Brewdog: Born To Die: 04/07/2015 (Scotland: IIPA: 8.5% ABV)
Visual: Pale yellow. Half inch of whitened head. Clear body with some carbonation.
Nose: Dry hop bitterness. Dried pineapple. Slightly musty. Maize. Crushed skittles. Floral.
Body: Apricot. Passion fruit. Very smooth. Light cream into moderately dry mouthfeel. Smooth hop oils. Kiwis. Malt biscuits and toffee. Watermelon. Light raspberry cream and sugared shredded wheat. Peach. Light golden syrup.
Finish: Light cane sugar. Bitter hops. Vanilla custard. Toffee. Watermelon.
Conclusion: This is not what I expected. After the brash, bitter foot forwards “Enjoy By IPA” from Stone, and after Brewdog themselves turned out “Restorative Beverage For Invalids and Convalescents” I was kind of expecting something similar here. Nope. 馬鹿.
This is the smooth end of the uber fresh hope scale with a creamy touch, lots of toffee sweetness and real smooth hop oils over a refreshingly dry base. This goes with a present but comparatively restrained hop bitterness, and instead pushes up massively the thick textured fruitiness with lots of heavy green and orange fruit.
While there is the aforementioned creaminess and thickness, the dryness is what actually ends up taking over the mouthfeel. It makes it very drinkable indeed for the abv, and despite the strength actually sets itself up for the session comparatively well.
A very slow, very careful session.
So, let me explain that. The initial first impression was actually slightly disappointing. The aroma doesn’t seem all that and the initial flavour was ok but not fantastic. The flavours are very slow build, and each layer either adds on, or parts to reveal something else. From the IPA staples of apricot and passion fruit to the more unusual watermelon fresh notes to raspberry cream tartness – it definitely plays the progression game well.
As an intense hop IPA I have to give the crown to “Enjoy By IPA” but this definitely has its own character – more complex and slow burn with a fantastic range. A very good beer in its own right and not just a clone of the beer of its inspiration. I prefer “Restorative Beverage for Invalids…” as a similar beer, which does influence my view of this, but is still a very good beer.
Background: Oh, excited, excited. After enjoying Stone’s Enjoy By IPA, I was very interested to find out that Brewdog were doing their own interpretation of an ultra short lifespan IIPA. Note: As always I am not an unbiased actor on Brewdog beers. So, yeah, brewed with tons of hops that tend to make beers with a short lifespan. Why yes I did break it open the day it arrived, why do you ask?