“Some people might call this beer an India Pale Ale, but we’re not sure what defines an IPA these days; is it English? American? West coast? East coast? No coast? So we prefer not to worry about ticking boxes and just call this beer what it is: Hop Ale. But this is no garden-variety hoppy ale. She’s big, bold and beautiful. She’s dark and mysterious. Not stout-black, more super dark red. If you triumphantly hold a pint of this beauty up to the light it’ll show off amazing crimson hues, but in the depths of a darkened winter pub she’ll be black as the night. The malty richness comes from a whopping seven malts – Australian and American, then tickled with a little New Zealand (Kohatu). Each plays its part – Carafa gives it its dark colour, Crystal its red hue, Rye for spiciness and Munich for mouthfeel. All balanced out with that distinctive resinous hop flavour and citrus nose. Not one for the faint hearted. But the new and improved Hop Ale remains dangerously drinkable all-year-round.”
Served in an English Pint. Very interesting appearance here. Against a dark background this ale offers a deep mahogany hue but when held against the light it reveals a deep but bright copper colour which looks absolutely divine. Capping it off is a fluffy two finger head that reduces to a good layer over the top. Laced healthily. The nose is offering an array of brilliant aromas. Quite a pronounced malt profile is providing wafts of toffee, caramel, honey and candi sugars. The resinous hops are laced through beautifully, balancing out the sweetness with gorgeous floral pine perfumes, citrus peel, black pepper, mango and dried leaves. Really nice, absolutely loving this aroma. In the mouth it’s smooth and full-ish with a lively Co2 level. The bitterness has an assertiveness to it but it’s mainly kept in check, giving the tongue a good prickle on entry and slowly tapering off. The malts work their way in well providing a subtle rye spiciness and that caramelly/sweet toffee flavour that’s discreetly transferred into bitter citrus fruits and orange rind. The finish is long and resinous with a delicate bitterness that’s drawn out well. A dark hoppy ale is how the brewer’s describe thius drop. To us it’s like a hop-charged English IPA. And a delicious one at that.