Elusive: Pomona Island: Rippin’ Rick (England: IIPA: 8% ABV)

Visual: Clear yellow, with just a slight bitty haze. Thin white bubbled head.

Nose: Musty malt drinks. Pineapple. Grated choc lime sweets. Chocolate eclair sweets. Granted choc orange to orange zest. Crushed nettles.

Body: Orange zest. Lemon cakes. Sugared lemons. Nettles. Earthy touch to the core. Slight bready character. Thick mouthfeel. Pineapple.

Finish: Malt drinks. Sugared orange. Good bitterness to greenery. Turmeric. Pineapple. Lightly fresh. Grapefruit.

Conclusion: This is a very satisfying beer. The double IPA malt load gives it a lot of weight despite how dry the flavours are for that west coast style. The malt is much more evident than normal, in a way that gives a malt drink choc orange/lemon/whatever set of notes that show up semi regularly behind the hops. The notes may make it seem that they are a bigger deal than they really are though. They are a competitively subtle set of notes, but it alters and informs a lot of citrus flavours in the beer so it is worth noting. It is never heavy, just a slight chocolate malt drink, kind of dry ovaltine like note that shows in the malt character, which heads into a more bready weight.

The bitterness is solid, not an assault – but I may be a bit blasé about bitterness levels these days, so keep that in mind if you are not a hop head. Still, solid bitterness is good. It had enough pop to it to give a nice hop punch.

The citrus character from the hops is lightly tart, mainly showing as orange and lemon notes which gives a lovely freshness to the whole thing, but with sweeter pineapple and tarter grapefruit doing some work at the edges.

It is nothing new, but it is a solid west coast IPA given bit more weight from the thicker mouthfeel that the extra abv a double IPA gives it, and with that a touch more evident malt.

What I am saying is I am enjoying.

Background: Elusive and Pomena are breweries I’ve had a few from recently, they haven’t managed to get into my fave brewery category but both are good enough that I’ve returned to them a bunch of times – so when they collaborated to make one of my preferred IPA styles – West Coast IPA, BUT DOUBLE – I decided to grab it and give it a go. I am always charmed by Elusive’s 8 bit style can images anyway and I am that easy to sell to. Grabbed from Independent Spirit (yes I know, you are shocked) this loads up on Simcoe (an old fave), Columbus and Amarillo hops – leaning more old school in the USA hops which sounds good to me. Or older school. I’m old now I lose track of what is considered “old” in beer terms. Get off my lawn. Music wise I went with Kill Mirror Image’s new EP KLL MRR IMG. Bias warning, I know one of the band members, but also it rocks.

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