Kabinet: Supernova (Serbia: IPA: 6.8% ABV)
Visual: Hazy apricot. Thin ambered head is a dash that leaves suds but doesn’t take up much space.
Nose: Apricot. Pineapple. Lemon and cane sugar. Stewed fruit. Gooseberry.
Body: Pineapple. Stewed apricot. Light chalk touch. Sharp gooseberry. Light backing bitterness. Fruit syrup. Peach.
Finish: Gooseberry. Pineapple. Peach. Good bitterness and hops. Light menthol.
Conclusion: Ok, I have drunk a hell of a lot of IPAs, so I can be a tad blasé at times, and a tad harsh on a new IPA because of that. I mean, I am comparing them to an insanely high quality top few, however, I try to put that behind me and just enjoy the beer as it is. Which is a long winded way of saying, taken as itself, this is a very solid IPA.
This mixes a thick, fruit syrup sweet base with a real tart gooseberry and pineapple hop character. Well, I say hop character, I am sure that the fruitiness comes from the hops, but there isn’t a traditional hop feel, or even that big bitterness for an IPA. It is discernibly an IPA, but unusual in how it delivers it – concentrating on big flavours over big bitterness.
The exception to this is in the finish where a bit more traditional hop bitterness comes out, breaking up the tart main character. Overall it comes together as a refreshing and large feeling beer.
So, not world class no, but that is hardly an insult in this field – trust me. So, what small flaws are against it? Well the main body is a tad too syrupy, as a single beer that works great, but it still gets a tad sickly by the end – I can’t see it holding up great over a session. Apart from that there is a slight menthol bit at the end that doesn’t quite fit the style. That is about it really.
So, a bit over heavy but for that you get a lovely burst of flavour. Not quite a supernova, but definitely a bang!
Background: Belgrade has a craft beer scene! Since I was visiting a few friends over in Belgrade I thought I should at least give it a try. Drunk at Kabinet‘s pub in Belgrade, this is their interpretation of an IPA. Initially i thought this may have NZ hops in, but looking online it looks like it is predominantly USA hopped. Huh, my mistake. This was served in what looked like a large spirit glass, guess there is not much of a scene for people like me who order small measures. Also, I just looked, on ratebeer this is the highest rated Serbian beer. I had no idea at the time of ordering. As mentioned in the photo this has an EBC of 20. I don’t see that listed often…