Brewdog Russian Doll IPA

Brewdog: Russian Doll: IPA (Scotland: IPA: 6% ABV)

Visual: Clear gold. Half an inch of tight bubbled white froth.

Nose; Pineapple. Resin. Pine cones. Moderate hop character. Custard cream biscuits.

Body: Dried apricot. Solid hop bitterness and light prickle. Sour grapes. Soft grapefruit. Vanilla and toffee backing. Shredded wheat.

Finish: Hop oils. Honey. White grapes and grapefruit. Dry malt. Light burnt rice.

Conclusion: This is a bit more like it, It seems that 2% extra abv worth of malt really pulls its weight here, and it shows. There is a thicker, sweeter taste than the pale ale version and so the hops have more room to play. You get better detailed flavour such as sour grapes, pineapple and hop oils – all which makes for a more satisfying and better defined overall beer.

It is odd how the malt load affects the hop character, but right from the moment I popped the cap on this the hop notes were more evident. If nothing else this series is turning out to be educational.

So far I’ve been giving this the faint praise of being better than the Pale Ale, but how does it do as a beer in itself? Not bad actually. The recipe isn’t going to blow anyone’s mind, well unless they are very new to the craft beer scene, but it is a solid IPA. It is still, just slightly, over attenuated, the finish has that slight burnt rice expression, and the main body feels a bit shredded wheat at times which I’m guessing is also to do with a slight lack of residual sweetness. However, unlike in the Pale Ale, here they are not massive flaws, just less pleasing quirks.

So a pretty standard tart fruit IPA – a tad below average, but as part of the set it is interesting for showing the affect of varying malt loads.

Background: The photo may be a tad darker than usual. The light bulb blew while I was setting up the shot so I had to improvise a bit for lighting. Not that my photos tend to be professional anyway…This is the second in the Russian Doll series, a set of beers with the same base recipe, but the amount of malt changed to increase abv and alter the style. The first beer, the pale ale, did not exactly meet with my approval. As always I am not an unbiased actor one Brewdog beers. Went back to a bit of Bratmobile – Pottymouth as music for this one.

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