Big Drop: Fourpure: Big River Black IPA (England; Low Alcohol: 0.5% ABV)

Visual: Black. A ruby touch to it if held to the light. Large mounded froth, beige coloured head.

Nose: Roasted nuts. Malt chocolate drinks. Bourbon biscuits. Bitter coffee. Slight lactose.

Body: Bitter. Charring. Greenery. Malt chocolate. Roasted nuts. Doughnut dough. Bitter hops. Slightly gritty. Slight tannins and teabags. Bitter coffee.

Finish: Bitter cocoa dust. Bitter hop character. Slightly dusty. Teabags. Kiwi. Slight pineapple. Cigarette ash.

Conclusion: Ok, they did it – a decent, low alcohol Black IPA. Note I said decent, not great, but right now that is still seriously impressive.

Initially this suffered very heavily from the thinner texture you get with the low abv, but somehow it manages to build up over time to a decent tongue clinging bitter beer. Definitely better after the first few sips – so give it some time so it can get going.

When it has built up it pushes a lot of cocoa, bitter coffee and decent hops, instead of the bitter charring cling that you get on the first few sips. A definite improvement. Those early moments are a big part of why I say this is only decent, but when you get past that there is a lot to enjoy – if still not perfect.

This leans more towards the bitter stout like take on the BIPA style rather than the fruitier IPA with a chocolate base. Now I will admit I prefer it the other way around, but this still has some fruit showing through – predominantly in the finish where you get a slight fresh set of notes.

There is still that tannin and teabag style that I see in a lot of low abv beers, but here a lot of the roasted character helps offset that nicely. So, a decent BIPA, a remarkably impressive one for the abv. Could so with some tweaking, but generally an impressive take.

Background: It is Big Drop’s 3rd anniversary! So they released a box set of four collaboration beers. As always the beers are 0.5% abv or lower. I swear Big Drop are doing a solid chunk in keeping me from dying from alcohol poisoning. Good job! This, a collaboration with Fourpure, is a black IPA. Don’t think I’ve seen an alcohol free(ish) BIPA before. Should be fun. Went with Against Me! Transgender Dysphoria Blues as music. One of those rare albums with not a bad track on it. The box was grabbed from Independent Spirit. They are a very common appearance here.