Brew York: Big Eagle 2020 (England: IPA: 7.1% ABV)

Visual: Browned gold clear body. Lots of small bubbled carbonation and a huge off white head.

Nose: Pine needles. Moderate hop character and some bitterness. Quite clean. Slight resin. Soft apricot.

Body: Bitter. Peppery. Slightly charred. Acrid hops. Soft watered down caramel back. Soft fudge. Very dry.

Finish: Acrid hop burn. Gunpowder tea. Dry toffee. Watered down caramel. Heavy bitterness. Charred. Very dry. Peppery. Moss and other greenery.

Conclusion: OK, like Natalie Imbruglia I am torn (and that is a reference that shows my age). On one hand this is better as fuck and nicely dry. Two things missing from so many IPAs these days.

On the other hand, this is a tad acrid, with hop burn very evident early on. It feels like they let it out a few months too early and is suffering from that. The welcome bitter character keeps leaning into over burnt and charred notes.

Flavour wise it is very peppery and it eschews brighter hop flavours to concentrate on the bitterness, which is the primary hop influence here, along with the evident hoppy mouthfeel. The malt is nicely out of the way but not full west coast dryness, with a gentle caramel and dried toffee sweetness evident, though very subtle and way below the hops.

There is a lot of good work in the base – the dry but slightly sweet malt use balancing very drinkable character with just a touch more body- the OH GOD hop kick – but apart from that there is basically just a pine needles and pure hop assault character, which leans too much towards a pepper, charred and burnt character.

I’m still kind of enjoying it, but it is flawed as fuck. They need to ditch the hop burn and make it a big polished hop kick, or balance it out with some complexity added to the pepper hop feel. It just needs something else.

As is, I respect the old school take but it is too unpolished to recommend.

Background: I love York, the place that is. Best place in the UK IMHO. Brew York has been so-so so far, but this one caught my eye as one to give another try. A brewed up version of a very well reputed hoppy pale ale they did a while back. Though I must admit I am never quite sure why brewers keep noticing a beer they did before was well received, so they bring it back with a different recipe. Surely the point is people want the same beer they loved before. Anyway, not tried the beer before so no big deal, just something I notice popping up a lot. Went with New Model Army again for some punk tunes – The Ghost Of Cain to be exact. Need somewhere to vent my energy in lockdown so punk tunes it is. This was grabbed from the reopened and home delivering Independent spirit. YAYZ!