Brewdog: IPA Is Dead: Amarillo (Scotland: IPA: 6.9% ABV)
Visual: Clear gold. Small amber bubbled head.
Nose: Dried apricot. Bitter hops. Pumpkin. Grapes and elderberry.
Body: Bitter hops. Apricot. Gooseberry. Grape jam sweetness. Turmeric and peppery. Slight sulphur like boiled eggs.
Finish: Cloudberry. Good bitterness. Jam and grapes. Slightly tart but for the main part dry. Peach. Peppery. Custard.
Conclusion: IPA Is Dead lives! Or something…This one with the Amarillo hop, comes in quite dry with sweet dried fruit that is contrasting in flavour but not in tone.
Dried apricot is the main element, slightly peppery, hoppy and into a very dry finish. Full on flavour but not refreshing for the most part. Desiccating near the end in the hop and intrinsic dryness.
What makes it work is that this dryness is not relentless. On larger mouthfuls you have tart grapes and berries under there. Secondary notes definitely, but needed ones to keep it from getting dull and too heavy.
Thus combined it gives the impression of a hop that holds up well on its own. Significant bitterness, good primary flavour and backing secondary flavour. It’s a hop for a very specific, that being dry, use, but brings a full package with it.
As the test batch of the new IPA Is Dead it is also interesting in how it holds up as an IPA. The body feels thicker than last years, less easy drinking, more delivery of flavour. I don’t know how much of that is the base beer and how much is the hop. I will update you when I have tried more of the upcoming range.
Here? It is a solid IPA and a great expression of the hop. A good start to the range even if it doesn’t blow my socks off the way IPA Is Dead Simcoe did.
Background: Yay, more IPA is dead. This is the pilot batch of the 2013 recipe. A tad higher abv that last year but still lower than the first batch. Best I know this will be keg only release but I would be happy to be wrong. Drunk at Brewdog Bristol, thought I had tried it the week before with mates at Brewdog Shoreditch. No I am not obsessed. Honest. As always I am not an unbiased actor on Brewdog beers. I am quite proud that for once the photo of the beer came out nice and clear.