Tag Archive: IIPA


Stigbergets: API Lairepmi (Sweden: IIPA: 8% ABV)

Visual: Hazy, with a milky apricot colour. Moderate bubbled, yellowed head.

Nose: Banana. Creamy hop character. Milkshakes. Mashed kiwi. Vanilla custard.

Body: Pumpkin. Apricot and peach. Slight musty hop bitterness and light hop prickle. Banana and custard. Toffee. Slight kiwi.

Finish: Banana and banana yogurt. Popcorn hop feel. Light greenery and growing bitterness. Dried apricot. Buttery shortbread.

Conclusion: This is very easy going for an 8% abv beer, and, in fact, very easy going for an Imperial IPA. There is very little hint of the alcohol – unless you count the obvious additional sweetness from the bigger malt load as a tell, but in this case I do not.

As indicated above, flavour wise it, initially, seems pretty easygoing as well – feeling like sweet banana milkshake or smoothie. It even matches the character down to the creaminess and the kiwi notes that can be used to beef up a lot of smoothies. There are some other notes that complement this – peach and vanilla custard that really does make it feel like rich, full mix of milkshake and smoothie. The fruit feels full, and far from artificial in character.

However, the eagle eyed of you may have noticed I said “Initially” it was easy going – That is because the hop character does grow, as you would expect of an IIPA. Initially (there’s that word again) the hops are fairly light, which alters into a kind of popcorn texture hop feel, then growing slightly into greenery touched bitterness. It is never particularly heavy, but it does make sure that the beer is recognisably in the IPA range.

For weaknesses of the beer, and I’m not sure if this is just due to travel time to the UK, but the hops can feel a tad muggy, which is an aspect that doesn’t work well with the creamy smoothness and easygoing style of the rest of the beer. It does lead out into a kind of buttery shortbread style finish, which does work ok, so a reasonable trade-off, but one of the weaker elements of a good beer.

So – generally good – not a huge range, but works well with what it does. The hopped banana milkshake of the beer world. Feels like the beer take on a banana cocktail, albeit hopped rather than sugar shock styling – which works for me . Good times of soothing and chilling in the sun styled beer.

Background: Ok, it is no secret that I am a touch of a leftie. So, yeah the rise of the far right has been worrying the shit out of me. So, I must admit the concept for this beer touched a cord with me – a beer hoping for a shift to the left. Now, let’s face it – a beer isn’t going to change the world, but it is nice to see people standing up. Anyway, now I’m fairly sure a chunk of my readers are not lefties, and that is fine – I can accept difference of opinion – it is the massive levels of hate that come with the alt-right (aka fucking Nazis), EDL (Aka bigoted shits), etc that worry me. So, as long as you are not a bigot or someone who shits on the poor, etc, I’m cool with you. Also, yes I know the extreme left can have worrying views and acts as well – however since right now I am more likely to die by being impaled on a unicorn horn than them get anywhere near power, I’ll hold off worrying about that to another day. Anyway, this was grabbed from the Brewdog guest beer shop. Also, lovely metallic style art on the label – absolutely wonderful to look at.

brewdog-hop-shot

Brewdog: Hop Shot (Scotland: IIPA: 22% ABV)

Visual: Apricot colour, some bubbles. No real head. Mild amounts of carbonation.

Nose: Peach. Musty hops. Kiwi. Apricot. Thick. Solid bitterness and hop oils. Light floral notes.

Body: Thick and syrupy. Golden syrup and honey. Good hop oils and some bitterness. Custard. Kiwi. Big peach. Syrupy alcohol. Pineapple.

Finish: Big kiwi, grapes and pineapple. Big hop bitterness. Thick sheen. Alcohol gin air. Big peach. Drying. Passion fruit. Hop oils.

Conclusion: This is actually a lot better than I expected. After the atrocious misstep that was Watt Dickie I feared that this would be similar.

Instead this actually feels roughly akin to an Imperial IPA, albeit one that has been crossed with golden syrup and had the alcohol feel turned way up. That may not be the most promising sounding description when I put it that way, I will admit, however I’m enjoying it. It has calls to Sink The Bismarck – but while that was was a raw onslaught of a beer, this is smoother and more refined. Now don’t get me wrong – you can totally tell the alcohol – but the very thick, very sweet texture compensates surprisingly well to control it. It feels like slightly thinned golden syrup slowly oozing over your tongue – dispensing varied honey to custard notes as well as its native syrup character. Very, very sweet indeed.

