Category Archives: IPA’s

Seven Mile Experimental Hazy IPA – Mosaic

Rating:

“A Hazy IPA made with our favourite hop Mosaic, plus a new kid on the block Hort 4337. This experimental hop has great tropical fruit notes which compliment the dank berry deliciousness of Mosaic.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Almost clear deep golden pour with a big three finger head which retains. It leaves a smattering of lace as we go. Once again we’re left lamenting the lack of haze in a so called hazy IPA!

Aroma: We sound like a broken record but Mosaic hops have to be one of the best hops ever cultivated. The amount of diversity and vigour from this one hop is amazing…it’s throwing out tonnes of tropical fruit like mango, pineapple, passionfruit and peach and equal to the task are the oily and resinous notes of pine, weedy herbals and mixed citrus. Kinda nice and subtle semi sweet malt bill filling it out.

Flavour: Follows on from the nose and displays a big fruity profile…the tropical fruits aren’t as dominant as we’re tasting more of the mixed citrus, stonefruits and resinous pine. Slowly but surely the weedy herbals are introduced and so is the mild caramel sweetness, wheat grains and oats. Nicely balanced and generally smooth finish with good duration.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth, well aerated. Mild dryness in the swallow. Medium body and Co2. The 6.4% ABV is pretty inconspicuous.

Overall: Didn’t love it but didn’t hate it. The lack of haze is always one thing that gets under our skin but the rest of the beer wasn’t too bad. Mosaic hops are the real winner here.

Revel DDH Hazy IPA

Rating:

“With the deep golden hue of a hazy sunset this gloriously juicy, smooth, & lucious beer is our take on the Hazy IPA. It’s double dry-hopped with Strata, El dorado & Idaho 7 for the citrus & tropical juice flavour associated with this style.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Almost 100% clear deep golden pour with a fluffy two finger head. Good retention and lacing as it ebbs. It really gets under our skin when breweries call their beers “Hazy” then they pour like a West Coast IPA.

Aroma: Smells pretty damn good but. There’s a pleasant mix of slightly pithy citrus, sweet tropical fruits, fleshy stonefruit and nectar (passionfruit, peach etc). We’re also detecting heady notes of pine resin, weed/herbals, gummi bears and dried leaves. Not really picking up the typical hazy or juicy aromas from it though. Basically smells like a decent run of the mill IPA.

Flavour: Nice progression happening. It kicks off with resinous pine, slightly dank weedy herbals and a nice line of pithy citrus developing early in the mid. It keeps pretty green and herbaceous with a hint of unripened stonefruit creeping in late. It finishes pretty dry and citric with a bit of a mild booze burn in the tail.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, dry, a little prickly in the swallow. Good body to it. Medium Co2. 6.5% ABV shows through a smidge.

Overall: Look, at the end of the day it’s a reasonably good IPA. We just hate it when breweries call IPA’s hazy only to find out they’re not hazy at all. This is the perfect example of a “no coast IPA” to us. Still, it’s a decent beer at its core.

Sunday Road ‘Vacation Rental’ Cold IPA

Rating:

What’s a Cold IPA you ask? Think of it as a beer with a very light malt base that is a canvas for hops. Cold IPA hits with a strong punch of aromatic hop intensity and decent bitterness but finishes crisp and clean that will have you craving another sip. A Lager yeast is used that is low in ester and Sulfur that’s fermented warmer than traditionally would be, yet cooler than an Ale yeast is. We’ve doubled down on the Cold and used only Cryo hops in the “HopBurst” style. Double dry hopped using Cryo Ekuanot, Sabro and Amarillo.  Embrace the cold, we’re sure you’ll love the reward.

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: 100% clear golden complexion with nice Co2 activity. It holds a sturdy two and a half finger head which weaves a healthy lace as it ebbs.

