8 Wired: Superconductor (New Zealand: IIPA: 8.8% ABV)

Visual: Hazy amber, off white dash of bubbles for a head.

Nose: Fudge. Pineapple. Hops. Digestives. Slightly closed in the hop character. Dried apricot.

Body: Good big bitterness. Digestives. Hops. Light custard. Tangerine. Pineapple. Grapefruit juice. Grapes. Fruitcake base. Toffee. Dried apricot.

Finish: Growling bitterness and hops. Pineapple. Elderberry. Grapefruit juice. Toffee.

Conclusion: A New Zealand hopped IIPA, five words and it is already right up my alley. Ok, technically NZ and USA hopped, but it’s an NZ beer, so I’m concentrating on that part. Heavy in hops and kicking out the bitterness in a very much “I hardcore you” mold.

Lots of fresh pineapple and grapefruit citrus notes, intensely and challengingly so in fact. The hops are similarly intense with bitterness that rates as impressive. Underneath there is the expected toffee and malt base but it plays second fiddle to that overriding hop action. Some IIPAs seem over sweet and lose the hops to that sweetness, no risk of that here.

On a technical scale I would say it isn’t as good as their stand IPA, Hopwired. It isn’t as balanced or rounded. Then again, considering that hopwired is pure awesome that isn’t much of a criticism. It is a full on assault IIPA. Intense, maybe a tad single minded, but it remembers to bring the flavour.

Despite the single minded assault it does have a decent amount going on though, lovely digestive biscuits and huge citrus flavour, so single minded but not single note. There are definitely more rounded IIPA’s but it is no slouch.

The base is understated, more rounding in the excesses and following out the finish than anything else. The toffee and malt outlast the hops though, so at the end they can finally earn their place in the flavour spectrum.

While not as rounded a beer as some others it is a delicious fresh hop kick and despite the mass of citrus it never feels too sharp. In fact over time it softens rather than rises, and the base again starts to earn its way.

Not the best but a very proficient IIPA.

Background; After I raved about the excellent hopwired IPA my sister mentioned that the same brewery did an excellent Imperial IPA called Superconductor. Now, over a year later, I finally found it in the UK. So I bought it. and drank it. Expectations were high after hopwired and I was really looking forwards to it.