The fruitiness is the second biggest thing this has to offer, layered over the syrupy sweet notes. It is exploding with peach and kiwi notes, amongst a smattering of others. There is nothing subtle, subtlety would not work here. It all has to be big, all the time.

That is why I find it odd that of all things, it is the bitterness that is comparatively restrained. There is a lot of hop character, and definitely a lot of hop oils feel, but the bitterness? Well, with the exception of the finish, it is always restrained. Even in the finish the bitterness gets overwhelmed by the indomitable momentum of the sweetness over time.

So, it is a party piece rather than one to have often. Too insanely thick and strong to have several of. Despite its huge flavour everything is up front so it is not one to contemplate either. It is very fun though. So a sugar shock, fruit hop heavy, golden syrup thick thing of an Imperial IPA. You will either have great fun with it, or hate it. Either way you will only ever probably have a couple then go back to more balanced drinking fare. Still – fun!

Background: Grabbed from Brewdog Bristol, this tiny bottle is Brewdog’s latest attempt at freeze fortifying beer. Generally they have been pretty good, but the last attempt – Watt Dickie was freaking terrible. As always I am not an unbiased actor on Brewdog beer. I grabbed the smallest glass I had for this one – a third pint glass from the Great British Beer Festival – at 110 ml the bottle still barely made a dent in the glass. Still, plenty of room for the aroma to roam. Drunk while listening to the hauntingly wonderful Alver album – atgclvlsscap

odyssey-imperial-hop-zombie-blood

Odyssey: Imperial Hop Zombie Blood (England: IIPA: 9.2% ABV)

Visual: Deep black cherry red. Thin off white head.

Nose: Cherry pocked biscuits. Clean hop character and hop oils. Fresh pineapple and pink grapefruit. Caramel shortbread.

Body: Black cherry and red cherries. Caramel. Shortbread. Good hop bitterness. Pink grapefruit. Hop oils. Kiwi.

Finish: Hop bitterness. Clean hop oils. Black cherry yoghurt. Pineapple. Pink grapefruit. Dried passion-fruit.

Conclusion: Fucking yes. 4 days into 2017 at time of drinking. Seven days in by time I upload this, and we have already the first truly awesome beer of 2017. That was fast.

This has super clean hop character delivering solid bitterness and hop oils without any rough characteristics. There is a moderate malt sweetness, but a lot of the impressions come from the hops bringing tart fresh notes in everywhere; Though there is also a big cherries flavour which I am pretty sure is from the base malt. The two mix, cherries and tart grapefruit hop notes, giving a sweet and fresh mix that sparkles.

There are no off notes here, no rough edges – the flavours are big but polished to an inch of their life. Often I miss rough edges in the beer, but this keeps the intensity – bitter, not harsh. It feels like a super cherry touched amber ales meets Hardcore IPA. It really balances the sweet, bitter and tart fresh notes. In fact, on the Hardcore IPA comparison – this feels like what Brewdog wanted to do with their Hop Kill Nazis and similar but never quite reached.

Odyssey have always impressed me in all my, few so far, encounters with them – this is where they really hit the big time for me. If they can keep up this quality then they will become a legend of brewing -if this is a one off high then they have already more than justified their existence amongst the greats.

So, a polished cherry malt beer with solid shortbread weight to keep the base ready to handle everything else – allowing a huge mix of tart fruit flavours to do their thing. Find this. Grab it. Drink it. Maybe even keep the bottle label after you drink it is it is awesome as well. Try this if ever you can.

Background: So, I was wondering if I should shove this under Amber ale or IIPA? It is very Imperial Amber Ale like, but hop style is straight IIPA. They describe it as a *grinds teeth* Double India Red Ale. So, guess IIPA it is then by the “sticking as close as possible to how the brewer calls it rule”. Anyway, my last experience with Odyssey was good, and the bottle label for this is awesome, so I grabbed this from Independent Spirit. Drunk while listening to Dead Kennedys: Plastic Surgery Disasters – something about the album cover seemed to match the bottle label for this – and I do like a good bit of punk.

Northern Monk: Double Heathen (England: IIPA: 10% ABV)

Visual: Very hazy to cloudy apricot. Moderate off white head.

Nose: Pine needles. Resinous hops. Passion fruit and dried mango. Banana. Moderate bitterness. Thick.

Body: Thick fruit juice texture. Guava. Banana. Creamy bitterness. Moderate hop character. Dried mango. Custard. Pineapple. Dried apricot.