Aroma: Super clean and crisp with a tonne of fruit and oily pine resin from the Cryo Ekuanot. We’re really digging this new practice of using Cryo hops as it brings a certain sharp, intense and clean herbal note. With this particular hop it’s offering a kinda leafy/eucalyptus-like quality. Milder hints of green capsicum, lime, orange peel, cedar and tree sap to bring it home.

Flavour: Wow that is just so damn smashable…and at 6.8% ABV it really shouldn’t be! Similar to the aroma where it’s throwing out a tonne of oily hop and pine resin, weedy herbals, zesty lime and unripened tropical fruits. There’s a really light and grainy malt bill which further amplifies the clean and slightly herbaceous finish.

Mouthfeel: Ultra crisp and clean, mild-moderate body. Co2 is perfectly positioned and the 6.8% ABV is well concealed.

Overall: Top drop. Will the style take off? Who knows. India Pale Lager’s – which in our opinion are the closest style to a cold IPA – have never really taken off but that could simply come down to the dirty “L” word. Considering this has the “IPA” acronym in it could be the defining difference. We’ll see.

Jervis Bay ’15 Fathoms’ Black IPA

Rating:

“Inspired by the deepest darkest depths of Jervis Bay, our 15 Fathoms Black IPA may be dark to the eye, but never the tastebuds. For the darkest part of the sea is often where the treasure lies. Surprisingly drinkable with a dry finish, the 15 Fathoms is our most bitter brew with a hint of citrus and mango. A refreshing bounty waiting to be discovered.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Solid black with some cola hues at the foot of the glass. It notches up a frothy tan which slowly deconstructs. Laced reasonably well as we go.

Aroma: The bones of it are good. We’re taking in the hearty roasted malts and the piney and citrusy hops which counteract nicely but it just seems to be lacking vigour. We want black IPA’s to act like Stouts with a 50/50 mix of West Coast IPA…charred malts and aggressive hops. With this we’re getting a little bit of that but it’s just too quiet and shy.

Flavour: A little bit better but it’s still too pedestrian in our opinion. The mildly roasted malts and somewhat clean piney hops are here but they’re lacking that oomph we come to expect from the style. Instead of counteracting each other it seems to be getting a little muddled. But the upside is it finishes with a nice bitey bitterness and a gentle roast which endures well enough.

Mouthfeel: It’s held up pretty well by a slightly chewy texture. Good Co2 and a medium body. The 6% ABV adds a bit of much needed attitude too.

Overall: As much as we love what these guys are doing this one didn’t do it for us. As we’ve mentioned a few times it’s just a tad too weak and insipid and that’s the opposite of what black IPA’s are about.

Slipstream ‘Maximum G-Force’ Imperial IPA

Rating:

“What if our G-Force IPA was revved up even higher? Brace yourself for maximum flavour because we’ve amped up the citrus and rocketed to imperial strength.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Bold amber with flat carbonation. In saying that it still manages a frothy two and a half finger head which gradually deconstructs. Healthy lace sticks as it ebbs.

Aroma: One doesn’t need to be a genius to know this is certifiably 100% West Coast and it’s instantly confirmed once we get a nose full of crispy pine-driven, caramel malt-laden and slightly in your face natured wafts. As we’d expect there’s a citrus presence i.e grapefruit, tangerine, orange peel. Picking up some not so favourable scents though…washing powder and a slightly cloying sweetness which is a shame.

Flavour: The first thing that needs mentioning is the remarkably well hidden booze and to be able to do that with it weighing in at 9% ABV demands respect. But, and we always hate the but, the slightly cloying boiled candy flavours we get from all the bottom shelf IPA’s come through. Some pine and orange citrus here and there, semi sweet caramel malts, cedar and zesty rind into a smooth and well rounded finish.

Mouthfeel: Kinda sticky, a little dry and prickly but nicely tempered. A tad on the flat side, mild-medium body. As we’ve mentioned the 9% ABV is ridiculously well hidden.

Overall: Not sold. It started alright but once we broke it down it revealed a lot of weaknesses. This is our 2nd crack at Slipstream now and both of them have been rather average.

