Torpedo Los

Brewdog: Lichtenstein Pale Ale (Torpedo Los) (Scotland: American Pale Ale: 5.2% ABV)

Visual:  Slightly hazy peach to gold. Moderate cream off white head.

Nose: Pineapple. Peach. Bitter hops. Vanilla slice. Banana sweets. Crackers. Passion fruit.

Body:  Good bitterness. Peach. Avocado and greenery. Passion fruit. Tart pineapple touch. Dry. Sweet dried apricot. Syrup touch at back.  Skittles shells (The sweets).

Finish: Pineapple. Growling bitter. Dry avocado. Touch of dried spices. Peppermint. Dry crackers. Nice hoppy feel.

Conclusion: let’s talk Punk IPA for a minute. An old favourite of mine but it has had its ups and downs recently. A lot of the recent batches are not quite the beer it once was.  It has been struggling back to form well but isn’t quite there yet.

Why do I bring that up? Because this beer has a style amazingly similar to what I think Punk IPA should be like. Fruity, comes in bitter on the body, then opens up into a mix of fresh citrus fruit and counterbalanced with odd vegetable and greenery touch. Great contrasting elements, occasional respite from bitterness so when it comes back again it surprises anew.

The rye adds a nice dryness and spiciness, letting the finish hang like a dried spice rack. The body is full and each element slowly reveals itself. There is an interesting sweetness mid body, almost like the faux fruit flavours of sugared skittles shells. It adds little dashes of unpredictability against the citrus and dry malt body.

Where it differs from Punk is that dryness, it feels highly attenuated and thirst inducing. It reminds me of Hunter Foundation, but with the flavour backing it up far better. Remarkably easy to drink despite the dryness and bitterness which is no mean feat. I an quite enamoured with this. Easy to drink but challenging in flavour and bitterness. The flavour comes in waves and tides, peaks and respites.

This is my last bottle, I’ve drunk it a lot already on tap and in bottle. My wish is twofold for this. 1) Despite its limited release nature Bewdog find some way to do another batch and 2) Brewdog apply some of this style and hop the hell out of it IPA style to bring Punk IPA back to excellence.

A great beer, a great bit of bottle art and a great way forwards. Not a bad wee start huh?

Background: Lichtenstein Pale Ale, the name that is listed nowhere I could see listed on the bottle, which has led to many of my friends believing it is called “Torpedo Los”, the text on the label. Brewed for Tate Modern to celebrate the Lichtenstein exhibit, and the bottle has Lichtenstein artwork on it. All very cool as an idea. As always I am not an unbiased actor on Brewdog Beer. Drunk while listening to more of the 2 CD album The Fragile by Nine Inch Nails. It stands up to much listening. The beer is made with rye and cascade and centennial hops.