Finish: Solid bitterness. Lightly creamy and light custard notes. Mango juice.

Conclusion: Ok, this doesn’t sit neatly at either of the usual ends of the DIPA spectrum. The base isn’t a super dry, out of the way, leave everything to the hops style DIPA – but neither is it a super sweet, making heavy with the malt to contrast the hops style beer either. OK, there is a lot more range to DIPAs to that, but they tend to cluster somewhere around those two extremes in my experience.

So we have something in-between – the base feels fairly dry, especially on the way out, but you can still really taste and feel the base with custard like sweet notes. It straddles the DIPA line.

Similarly it straddles the hop line. Nor a beer of unrelenting bitterness, not one of super fresh fruit. It is fruity, don’t get me wrong, but in a dried fruity, musty thick kind of way – lots of thick flavour – with enough sweetness to deliver what would otherwise be quite the drying flavour profile and backed by juice guava notes. Never one thing or another, never leaning too far in any direction, it trades everything off to create a big and satisfying IIPA.

It really does work. While its style straddling method means that it never hits the pure high notes that you can get by going all in with one interpretation, it also means that it doesn’t tie itself to the flaws of any one take either. It feels like, as long as you like a bitter beer, and can deal with big abv – and let’s face it, what IPA fan does not? Then you can just dive into this and enjoy it. Very good, and it is not afraid to show some musty, slightly rough edges – it doesn’t polish off the edges that makes a beer charming. This brings together so many good IPA element that I can unashamedly recommend it as a proper job done good. A fine IIPA.

Background: I’ve been trying a few new breweries recently – I’ve tried going for more standard, less experimental beers so to get an idea of what their main beer’s quality are like. After a few meh beers, I’ve decided to revise this policy – so I grabbed this big DIPA from Independent Spirit– not a standard beer, but none of those weird extra ingredients – should make a nice balance of showing brew techniques while still allowing me to enjoy some bigger beers. Hopefully. After going old school with Prodigy for music before, going even older school for this one with some Madness. Probably one of the first bands I ever really got into. Good times. The can lists this as a nice 70IBU. Should be bitter enough for my tastes.

3 Små Rum: SolDIPA (Sweden: IIPA: 8.5% ABV)

Visual: Hazy apricot. Thin white bubbled mound.

Nose: Peach. Banana. Pineapple. Very fresh. Custard. Tangerine. Dried apricot.

Body: Peach. Slight greenery. Resin. Pineapple. Syrupy feel. Tangerine. Dried apricot. Light cloying twist. Light sour cream. Pomegranate. Just slightly musky.

Finish: Pineapple. Apricot juice. Hop oils and some bitterness. Slight hop character. Slightly bready. Tangerine.

Conclusion: The first beer if the Sweden trip and it is a blinder of a fruit explosion! On the initial nose all I got was a big syrupy fruit blend, like an alcohol mixed fruit smoothie with extra syrup thrown in. It is all bright, all fresh, and occasionally quite tropical in style.

Initially the body follows that, in fact everything follows that – all insanely bright and insanely fruity. I did like it like that, but I was very glad when it, instead of just staying like that, expanded. It became more resinous, more greenery and hop oils – from that initial pure, delectable fruit juice style you get a true beer style backbone developing. It is this that takes it from a good but one note beer to an absolutely excellent beer.

It is wonderful – amongst the bright fruit it has that tiny soured tang twist that reminds me of Punk IPA, and late on you get a musky fruitiness of a heavier IIPA. It doesn’t have the pure freshness of, say, un-human cannonball, but has a similarly massive range of huge flavour, and with a heavier back as it goes on.

It doesn’t use large bitterness, or large levels of the more traditional prickling hop character, relying instead on the more hop oil and resin side for the IPA feel, and that means it is not just an excellent flavour IIPA, but a slightly unusual one as well.

A great IIPA with banana and peach side by side in a way little seen, and then combined with tropical fruit to just blow my mind in the sweet and fresh fruit contrast. A fantastic start to Sweden and a true great of the IIPA scene.

