“At first glance, you might think only his mum could love him. But once you try FRED IPA, we reckon you’ll fall under his spell. FRED is aggressively late hopped with a house blend of hops from the US Pacific Northwest. It has the classic US IPA hop aroma and flavour of big citrus, tropical fruit and pine notes throughout. An assertive bitterness is balanced by the sweetness of the pale, crystal and wheat malt additions.A beautiful hopped up brew to be enjoyed with smoky and spicy south US style Mexican food.”
So we’ve done a little searching around and we can’t a find any sort of story behind the fella on the label. Our mysterious old mate Fred. What is obvious though is that this ale is Murray’s first tip of the hat to the booming West coast IPA. Served in an IPA glass the attractive copper/orange pour generates a 1 finger head that retains at approximately 2 mm, holding up well and allowing tonnes of lacing to cling to the glass. All we have to do is take one whiff to know that Murray has nailed this, instantly we’re taking in those big citric fruits like grapefruit, passion fruit, lychee and mandarin. Boosting these gorgeous fruits are wafts of pine resins, coriander, spice and a subtle caramel malt backing. Superb aroma. In the mouth it’s full and creamy with moderate carbonation. Solid body with a decent IBU (75) to boot. Upfront we get a nice splash of grapefruit and pine. Not as aggressive as most West Coast IPA’s but a definite hop dryness carries the fruits forward while the mid displays the soft caramel malt base. Light citric fruits and a muted alcohol warming pairs with a firm return of hop bitterness to finish it all off. Good length on the back end. 5.6% ABV is spot on for this IPA with everything working in unison. As we mentioned before, they have absolutely nailed this. Perfect balance between the US hops, the malts and the ABV. All of a sudden the Grand Cru has a contender for Murray’s best beer.