Bracket Brewing ‘Progress’ Hazy IPA

Rating:

“We’re a deliberately small, family run brewery in the heart of Alexandria. No big investors. No sales contracts with Mr Murphy. No desire to outgrow our little brewery. This allows us to produce what we want to drink (and hopefully you too). An ever-changing array of well-crafted beers we’re proud to share.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Pours kinda golden orange with a mild haze. It forms an egg shaped three finger head which leaves an absolute mess on the glass.

Aroma: Two of our most favourite hops have combined in this IPA and they bring all their hallmark aromas with them; truck loads of tropical fruit like mango, pineapple, peach and passionfruit, fairly heady citrus notes, pine, delicate stonefruits, herbals, subtle resin and a touch of vines. Pretty dry and doughy malt profile with a hint of oats and wheat grains.

Flavour: Again, lots of tropical fruit, mixed citrus, stonefruits and a slightly dank and resinous pine/herbaceous character upfront. That really well rounded smoothness from the oats balancing it all out. Just a hint of pithy citrus and hop bitterness around the mid leading to a dry, herbal and kinda dank finish which endures nicely.

Mouthfeel: Super smooth, creamy, well aerated and fluffy. Gentle Co2 with mild-medium body. The 7.3% ABV also well buried.

Overall: Not a bad way to kick off proceedings. Bracket are one of the newer kids on the Inner West block and they’re also another outfit who’ve chosen to go a little further east of King St! Solid drop from a solid looking brewery.

Sunday Road ‘Cryotherapy’ Hazy IPA

Rating:

“Triple dry hopped using Cascade, Mosaic Cryo and Sabro hops. Treat your taste buds to mango, lime, passionfruit and tropical fruit aromas, combined with a luscious mouthfeel,  big hoppy flavours and low bitterness. CryoTherapy Hazy IPA is our new brew that will treat your taste buds to Cryogenic lupulin powder from whole hop flowers. It’s lively, juicy and pure deliciousness.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Super thick and turbid. Pastel orange centre working out to lighter orange edges. It builds a frothy two and a bit finger head that retains well and weaves a healthy lace down the glass.

Aroma: Displaying heady nectar-filled overtones. Loads of passionfruit, pine resin, tree sap, cannabis, tropical fruits like freshly cut mango, pineapple and lychee. We can detect that cryogenic lupulin powder with ease…it offers this potent mix of resin, herbs and what we can best describe as pure hop oil. Kind of a creamy/oaty and biscuity malt profile to it. We’re certainly picking up what they’re putting down!

Flavour: Big punchy hop flavours upfront led by the oily and resinous Cryo hops – sappy pine, cannabis and zesty citrus with the sweeter tropical fruits (passionfruit, mango, papaya, lychee) playing 2nd fiddle. Hints of rolled oats and semi sweet biscuit malts provide a smooth and savoury note which rounds it all out nicely. Pretty good length on it too.

Mouthfeel: creamy AF with a nice silky consistency. Medium body and finely carbed. The 6.1% ABV is perfectly positioned.

Overall: Another well polished offering from the SR crew here. The resinous Cryo hops really shine while the hazy side of things kept it incredibly smooth and creamy. We can definitely see ourselves returning for a few more.

Bridge Road ‘B2 Bomber – Mach 11’ Black Belgian Double IPA

Rating:

“In 2021, we celebrate our 16th year as a brewery. To mark the milestone, we’ve brewed this beauty: The 11th edition of our annual birthday beer, the fabled B2 Bomber. This year’s incarnation, brings the unmistakable combination of complex dark malts, fruity Belgian yeast characters and big punchy hops. What do we call it? A Black Belgian Double IPA. Weighing in at 9.3%, Mach 11, artfully balances these complex elements and makes for another memorable beer to celebrate a rather memorable year.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Glossy black with a tightly held three finger head which holds its shape. Excellent lacing as it subsides. Well our Co2 concerns may be quickly put to bed already.

