Riverside brewing co ‘Othello’s Curse’ Imperial Black IPA


image“Othello’s Curse displays a beautiful dark hue with a light tan head and a slightly roasted, hoppy nose. In true Riverside style this beer has an assertive American hop profile balanced out with smooth roasted malts”

The question for us was whether there was life at Riverside post ex-head brewer, Dave, but this newly bottled release has all but squashed any doubts. Originally an entry for the 2014 GABS festival, this freshly brewed batch of the beer is said to be a clone of the original, only better. Lets find out. Served in to an IPA glass. The jet black pour is literally impenetrable except for a very faint but deep ruby red edge that’s revealed when held against the light. Capping it off is a frothy two finger cappuccino head that gradually reduces to a really dense halo around the circumference of the glass, drawing out some lovely webbed lace trails as it ebbs. As most good BIPA’s do, a brilliant balance has been achieved here. Whilst the pungent hops are providing a sharp piney character the malts come along with a dark, roasted element which evens it all back up. And it continues to see-saw like that. Grapefruit up against a coffee scent, citrus up against chocolate malts, hop resins vs licorice. Genius brewing on show here. In the mouth it’s slick and oily with an assertive bitterness that’s kept well in check. The 9% ABV is impressively disguised among the array of roasted flavours and juicy hop fruitiness. Again, like the aroma, the flavour profile delivers an exceptional balance of roasted malt and hops. Upfront is a sharp citric fruit bitterness that’s pulled back by the toasty malts and subtle espresso. Hints of fresh pine develop through the mid as it’s led onto a crisp, dry finish with lingering notes of grapefruit, coffee and charred malts. Great length. Really top notch BIPA here. Considering it took them a year to redo this brew, if you see this on the shelves do not hesitate. Just try it, you won’t be disappointed.