Background: Drunk at 3 Små Rum in Gothenburg on the first day of the Sweden beer trip. A wonderful place, the bar staff/brewers were fantastic to talk to, and happy to discuss their beer and beer in general. Had the motto “Don’t ask for blask!” (crappy fizzy beer), and a lovely feel with the small rooms encouraging chats between the various people there. Felt like they knew their regulars well also. They let me into the back where I saw the tiny brew setup they use, so they can be free with their experimentation. They did break my heart though – had a Närke Kaggen Stormaktsporter Börb’nåhallon on the shelves, but it was his last bottle, so for display only. NOOOOO! Still, their beer is so good I forgive them. Also tried another beer that they gave to me to try– single hopped with Nelson Sauvuin hops but brewed with Vienna malt, so you you end up with a dark beer mixing with that fresh Nelson Sauvin style. Fascinating, and shows what you can do with small experimental batches. Definitely recommend checking this place out if you are in Gothenburg.

Stone: Mocha IPA (USA: IIPA: 9% ABV)

Visual: Pale caramel. Inch of browned bubbles and froth. Clear main body and good carbonation.

Nose: Distinctly milky mocha coffee. Crushed hazelnuts. Cocoa dust. Crushed coffee beans. Choc orange.

Body: Chocolate toffee malt drink. Vanilla toffee backing. A hop feel but little hop flavour. Pine needles and resin. Chocolate limes.

Finish: Big fudge and big chocolate. Choc orange. Hop prickle and popcorn hop feel. Light neutral hop flavour. Hop oils and resin. Chocolate limes.

Conclusion: This actually reminds me of Brewdog’s blond stout Abstrakt they did, number … AB 08 I think it was. Similar concept, only, oddly, this one – despite being a self declared IPA – actually feels closer to archiving the bright coloured yet imperial stout tasting goal. Albeit this is a roasted, hopped up stout, but , since hopped stouts is a familiar enough style these days that shouldn’t disqualify it.

Very big on the coffee, very big on the chocolate on the nose – The amazingly well expressed sheer clarity and complexity of the coffee on that first contact damn near blew my socks off. The level of toffee chocolate on first sip then burned those socks to ash so I could never put them on again. Wow.

Early on it is very stout, so much so that, while I enjoyed it, a small nagging part of me felt that it did not match its declared IPA name. As time passed that worry also passed. It was still very coffee, very stout, but the hop character rose, especially in the long lasting finish. It enters life as a stout, but it leaves as an IPA.

The only flaw then is that the flavours don’t really reflect the range of an IPA, just the hop character. Ok, it does make some concessions – the character of the chocolate can tend choc orange and choc lime, which I guess may be the hops. Generally though the flavour is stout, the feel is IPA.

A minor nitpick though. In concept, in how it matches its concept, and in general quality this is amazing. I can’t recommend it enough. A mind-blowing creation.

Background: Stone Brewing. IPA. Stone Brewing. IPA. I was fairly sure we were onto a good one here. This is an odd one though, an IPA (Or in this case IIPA) made with cocoa and coffee beans. Not your standard IPA addition. Anyway this was grabbed from Brewdog’s guest beer selection. Drunk while listening to Killswitch Engage: Alive or Just Breathing. It seemed a nice blend of melodic and heavy metal for the time

Cloudwater: DIPA v5 (England: IIPA: 9% ABV)

Visual: Hazy yellow to apricot. Good carbonation. Large white to yellow touched head.

Nose: Passion fruit. Light boiled egg. Banana. Bready. Pumpkin.

Body: Moderate bitterness that rises to solid over time. Cloying passion fruit. Apricot. Vanilla fudge. Fresh white crusty bread. Frothy mouthfeel. Dried pineapple.

Finish: Good bitterness and hop oils. Digestives. Slightly cloying touch. Peppery. Passion fruit.

Conclusion: Ok, I will admit that I was expecting the slightly cloying touch to the fruit in v4 to be one of the things that changed between it and this v5. It didn’t change. See I am already learning things about how timing of dry hopping does or does not affect a beer.

What we find instead is a more restrained aroma that shows less evident notes, a fact I am pretty sure will be due to the timing of the dry hopping – and a body that has a bigger evident bitterness to it. Also, overall the beer does feel less resinous as well. Yes I will spend a lot of time comparing this to v4, it seems a waste of time to just repeat the elements that are the same between the two.

In fact, returning to the cloying touch, if anything this feels more dedicated to the dry and cloying fruit side of things, with less bright notes showing through. Because of that we also seem to get slightly more of the fudge malt base shining through. Since that doesn’t seem to be something that would be increased by the hop timing I am guessing that it could be because there is less to get in its way so it shines through more. It feels slightly heavier and longer lasting in the flavour.

Of course this is all tried by having only one sample of each beer, with no blind, so hardly the scientific method being done here.

