Green Gold

Mikkeller: Green Gold (Denmark: IPA: 7% ABV)

Visual: Ruddy cheeked red, slightly hazy and with an off white head.

Nose: Resinous. Cherry and malt. Pineapple and grapefruit. Good hop character for the most part. Slightly musty hops at times.

Body: Grapefruit. Hops. Malt and cherry. Resin. Good bitterness. Custard cream biscuits. Nettles.

Finish: Malt drinks. Cherry. Dried apricot. Dried pineapple. Bitter. Slight sulphur.

Conclusion: Not what I was expecting. I mean don’t get me wrong, this is very IPA, and I do mean very IPA. Very grapefruit, very citrus. What surprises me is that is it is much more malt driven than I would expect.  Very cherry and malt drinks mix in with the hops. It makes for a very solid and good bitter base to work from. The hops are a bit different as well, a bit more clinging, slightly sulphur and resinous take which again adds weight.

This means that the bright fresh citrus flavours really have to work against it, and the flavours that usually dominate lighter bodied beers find here an equal force that they crash against.

What stands out is the hugely resinous character which gives it its defining characteristic and really adds another forceful front to back up the hoppiness. It makes for a very drying beer and one that feels more bitter than even the impressive hops can account for.

The balance of weight both allows it to pull off the more unusual elements but also keeps it grounded. This is good, but the grounding does mean that it never quite soars in the flavours.  It seems a definite deliberate stylistic choice and allows the beer to be what it is, so it is not a flaw so much as a choice. It does however mean that it doesn’t quite reach some of the top IPA’s level of shining flavour.

A beer that is very much its own thing, and well worth trying for that as opposed to the many IPA’s aiming for the same ground.

Background: Drunk at Brewdog Bristol while chatting with one of the regulars. The day turned out to be a pretty good one, with celebrations for the bar managers Jonny’s last day. Part of the celebrations involved Jonny’s home brew being shared, which was very nice indeed. To my shame I ended up having to leave some of the beer due to the sudden realization of being far more intoxicated than I had previously thought. A waste, but I would rather that than ruining a night by drinking past my fill. All the best to Jonny in his new job up at Aberdeen – thanks and good luck! Anyway, with the great drinking atmosphere established, back to the beer at hand. Mikkeller are easily in my top ten brewers, and they do a great and experimental range of beers, so when this came on I definitely had to try it. From the Danish description I can work out this has simcoe, amarillo and cascade hops. The rest I couldn’t read. It probably says it is a beer and a very nice one.