Beavertown Bloody 'Ell Blood Orange IPA

Beavertown: Bloody ‘Ell: Blood Orange IPA (England: IPA: 7.2% ABV)

Visual: Hazy ripe banana yellow and moderate sized, sud leaving, white head.

Nose: Mandarin orange. Chocolate toffee. Crisp hops. Quite malt led.

Body: Orange. Pumpkin. Some greenery. Hop oils and good bitterness. Fudge. Malt chocolate. Mango.

Finish: Chocolate toffee and fudge. Moderate bitterness. Fresh orange juice. Hop oils.

Conclusion: For a blood orange IPA I have to admit I was expecting a crisper, drier, IPA in order to really let the tartness show itself. Therefore I was surprised by the level of very sweet character in the malt led base of this beer. It runs with darker sweet flavours, a kind of chocolate toffee to fudge mix – far darker notes than the very light body’s colour would suggest.

The orange is present, but not as prominent as I would have expected. The tart, fresh and fruity notes are fleshing out the malt base and accentuated by similar hop choice that brings mango and pumpkin like notes that complement the orange well. The orange notes do build up over time, which leads to them having a more prominent character by the end.

It is bitter but not heavily so for an IPA, with the hop seem to be giving more of their hop oils for the mouthfeel rather than for bitter hop character.

Without that hop character the beer would feel a bit like an orange topped sweet dessert – maybe chocolate cheesecake and orange style. Maybe. With the, mild, bitter hops and hop oils it ends up a bittersweet and fresh mix. Not blowing my world, and a far more gentle beer than I expected, but uses its flavour range well. So ends up a slightly bitter, orange topped, chococlate cheesecake in the end.

I am great at descriptions. Honest.

A bit odd, but decent. I’m not a sold on it as many people are, but have no particular complaints.

Background: Last time this turned up in Independent Spirit it vanished before I could grab a can, so this time around I made sure to get a can. From a quick google looks like they did use orange zest and orange juice late boil to make this – I wasn’t 100% sure without checking. Drunk while listening to Ulver: Shadows Of The Sun – seriously amazing album and brilliant for relaxing and drinking, just so haunting and beautiful.

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