Anyway, this also seems to lack that touch of funky yeast touch from the v4, though it still keeps the peppery character I associated with that. It feels like the more weighty, slower drinking double IPA of the two. There is a nice weight to it, maybe a tad too heavy though, and it does get slightly wearing as it gets warm.

Of the two I would say that v4 is the better, with a tad more complexity, but the two are very similar. This is however the heavier of two slightly heavier than normal Double IPAs, and doesn’t have as much in return. Still good, but not great. V4 definitely wins from the two for me.

Background:Ok quick copy past from v4 which was released at the same time as v5. The two versions came out side by side as they are mostly the same beer, with the difference being V4 is dry hopped during fermentation, v5 is dry hopped after fermentation which will alter how the elements interact. Very interesting. The official advice is to drink half of one, half of the other, then mix the two and try that. Whichever is the preferred one will be used as the template for v6. My alcohol tolerance these days is sod all, and my taste-buds would probably get confused, so I did not do that. instead I drank v4 one day, and v5 the next, so I still had a clear memory of what they were like. Grabbed from Independent Spirit – these were very small batch due to their experimental nature, so I was very happy to get hold of a bottle of each. Also I deliberately didn’t look at notes of v4 until after initial notes but before conclusion so to minimise influence, but help with comparison.

Cloudwater DIPA v4

Cloudwater: DIPA v4 (England: IIPA: 9% ABV)

Visual: Just slightly hazy yellow to peach skin. Good carbonation. Massive white fluffy head.

Nose: Resinous. Peach. Quite clean. Pine cones. Light cannabis. Dried banana. Vanilla. Bran flakes.

Body: Peach. Nice bitter kick – moderate but there. Juicy. Good hop feel. Passion fruit and kumquat. Dried fruit. Thick. Brown bread. Slightly peppery. Yeasty. Peach syrup. Resinous.

Finish: Fluffy hop character. Slightly dry. All bran. Moderate bitterness. Hop oils. Palma violets. Passion fruit. Kiwi. Yeasty feel. Peppery.

Conclusion: This is definitely the dried fruit side of the double IPA. I mean it is fruity as heck, and laid over a quite dry base, but the fruit all comes in just slightly dried with that. It is just slightly parching rather than refreshing. Until I try the v5 I can’t say if this is due to the dry hopping being done during fermentation or if it just the base character of the beer. I’m looking forwards to finding out. This does feel pretty yeasty itself though, with a touch of Belgian feeling funkyness and alight peppery character. Nothing too obtrusive, just a nice feel.

With that I find it enjoyable in the flavours, definitely well done there, but just slightly cloying. It doesn’t make it bad, just different, which is oft appreciated. However it does make it far less refreshing as an IPA, resulting in a beer which is definitely better having as just a one in a session rather than repeat visits.

The flavour range is the best part, with the fruit emphasised and the malt body mostly out of the way. The bitterness is nicely pitched, present in a hop oil and resinous way that is present, but far from overly harsh. It matches the more dry and cloying fruit notes well.

So a slightly funky beer, the peppery notes and slight palma violets bring to mind the more noble hops, and matched with a quite resinous and slightly cloying IPA. Thick and definitely set for slow drinking. For me, I generally would prefer a slightly cleaner take on the fruit going forwards, really let it shine out of the beer. However I have enjoyed this different take on it. Let’s bring on v5 and see how it compares.

Background: Something a bit unusual here. I had tried DIPA v3, though from feedback I have got my experience was not similar to most drinkers so I may have got a tad yeast infected or something beer. Anyway, even with that it wasn’t too bad so when I saw v4 and v5 come out I thought I would give them a go. The two versions came out side by side as they are mostly the same beer, with the difference being V4 is dry hopped during fermentation, v5 is dry hopped after fermentation which will alter how the elements interact. Very interesting. The official advice is to drink half of one, half of the other, then mix the two and try that. Whichever is the preferred one will be used as the template for v6. My alcohol tolerance these days is sod all, and my taste-buds would probably get confused, so I did not do that. instead I drank v4 one day, and v5 the next, so I still had a clear memory of what they were like. Grabbed from Independent Spirit – these were very small batch due to their experimental nature, so I was very happy to get hold of a bottle of each. Drunk in the insane current heat while listening to the haunting David Bowie: Black Star album.

Brewdog #Mashtag 16

Brewdog: #Mashtag 16 (Scotland: IIPA: 10.5% ABV)

Visual: Clear gold with a moderate off white creamy bubbled head.