Aroma: It appears they’ve dealt with their Co2 issues that have been plaguing this release for the last couple of years and are back to their best. We’re taking in a beautifully balanced hop to malt ratio; big piney, citrus and herbaceous notes slicing through the rich and hearty roasted malts. Then there’s the semi sweet and candy-esque yeast profile throwing out oodles of musk, bubblegum and spice. Supoib!

Flavour: And it follows through! Intense roasted malts immediately battle it out with the piney and citrusy hops. Then there’s the sweet and spicy yeast playing almost a mediator role. Ferocious roasty-ness, big and dry hop bitterness, Candi sugars and spicy notes flowing through and then punctuated by a perfectly balanced finish with incredible duration.

Mouthfeel: Nice and dense but also rather creamy and a little dry in the swallow. Just a hint of warmth from the 9.3% ABV. But the big one…. perfectly carbonated.

Overall: As far as annual limited releases go this is one we literally hold out for. As most of us know BR had some bad Co2 issues with Mach 9 and 10 so we’re stoked to see that they’ve overcome it and come back bigger and better from it. Top notch stuff.

Garage Project X Monkish ‘Escape From L.A’ Hazy Double IPA

Rating:

“LA wunderkinds, Monkish, offer up a masterclass in the kind of luscious IPA that has helped to make them famous. There’s more than a little West Coast swagger to this East Coast hazy, with Golden Promise malt, three types of oats and a massive double dose of Galaxy, Citra, Strata and Freestyle Rakau hops.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Oh so turbid. It’s got that lovely blend of pastel yellow and orange with a fluffy two finger head which slowly reduces and leaves a wet lace on the glass.

Aroma: Proper fruit salad happening here. Picking up a heady scent of nectar initially then followed by a good dose of sweet stonefruits like apricot, papaya and peach. Some tropicals like mango and passionfruit, soft peppery citrus, coconut, chalky oats, vines, some weedy/dank herbals and a touch of pine. Nice and dry malt profile; bready, oaty and crusty. Very impressive.

Flavour: Instantly we can tell a world class American brewery has had a big hand in this. The intensity but overall balance that is struck is phenomenal. It comes on with this soft pillowy juicy-ness which fans out to that fruit salad character we were talking about in the aroma. There’s a nice bitterness midway which is softened by the fruity and oat-driven finish. Excellent length too.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, pillowy and really well rounded. Just the right amount of bitterness to cut through it. Finely carbonated, medium body. 8% ABV is fairly well concealed.

Overall: For one of us Hopheads Monkish is an all time fave. Not only are their NEIPA’s some of the best in the world but their sours and dark beers are also top notch. Excellent NEIPA here…it’s creamy, fruity and perfectly balanced with a bit of bite. Cracking drop.

Bridge Road ‘NEeD #3’ Hazy IPA

Rating:

“The third beer in our new bi-monthly IPA series is a nod to the haze craze, with a Bridge Road twist. Pouring with a milky, golden glow in your glass, There’s huge aromas: Of stone fruit from the Idaho-7, some big floral notes courtesy of Loral and mega citrus feels courtesy of modern classic, Citra. The mouthfeel is soft and the finish is long and medium dry. Another winner from this series.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Hazy pastel yellow pour with a sturdy three finger head perched on top. Excellent retention and healthy lacing down the sides of the glass.

Aroma: It seems Idaho-7 is the latest hop craze. It has been used as a feature hop in numerous beers from the likes of Mr Banks, Pirate Life, Dainton and Blackman’s just to name a few. We’re getting orange citrus straight off the bat; mandarin, tangerine and zesty rind alongside yellow grapefruit, pine, spicy herbals, mild tropical fruits and florals. Quite a bready/doughy malt structure offering hints of white bread and oats. Solid.

