Magic Rock: Cannonball IPA (England: IPA: 7.4% ABV)

Visual: Just slightly bronzed gold. Good lemon grind coloured frothy head that is about half an inch of foam in size. There is visible but not heavy carbonation main body.

Nose: Resin. pine and grapefruit. Bitter hops mix with golden syrup cake.

Body: Solid malt with a huge hop oil bitterness. Lots of resin. Apricot. Fluffy wheat and hop texture. Pineapple. Slight dry white wine feel in a way. Touch of custard sweetness on large mouthfuls.

Finish: Resin, pine and fluffy hops. Significantly bitter. A very dry feel. Turmeric and hop oils again.

Conclusion:  This is a real stripped down hop delivery system IPA. A lot of American inspired IPA’s go the whole hog on the citrus route. This takes about one step in that direction then returns to the resin pine and hop flavours that make up its core.

It makes for a very dry drink, with only a dash of sweetness to go against it.  Id guess this has a solid but not excessive IBU, but the lack of contrasting sweetness makes it seem a lot more bitter than that.  Oddly the pine and resin influence gives it an almost woodland IPA feel. Maybe a lumberjack IPA. Is that a thing? It should be.

It does have a touch of sweetness, apricot style that it brings to the table, but that doesn’t disrupt the main flow very much. Id say that oddly the beer seems more bitter than hops if that makes sense. The bitterness seems detached from the usual hop characteristics that come with it.

Overall enjoyable if slightly earthy. Very stripped down, and down to earth. Competently made, and an interesting variant on the usual fare.  Slightly too simple to be wondrous though.

Background: I’ve been hearing a bit of buzz about the Magic Rock brewery recently, so when I saw this at Corks Of Cotham I thought it was worth picking up. I’m a huge IPA fan, though it is getting quite the crowded market these days.

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