Brewdog: IPA Is Dead: Mandarina Bavaria (Scotland: IPA: 7.2% ABV)
Visual: Clear yellow gold. Some carbonation. Half inch of yellowed froth.
Nose; Fresh mandarin orange. Crisp hops. Light vanilla and light bitterness. Light pepper. Flour.
Body: High bitterness. Caramel. Fresh sharp orange. Light pepper character. Dry touch at the end. Toffee back. Sweet and zesty marmalade.
Finish: Orange slices. Tart. High bitterness and hop feel. Drying on the tongue and drying air. Peppery. Light charred wood.
Conclusion: Yep, this years IPA Is Dead quadrilogy are definitely attenuated enough to be just slightly dry. Not so much that it gets painful, but definitely a slight dryness. Interesting. So, in case you hadn’t guessed, yep this is another quite dry backed IPA.
It works quite well for this hop – sharp orange into sweeter marmalade notes, backed by a peppery dryness. Here in this beer the drier back of the base, and the gentle use of the toffee sweetness means that those tangier orange marmalade notes really shine out. I’d say that the Ella beer had the better hop, but this shows off Mandarina much better.
It is a lovely refreshing IPA – the dryness is just done well enough to make it very drinkable, and to encourage more drinking (responsibly of course) and the tart and sharp flavours compensate very well making the whole thing sparkle.
As a single hop, the hop itself seems to have only a few strings to its bow a) Big bitterness – the hop character is very present here and clings to the tongue b) Big fruit – which I think we have covered nicely already and c) A nice peppery character which works well as a nice underlining of the whole experience and calls to the noble hops.
Not the most wide ranging then, but what it has feels very different to the usual range of hop flavours – a distinctive hop with a distinctive style used well here.
Background: Mandarina Bavaria is another hop that has intrigued me since I ran into it in a German IPA earlier this year. Or was it tail end last year? I lose track very easily. Anyway, another in Brewdog’s single hop range, and, as always I am not an unbiased actor on Brewdog beers. Drank this before heading out to see John Wick. Not a bad movie, very nice old style action movie done very stylishly. Don’t see many of them these days.