Wiper and True Doctor Strangelove

Wiper and True: Extract Coffee Roasters: Dr Strangelove (England: IPA: 6.8% ABV)

Visual: Hazy toffee brown. Inch and a half of toffee coloured loose bubbled frothy head.

Nose: Mild peach. Pineapple. Never heavy. Cold steeped coffee. Little spice touches, maybe spiced orange. Again everything is mild.

Body: Creamy toffee. Moderate to high bitterness. Spiced orange. Quite restrained flavours. Coffee touched malt backbone. Peach. Coconut. Very smooth.

Finish: Cold coffee. Blood orange. Jelly babies, but not that sweet. Apricot. Malt chocolate. Coconut.

Conclusion: You know, I may, very occasionally, I would like to emphasise – may – rant about the number of adjectives that now get used before the word IPA. However… This is so brown IPA it hurts.

Yes, I’m a hypocrite. Live with it.

It’s not just the coffee used that makes me say that. in fact the coffee is actually remarkably restrained in it. The coffee is there, especially in the finish, but generally it mixes with the malt base to create a soothing, solid backbone for the hops.

Now, the only brown IPA I have encountered before this is Pirate Badger Attacks -and despite some similarity between the two, I am more referring to this as a brown IPA because of how the coffee and malt seems to interact resulting in a more restrained hop flavours character.

Not the bitterness let me add, that part is pretty big, but the fruit flavours from the hops are more mellow, less sharp and obvious – more integrated is probably the best way to put it. It all creates a more subtle and layered beer. The fruit is peach and blood orange, which would normally be very fresh, but here it has none of the sharpness, and less of the obvious fruit sugars than you would expect. Instead, much like a lot of black IPAs, the character is much closer linked with the malt. Here you get a lot of sweetness from the malt side, and it feels like the individual elements are all part of that. Like the orange part of a choc orange if that makes for a good comparison.

Overall it is very impressive – light coconut undertones on a solid malt base with subtle coffee layers, big bitterness and integrated fruitiness. It feels like a complex beer and yet an ovaltine night cap and soother at the same time.

A use of coffee in a lighter beer that I actually enjoy. That is a welcome shock.

Background: Ok, and IPA blended with shots of Extract Coffee Roasters’ Strangelove espresso. That is by far not the weirdest idea I have heard. Wiper and True have been pretty damn solid so far, so I thought I would give it a try – though Coffee IPAs have not been much of a hit with me so far. There is a whole host of detail about the beers ingredients on the label, and the info that it is 55 IBU. It is quite a nice touch. Picked up from Independent Spirit, of course.

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