Flavour: It comes on with a very unexpected West Coast style aggression. Pithy rind and yellow grapefruit couples up with sharp pine needle and a touch of mandarin which is kicked on by a fairly abrasive hop bitterness that hits hard at first, softens then slowly ascends again. Tasting a subtle touch of bready malt before the pithy citrus, pine and rind finish it all off.

Mouthfeel: Extremely bitter, dry and a little acrid. The 6.5% ABV only adds more bite to an already coarse texture. Medium body, mild-moderate Co2.

Overall: We’re struggling to grasp the concept of this beer. We’re totally open to new variants of IPA but labelling it a hazy and then delivering a charged up West Coast IPA is well… confusing. Maybe it’s a new thing?! Don’t know, we’re not totally sold on it if it is though.

Hargreaves Hill ‘Pursuit Of Hoppiness #9’ Single Hop IPA

Rating:

“Number #9 is an Oat Cream IPA featuring one of our favourite hops Mosaic; used generously throughout the brewing process from the kettle to the tank. It creates a wonderfully complex beer with a rich, smooth and creamy mouthfeel to compliment a truly unique hop.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Light pastel yellow with a fairly mild haze. It forms a finger of fizzy head which gradually peels off and drags a wet lace down the glass.

Aroma: If there was ever a perfect hop for a single hop IPA it would be Mosaic…the amount of character that can be drawn out of this wonder-hop is incredible. We’re picking up oodles of tropical fruits such as mango, pineapple, passionfruit, candied lemon, unripened peach and guava. Lots of pine and citrus, fresh herbs and vanilla/lactose. Creamy oats and bread crusts filling it all out.

Flavour: Not as creamy and sweet as most other Oat Cream IPA’s we’ve had but the Mosaic hops offer a wonderful array of tropical fruit, pine and mixed herbs. Struggling to find anything that points to the “Oat Cream” side of things. Ok there’s a very subtle hint of vanilla and oats but that’s about it. Quite crisp and citrusy midway then finishes fruity and a touch dry.

Mouthfeel: Nicely aerated, a little dry and chalky. Mild-medium body. Nice vibrant Co2.

Overall: After #8 (Imperial Red IPA) we were quietly hoping they’d keep with that trajectory and go for a black IPA or something a little different for the 9th instalment. This Single Hop Oat Cream IPA was a bit of a let down to be honest…we want to see more variety in this series!

Aether ‘Hop Skip & Jump’ India Pale Ale

Rating:

“Hop Skip & Jump is strong bodied with moderate clarity, heavy resinous aromas lead into strong flavours of citrus and pine. Rich, marshmallow-like mouthfeel which follows through to the finish. Moderate bitterness.
Styled in the classic West Coast style, it is big and bold yet delicate and approachable. This award winning beer has a rich, almost creamy mouth feel that provides a balance to the piney resinous hop character and lasting bitterness.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Bold amber complexion with a fluffy two finger head which is maintained well. Good retention and excellent lacing as it ebbs.

Aroma: Definitely in the West Coast style. Heady and punchy resin and dank herbals fill up the nostrils as the somewhat rich sweet toffee and caramels fill it all out. Pithy citrus peel, grapefruit and orange begin to open up as it settles…as does the pine needle, soft fleshy stonefruits and honey. They say first impressions are everything and this is impressing us!

Flavour: Well it backs up big time. Quite aggressive too, which we love our WC IPA’s to be. We get a strong hop bitterness first up, supported by pithy citrus and rind, pine resins and dank herbals. The malt sweetness is kinda pushed to the back but it’s still discernible. The bitterness never shakes and finishes as such with a sharp pithy-ness and a bit of a sting in the tail.

Mouthfeel: Pillowy yet dry and a little acrid. Medium body, mild-moderate Co2. 6.4% ABV and a hefty 70 IBU keeps reminding us that it’s a West Coast IPA!

Overall: This is now our 2nd crack at Aether and we must say we’re liking what they do. We said we were going to move on to their core range and we’re glad we did…this IPA is a really good representation of the style. Solid drop.

