Cloudwater: DIPA v5 (England: IIPA: 9% ABV)

Visual: Hazy yellow to apricot. Good carbonation. Large white to yellow touched head.

Nose: Passion fruit. Light boiled egg. Banana. Bready. Pumpkin.

Body: Moderate bitterness that rises to solid over time. Cloying passion fruit. Apricot. Vanilla fudge. Fresh white crusty bread. Frothy mouthfeel. Dried pineapple.

Finish: Good bitterness and hop oils. Digestives. Slightly cloying touch. Peppery. Passion fruit.

Conclusion: Ok, I will admit that I was expecting the slightly cloying touch to the fruit in v4 to be one of the things that changed between it and this v5. It didn’t change. See I am already learning things about how timing of dry hopping does or does not affect a beer.

What we find instead is a more restrained aroma that shows less evident notes, a fact I am pretty sure will be due to the timing of the dry hopping – and a body that has a bigger evident bitterness to it. Also, overall the beer does feel less resinous as well. Yes I will spend a lot of time comparing this to v4, it seems a waste of time to just repeat the elements that are the same between the two.

In fact, returning to the cloying touch, if anything this feels more dedicated to the dry and cloying fruit side of things, with less bright notes showing through. Because of that we also seem to get slightly more of the fudge malt base shining through. Since that doesn’t seem to be something that would be increased by the hop timing I am guessing that it could be because there is less to get in its way so it shines through more. It feels slightly heavier and longer lasting in the flavour.

Of course this is all tried by having only one sample of each beer, with no blind, so hardly the scientific method being done here.

Anyway, this also seems to lack that touch of funky yeast touch from the v4, though it still keeps the peppery character I associated with that. It feels like the more weighty, slower drinking double IPA of the two. There is a nice weight to it, maybe a tad too heavy though, and it does get slightly wearing as it gets warm.

Of the two I would say that v4 is the better, with a tad more complexity, but the two are very similar. This is however the heavier of two slightly heavier than normal Double IPAs, and doesn’t have as much in return. Still good, but not great. V4 definitely wins from the two for me.

Background:Ok quick copy past from v4 which was released at the same time as v5. 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. Also I deliberately didn’t look at notes of v4 until after initial notes but before conclusion so to minimise influence, but help with comparison.

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