Black Dog Brewery ‘Leader of the pack’ IPA


12113333_444765169040967_77566487446411873_o“The India Pale Ale style was originally brewed to last the long voyage from Britain to India. It is made with plenty of malt and a ridiculous amount of hops. We’ve sourced malts and hops from around the globe to make our mighty IPA in the American style, so expect huge hop aromatics, rich malt flavour and a huge hit of lip smacking hop bitterness. Perfect to cool the heat of a spicy curry or drink on its own to enjoy the huge flavours.”

Fresh off reviewing (and loving) this breweries ‘Hell Bound’ IBA we were immediately on the hunt for their next beer. So this IPA was an absolute no-brainer for us, it literally jumped off the shelf. Served in an IPA glass. Our placid pour managed almost a glass full of foam so go easy. After about 5 minutes of patiently topping up we were left with about four fingers worth of loosely packed beige head that maintains well, shedding a tonne of thick, blotchy lace trails as it ebbs. The first few whiffs offer ripe, fleshy fruits such as mango, pineapple and rock melon over a sweet and buttery malt base. A little jammy, we get a savory hint of apricot and marmalade that work itself nicely into the resinous and wet grassy hops. Not bad. The texture is quite smooth and silky with a touch of dryness developing late. Medium-high carbonation with standard IBU (our guess is around the 60-65 mark). Mild-medium body. Upfront a fusion of citrus and stone fruits cut through the sweet caramel malts. An assertive bitterness carries forward through the mid, promoting a long, dry and slightly bitter finish. Unfortunately this brew isn’t anywhere near the level of the IBA. Depth is a bit of an issue and it doesn’t really possess the solid hop and malt balance you’d come to expect from a quality IPA. It is tasty and it’s well drinkable it’s just not a memorable IPA.