Sunday Road ‘6 Ft & Offshore’ West Cost IPA

Rating:

“A US West Coast style IPA presenting a bold hit of delicious tropical hop aroma, thanks to a large dry hop of Mosaic, Azacca and Eclipse. There’s a wonderful complexity throughout the palate with layers of hop oil as malt and bitterness intertwine to make a very moreish IPA.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Bold amber pour with a sturdy two finger head which holds its shape. Healthy lacing as it ebbs.

Aroma: From the first whiff we knew this was going to be a corker of a beer (yes we’ve tried this on tap at the brewery on numerous occasions). One of the most alluring aspects of this West Coast IPA is the big tropical fruits that are perfectly countered by the sweet caramelised malts. Plenty of support from orange citrus, mandarin, pine, a hint of rind and rich caramel. Top notch stuff.

Flavour: Excellent transition on to the palate. Delicious sweetness from the caramel malts initially with the tropical fruits, pine, orange citrus and rind cutting right through the middle of it and surging through to the perfectly balanced finish of zesty rind, pine and sweet caramel. Good endurance on it too.

Mouthfeel: Perfectly weighted. Smooth as silk with a soft bitterness post swallow. Medium body, finely carbonated. 6.2% ABV is dead set spot on…and well concealed.

Overall: Even considering its ABV it still somehow comes across as sessional. It’s just so well executed one could sit on it all arvo. You may need a wheelbarrow to be carried out at the end but at least your taste buds would be content! Superb.

Modern Times ‘We Love You San Diego’ Hazy Double IPA

Rating:

“We’ve been busy over the past few years, expanding our beverage empire, kicking ass, & even occasionally taking names. It’s been a seriously killer ride, but we’re bringing it back home with this delectable murk-lord of a DIPA. Brewed at the Point Loma mothership, this golden miracle features a blend of southern hemisphere hops & American classics: Vic Secret, Citra, & Mosaic. The finished liquid homage to our roots is insanely tropical, exploding with notes of mango, pineapple, & passionfruit, underscored by citrus & pine. Drink it, & prepare to be overwhelmed with warm-fuzzies & intense satisfaction.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Light pastel orange complexion with a cloudy haze. It forms a creamy head which gradually recedes. Nice webbed lace clings to the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: Fruit forward and quite strong on the nectar front; passionfruit, mango, peach and nectarine. Plenty of melon i.e paw paw/papaya along with heady herbals like lemongrass, basil and peppery rocket. Getting that dry and bready malt quality on the flank, albeit conservatively…still it’s effective in providing some balance. All up a pretty decent aroma.

Flavour: To be honest it’s no where near as smooth as we had anticipated. There’s a soft astringency all the way through. Coupled with a mild bitterness and booze burn. Still, there’s tonnes of fruit coming through, pretty herbaceous and green, pithy at times, piney and complimented by an earthy spicy-ness. Good length on the finish too.

Mouthfeel: Rather dense and creamy with a soft chalky texture. Medium body, mild-medium Co2. The 8% is assertive but not over the top.

Overall: Can’t say we’re totally thrilled by it but it ain’t bad. It seems like MT keep all of their top shelf beers for the American market and import all of the standard ones!! Share the love!

Mr Banks ‘Green Lights’ DDH West Coast IPA

Rating:

“DDH West Coast IPA hopped with chinook, centennial, simcoe, amarillo & amarillo cryo.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Quite a light pour for the style – straw gold with active Co2 surging up to hold the two finger head together. Good retention and lacing as it subsides.

Aroma: Getting this heady evergreen quality popping off. Oily, resinous and piney notes-a-plenty, zesty citrus, candied lemon, yellow grapefruit, mild florals, tangerine and a really soft hit of earthy spice. Very light and grainy malt profile…bread crusts and crackers mostly. Smells super fresh. Not too shabby.

