This is our first crack at this breweries range. Which, to be honest seems crazy to us. We can’t believe it has taken us this long to try an IPA that has been labelled “the closest thing to Pliny the Elder”. We can’t wait any longer, let’s imbibe.
Served in an IPA glass. The clear, bright amber appearance is topped off by a big frothy white head which swells to just over two fingers in height before steadily deconstructing and holding at about 1cm. Excellent head retention, shedding off some soapy lacing. It’s surprisingly conservative on the nose actually, not as big and hop-charged as we were expecting. This unfortunately is the downside of being given high expectations from a 3rd party. Nevertheless, it’s bloody brilliant, we detect a spicy/herbal hop aroma. Lots of lavender, tea leaf, passion fruit, aniseed, pithy citrus and blood orange. Minimal malt profile but it does portray a kind of honey/caramel-like undertone. Gorgeous! The mouth feel is ridiculously smooth, especially when the 8% ABV is factored in. Creamy texture. The 102 IBU is very well disguised, only a faint grip on the tongue as it slides down with ease. Sensational, as we’ve had IPA’s with half that IBU which were as bitter as hell! A solid tussle between sweet honeyed malts and bitter citrus fruits are detected upon entry. A mildly assertive hop bitterness develops as it crescendos, cutting through the malts leaving herbal/floral flavours of lavender, citrus and grapefruit in the mean. The finish is dry and bitter with a pronounced citric character on the rear palate. Endured well. Wow! Impressive IPA. As we reminisce we can’t help but be reminded more of a Ballast Point Big eye or Sculpin. Really smooth, but at the same time it’s citric, bitter and fruity with a good malt profile to balance it out. Superb IPA.