Brewdog: Neon Overlord (Scotland: Spice IPA: 7.3% ABV)

Visual: Yellow to grain. Small white head. Clear body with moderate carbonation.

Nose: Fresh mango juice. Chilli seeds. Quite fresh. Slight fresh banana. Mild hop character. Crushed custard cream biscuits. Mango chutney. Slight sulphur.

Body: Mild warmth up front, builds quickly. Mango chutney. Poppadoms. Stewed apricot. Chilli hits back of throat on swallow. Stewed banana.

Finish: Wholemeal nans. Chilli seed and warmth. Green peppers. Mango chutney. Slight smokey barbecue sauce and beef.

Conclusion: Not sure if time has mellowed this, or if my tastebuds have adapted to it. I had a can about two weeks back and it kicked my teeth in with chilli heat. Now it is survivable even for a chilli wuss like me. Also I think I chilled it a tad longer this time, maybe that helped?

The main base seems pretty dry and unobtrusive – either that or there is a base there and the residual heat has just overcome it. The heat starts off fairly gentle up front, but can still kick at the back of the throat on a swallow. While I am not a big fan of chilli heat, I do love the flavour you can get from chilli (For example, huge fan of chipotle when cooking, but really need to be careful with how much I add). Here the actual chilli flavour mainly comes late body and into the finish – it comes in a slightly smokey, slightly meaty set of notes. Either that or it is a result of a slight sulphur character the beer has, but for now I’m attributing it to the chilli.

Any which way, the main flavour for the beer is instead the mango – delivered in a very mango chutney way. Then again, between that and the nan notes in the finish I wonder if I am being slightly psychosomatic here and giving everything a kind of curry house element in the description due to the ingredients. Apart from the mango there is a general stewed fruit character but nothing else is particularly well defined.

I am a bit split on this, and yes it is due to the chilli – with the chilli character most of the subtle notes of the beer are lost – It is a brash kicking beer, though admittedly that is kind of the point of it. Criticising it for that would be like criticising clowns for not being funny. That is the point.

On its own points it balances well – you get the mango, you get the chilli – the base is drinkable, dry and gets out of the way fast. So, does what it says, does that well, doesn’t do much else. Not overly for me, but not one I would avoid, despite the chilli being higher than my preference. Could do with more chilli flavour, less chilli heat in my opinion, but I would nearly always say that. Guess it isn’t aimed at me. *shrug*

Background: Lovely can for this one, grabbed directly from the Brewdog shop. This is an IPA made with Habanero chilli, coriander seeds and mango. I like chilli for the flavour, but am terrible with the heat so I don’t tend to have many chilli beers, but I like Brewdog’s stuff so decided to give this a try. As the previous line may indicate, I am not an unbiased actor on Brewdog beers. To offset my weak heat resistance to chilli I had some milk on standby. Drunk while listening to Crossfaith: Xeno – with the neon imagery of their videos it seemed to match.

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