Flavour: It all comes together here. Packing a nice big hoppy punch upfront; oily resins, evergreen, pithy citrus i.e rind, zesty grapefruit and orange. The crusty and almost cereal grains coming through as it hits the mid palate. Definitely returns to an oily and resinous finish which drags out nicely.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and snappy. Mild-moderate body and vibrant Co2. The 7.1% ABV perfectly positioned.

Overall: We certainly had our doubts once we saw the colour of it but it has come through…pretty damn well too we must say. It really is refreshing to drink a transparent IPA every now and then! Solid offering here from Banksy.

Foghorn ‘Red Right Hand’ Red IPA

Rating:

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Pours an attractive deep amber with soft red highlights. It forms a healthy three finger head which holds its shape nicely. A nice smattering of lace clings to the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: Getting those luscious caramel malts straight off the bat; toffee, butterscotch and a hint of maple. We’re also picking up something a little tangy but we can’t quite put our finger on it…blood orange maybe? The use of Sabro is genius as it provides the slightest hint of toasted coconut, woody notes and it further accentuates the orange citrus characters. Some soft doughy notes happening too. Solid.

Flavour: Definitely tasting more of that tangy orange upfront. They marry up with the sweet malts really nicely…the fusion of them together creates this almost Jaffa-like dessert quality. Flanked by a super subtle touch of coconut, light herbs and dried wood which lead in to the slightly bittersweet finish. Great length on it too.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, a little gelatinous. Dry-ish texture with moderate Co2. The 6% ABV is well positioned.

Overall: The second we heard Shawn was releasing this in tinnies we knew we had to review it. We can’t be certain if the addition of Sabro is a new thing or not but we like its use here. Another cracking drop from Foghorn.

Hargreaves Hill ‘Pursuit Of Hoppiness #8’ Imperial Red IPA

Rating:

“POH Number 8 is an 8% Imperial Red Ale with a malt bill of Cara-Amber, Melanoidin, Crystal and Chocolate malts which lays a biscuity foundation for the dry hopping with old and new varieties including; – Centennial, Amarillo, Mosaic & Azacca.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Deep bold reddish amber with copper hues. It forms a tightly held thumb of head which retains well. Healthy lace clings as we imbibe.

Aroma: She’s throwing out some serious complexity. It’s definitely centred around this mixture of red and caramel malts which provide notes of toffee, honeysuckle, caramel, sourdough, biscuits and subtle cocoa. Then there’s the brilliant hop bill that counter punches with zesty orange citrus, tropical fruits i.e mango and melon, lemongrass and a super faint floral bouquet. Excellent.

Flavour: Really malt-driven for the most part. Just a hint of citrusy hops cutting through but it’s all about those rich and chewy caramels, toffee, honeysuckle and biscuits initially. Then midway it turns on a dime and tropical fruits, pine and slightly herbaceous characters develop. It all kind of reconvenes in the malty sweet and fruity finish which endures nicely.

Mouthfeel: Sticky, gelatinous and chewy. There’s a bit of warmth from the 8% ABV but it’s rather well behaved. Flat-ish Co2. Medium body.

Overall: Digging the unexpected turn they’ve taken in this series. Up until now they hadn’t gone any darker than a NEIPA so it’s exciting to see them mixing it up. Look, it’s no MC double red IPA but it carries itself well. Solid drop.

Fuller’s India Pale Ale

Rating:

“This historic style of ale was originally created to refresh the troops at the height of the British Empire in India. This brew has faithfully recreated these traditional characteristics, creating a superbly refreshing beer. India Pale Ale is brewed to 5.3% and is a bottle conditioned beer. Bottle conditioning is a process whereby a small amount of yeast is allowed to ferment gently in the bottle, giving this beer the fresh, natural flavour of real ale.”

Glassware: English Pint.

Appearance: Slightly hazy golden orange with a short off white head. Decent retention with patches of spotted lace as it ebbs.

Aroma: It’s got a stronger malt profile than first predicted. Super bready, toasty and sweet with caramel and toffee. That Fuller’s house yeast provides a heady amount of estery apple/pear and aniseed while the hops do their thing by adding the classic earthy, floral and grassy characters. Getting a hint of zesty citrus tang as well. Diggin it!

