Electric Bear: User Guy’d (England IIPA: 9.4% ABV)

Visual: Hazy yellow to lemon juice. Thin white head and lots of small bubbled carbonation in the body.

Nose: Thick. Pine needles. Oily. Brown bread. Muggy thickness. Floral. Vanilla. Black pepper.

Body: Malt drinks and milky choc toffee. Prickly bitterness. Resin. Dried apricot. Harsh bitterness. Gunpowder tea. Soft grapefruit. Sulphur. Banana. Harsh at the back of the throat. Peach.

Finish: Peppery. Brown bread. Solid bitterness. Sticky feel. Bitter chocolate. Prickly hop character. Sulphur.

Conclusion: I’m having a hard time getting a handle on this one. It is interesting and wide ranging in its influences so I am trying to work out how to best describe it.

It seemed fairly standard in the aroma -thick, murky hop led thing with a few sweet vanilla notes backing. Very hop led, very aromatic, very floral.

So, yeah the body is different to that – remarkably sweet and malt heavy. I didn’t see that coming I have to admit. It is very east coast IPA based, yet somehow still quite dry which always feel more west coast to me, especially with a thick, resinous, pine needles and sulphur hop character.

No New England IPA influence in there though. Fuck NEIPAS. (I kid, I kid, mostly)

It’s also oily, and can be a tad overly harsh at time with a touch of hop burn noticeable amongst gunpowder tea and peppery notes, along with that aforementioned sulphurous character. However it also manages a fresh grapefruit like note under, and even some sweeter fruit notes as it becomes more manageable and gentle over time.

It is a tad rough edged, with that hop burn I mentioned, but that aside I like what it is pushing. The mix of floral and pine cone notes along with heavy hops and a hint of fresh release over a big malt base that manages to be dry yet sweet is a good mix. It does need some polish to get rid of the harsh edges, as it is a tad too rough edged to recommend as it is right now, but it is definitely on the right track and with some work this could be great.

Background: Not had that many Electric Bear beers. Which is odd, their tap room isn’t that far away. I really should hit it again. Anyway, this is a beer by one of their brewers – Guy – hence the pun name – a DIPA made with Amarillo, Citra and Azacca hops. Citra and Amarillo are old friends, but I don’t know much about Azacca so this should be interesting. An unusual malt bill as well with Extra Pale, Dextrin, Torrified Wheat and Oat Malt. So, yeah, went with odd music as well – found Bad Religion – Into The Unknown on youtube and put that on. Normally I try to avoid pirated music, but this album was never released again as it bombed so hard – going a kind of electro-prog-punk route that led to Bad Religion calling their next, pure punk, album Back To The Known to show they had moved away from that style. So there is genuinely no way I can pay to listen to it. Oddly, Into The Unknown is actually pretty good , I can see why people expecting hardcore punk hated it, but it is genuinely intriguing. The beer was grabbed from Independent Spirit BTW.