Not a bad attempt at an English IPA by any means. It may not be on the same level as the Bacchus Challenger IPA or Brooklyn Brewery’s East IPA but it’s got game and provides a fairly pleasant