Flavour: Fairly similar to the nose…picking up the toasty malts, bread crusts and subtle honey and caramel sweetness on the flank. The house yeast getting right in amongst it as well – kinda spicy/herbal with a touch of orchard fruits. Earthy, floral and fruity hops are a little timid but they’re there to be found. Slightly dry and grassy finish with hints of toast and cereal grains.

Mouthfeel: Pretty crisp and snappy. Mild-moderate body, dry-ish texture. The 5.3% ABV is pretty low for today’s standards but it works as this is as traditional English IPA as you’ll get.

Overall: Look, it’s a cracking drop and English to a tee but we much rather the London Pride or the ESB. We can respect it but, it does do all the right things.

Garage Project X Trillium ‘Galaxy Valley’ Double Hazy IPA

“We’re off to Australia’s Derwent River and Buffalo River Valleys for our third hop harvest collaboration with East Coast brewing legends Trillium. A hop free boil and massive dry hop addition of Galaxy and Vic Secret create a giant juicy hazy homage to the exciting new wave of Australian aroma hops.”

Appearance: Proper turbid pastel yellow to orange with a fluffy two finger head resting atop. Good retention and healthy lace as it ebbs.

Aroma: Smells the goods already! Still to this day we can’t nail down this vital difference between the likes of MC and GP/Trillium and the rest. The insane level of juicy-ness is here i.e frosty fruits, pure nectar, juice concentrate etc but it’s this certain peppery spice and somewhat dry and creamy oat quality that separates them. Can not fault it!

Flavour: Like the aroma… faultless. Uber juicy and creamy but astonishingly smooth and aerated. It’s an absolute juice bomb but the creamy oats and overall fluffy-ness makes it feel like we’re drinking juice flavoured clouds. Also this line of chalky dryness runs through it from the start to the warm and sweet nectar-filled finish.

Mouthfeel: As we’ve already mentioned numerous times the fluffy and aerated texture is next level. There’s still a bit of weight to it with a nice coating on the palate too. The 8% ABV though…where is it?!

Overall: We feel this release would have to be the best of the 3. The intensity of flavour, complexity and texture is simply world class. The fact they’ve brewed it with an Aussie hop is just icing on the

Ringwood Brewery ‘Circadian’ Session IPA

Rating:

“Circadian means a pattern recurring naturally on a twenty-four-hour cycle. At Ringwood we felt that it would be the perfect name for our new ‘Every day IPA’. To give circadian the full flavour of an IPA while keeping the ABV to a sessionable 4.5% we used a total of 5 exotic hops! We recommend Circadian is best enjoyed with a spicy curry and good company.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Bright amber and as clear as day! It forms two fingers of sturdy white head which holds up well. It posts thick and sudsy rings down the glass.

Aroma: To be honest it doesn’t smell at all English. If we were to guess our first thoughts would be an Australian IPA as we reckon our IPA’s fall somewhere between the malt-forward English version and the hop-charged American ones. It’s obviously crammed full of American hops as we’re copping a tonne of pine and candied citrus, mild tropical fruit and spice. As it warms the rich and sweet malts really come in to play. A little unorthodox but we like it.

Flavour: A little lackluster unfortunately. The hop bitterness is here but the actual hop flavour is rather muted. The BB date is 30/6/21 so it is quite old but then again English IPA’s age better than all their other counterparts. After a few more swigs we do pick up subtle pine, citrus, a bit of resin and evergreen along with a somewhat dry and earthy malt profile but that’s about it.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, slightly dry and well rounded. Nice vibrant Co2, medium body. Only 4.5% ABV so they’ve done well to cram all that in.

Overall: Well this is about as American as an English IPA can get. We’ll admit it was a pleasant surprise but it’s a shame it tastes a little tired. We’d love to try it again fresh.