Brewdog Red Willow Shut Up Meg

Redwillow: Brewdog: Shut Up Meg (England: IIPA: 7% ABV)

Visual: Lemon to apricot coloured body. Small loose bubbled white head.

Nose: Kumquat. Hops. Lemon. Kind of funky yeast notes. Corn.

Body: Bready. Kiwi and soft lime. Frothy smooth texture. Soft vanilla and custard.

Finish: Bready. Bitter. Some funky yeast. Cheese puffs. Kiwi fruit. Turmeric. Apple.

Conclusion: A friend described this as being like a saison IPA. An odd description, but I can kind of see that. It is very far from the standard expectations of an Imperial IPA style.

For a Simcoe and Cutra hopped beer, everything is surprisingly slightly grounded and rustic, which means that the soft green fruit that rises out of it comes across as even more of a contrast.

While it seems to get a lot of elements that I would expect from Belgian yeast, which is unusual, I am unsure on if they used that, as it doesn’t have the smoothness that I would expect from a Belgian IPA. It is still quite smooth, and very restrained for an IIPA – you get a lot of flavour, but not real raw bitterness, and the flavours are tied to the grounded rustic feel. Also there is an intermingling of flavours that you don’t see so much in the craft style, they are carefully intermingled in a way that feels a bit like real ale stylings, which takes off the edge and smoothes out the rough edges.

It is very tasty, with apples kiwi and lime up against the restrained but solid bitterness – it is not an exemplar of the IIPA style, and there are many better out there but it is still solid.

Not great, in a field of giants, but far from a disappointment.

Background: Huh, a 7% abv IIPA, that is quite low for the style. Anyway, beer nine of Collabfest 2014, this one an Imperial IPA with Simcoe and Citra. that is almost normal. With this being Brewdog Bristol’s anniversary, at the point I was drinking this they brought around cake! Which was appreciated, even though I had eaten earlier. Also, it seems I never got around to reviewing any Redwillow beers before. Oops, should get on that, they tend to be good. Being nine beers in, this may not be my best review. Sorry. Attempting to get all sixteen beers in three days before they go was kinda hard. As always I am not an unbiased actor on Brewdog beers.