Cloudwater DIPA v4

Cloudwater: DIPA v4 (England: IIPA: 9% ABV)

Visual: Just slightly hazy yellow to peach skin. Good carbonation. Massive white fluffy head.

Nose: Resinous. Peach. Quite clean. Pine cones. Light cannabis. Dried banana. Vanilla. Bran flakes.

Body: Peach. Nice bitter kick – moderate but there. Juicy. Good hop feel. Passion fruit and kumquat. Dried fruit. Thick. Brown bread. Slightly peppery. Yeasty. Peach syrup. Resinous.

Finish: Fluffy hop character. Slightly dry. All bran. Moderate bitterness. Hop oils. Palma violets. Passion fruit. Kiwi. Yeasty feel. Peppery.

Conclusion: This is definitely the dried fruit side of the double IPA. I mean it is fruity as heck, and laid over a quite dry base, but the fruit all comes in just slightly dried with that. It is just slightly parching rather than refreshing. Until I try the v5 I can’t say if this is due to the dry hopping being done during fermentation or if it just the base character of the beer. I’m looking forwards to finding out. This does feel pretty yeasty itself though, with a touch of Belgian feeling funkyness and alight peppery character. Nothing too obtrusive, just a nice feel.

With that I find it enjoyable in the flavours, definitely well done there, but just slightly cloying. It doesn’t make it bad, just different, which is oft appreciated. However it does make it far less refreshing as an IPA, resulting in a beer which is definitely better having as just a one in a session rather than repeat visits.

The flavour range is the best part, with the fruit emphasised and the malt body mostly out of the way. The bitterness is nicely pitched, present in a hop oil and resinous way that is present, but far from overly harsh. It matches the more dry and cloying fruit notes well.

So a slightly funky beer, the peppery notes and slight palma violets bring to mind the more noble hops, and matched with a quite resinous and slightly cloying IPA. Thick and definitely set for slow drinking. For me, I generally would prefer a slightly cleaner take on the fruit going forwards, really let it shine out of the beer. However I have enjoyed this different take on it. Let’s bring on v5 and see how it compares.

Background: Something a bit unusual here. I had tried DIPA v3, though from feedback I have got my experience was not similar to most drinkers so I may have got a tad yeast infected or something beer. Anyway, even with that it wasn’t too bad so when I saw v4 and v5 come out I thought I would give them a go. The two versions came out side by side as they are mostly the same beer, with the difference being V4 is dry hopped during fermentation, v5 is dry hopped after fermentation which will alter how the elements interact. Very interesting. The official advice is to drink half of one, half of the other, then mix the two and try that. Whichever is the preferred one will be used as the template for v6. My alcohol tolerance these days is sod all, and my taste-buds would probably get confused, so I did not do that. instead I drank v4 one day, and v5 the next, so I still had a clear memory of what they were like. Grabbed from Independent Spirit – these were very small batch due to their experimental nature, so I was very happy to get hold of a bottle of each. Drunk in the insane current heat while listening to the haunting David Bowie: Black Star album.

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