Nose: Cherry pocked biscuits. Thick hops. Pineapple. Both bitter and fresh. Pine needles. Light sulphur. Thick and musky. Heather.

Body: Clear cherries. Vanilla toffee. White grapes. Good hops and bitterness. Pineapple. Slight golden syrup. Moderate thick texture. Custard. Malt drinks.

Finish: Fudge. Light glacier cherries. Chocolate malt drinks. Custard. Golden Grahams. Good hop character and bitterness. Grapes. Resinous.

Conclusion: Ok, I can admit when I was wrong. I can take the high road and admit my mistakes. Which is my way of saying that I voted against every choice in every category that won this years online poll to decide which beer to brew. So, yeah, this is freaking lovely.

It feels like a raw, big hopped, musty and thick textured beer with good bitterness and a just noticeable alcohol character that makes you aware of it, but doesn't break the smoothness. With the fruity hop character it has, and that description before, you may be thinking that it sounds like a well made IIPA, but it sounds like nearly every American hopped IIPA ever. Why am I raving about it? Well, for one is is very smooth and very well made, but also what breaks the more generic style is the cherries. I knew cherries were being used in the brewing but I expected them to have little impact on the actual beer itself, I thought they would end up using too few for it to alter the flavour enough. Again, I was wrong. There is a lot of cherry influence and combined with the big, sweet main body the cherries end up giving a cherry picked digestive impression which is utterly clear and well used. In fact the toffee from the malt and the cherries from the..well, cherries, pretty much defines the base and everything else works off that.

The hops are big, in a Hardcore IPA style, bitter and pineapple laden, but that backing base is strong enough that you can slide from cherry biscuits early on, into an intensely bitter finish, without ever really noticing at what point it changed. They just shift very organically in a natural progression from one note to the next. You are never shocked and it never feels out of place.

So, yeah, it is like a smoother Hardcore IPA, still resinous and bitter, just packed full of cherries.

Big fan!

Background: I tend to distrust voting. Not that I have ever worked out a better way of doing things, but they tend to go the worst way possible in my experience. And no I am not just saying that because of a recent referendum. Anyway, yeah, so, a beer that people vote on. This time we ended up with a Triple IPA with American hops, sour cherries and oak chips. I had already tried this on tap by the time I did the notes on this bottle – the tap was a bit smoother and the cherries more evident – I would say the tap version definitely is the superior of the two. This was grabbed directly from Brewdog's store, as always I am not an unbiased actor on Brewdog beer. Drunk while listening to some B Dolan – mainly Kill The Wolf. Not a big hip hop fan usually, but he is one of the ones that really stand out for me.

Cloudwater DIPA V3

Cloudwater: DIPA V3 (England: IIPA: 9% ABV)

Visual: Deep cloudy apricot coloured body. High carbonation. A centimetre of apricot to brown touched head that quickly leaves sud rings.

Nose: Kumquat. Slight egg. Quite musty. Sour gherkin. Lime. Apple.

Body: Lime and kiwi. Sour grapes. Sour dough. Lime sour sweets. Pineapple. Grapefruit chunks. Slightly funky cheese notes. Custard. Slightly acidic. Melon. Apricot and peach.

Finish: Sour white grapes. Lemon sherbet. Kiwi. Apple. Sour dough. Haribo sours. Cheese. Acidic cider. Pepper. Peach.

Conclusion: Ok, I’ve just had to google Vemont yeast half way through doing the notes, just to check that it was not a brett variant, or acid malt, or some other weird thing. But, no, my initial thoughts were confirmed, it is in fact just a specifically DIPA aimed yeast. So why does this test Bretted as fuck? Or Bretted as funk if you want a poor pun.

The unusual character meant that it took a while for me to try and work out what the beer was trying to be – and, partially because of that, initial impressions were terrible. The beer’s aroma felt closed with sour gherkin, eggs and acidic notes. The body helped a bit with tart fruit, but the mix of light acidic notes and attenuated style did make me wonder if it had a light yeast infection. After a while I concluded that the acidic, feeling brett touched, style seemed to be intentional, so lets look at it as that.

It is unusual – not really bitter, more acidic and funky with sour dough and yeast characteristics – it reminds me very much of Wild Beer’s Evolver and Brett Brett beers. This becomes fruitier and sweeter over time, much more pleasant, but still interrupted by sour stabs that make the beer feel off.

The funk character of it can be fun, the fruit range is very good, but that base character just keeps intruding – too dry and acidic, and not in a way that complements the beer. There is a lot of good in this beer, but those notes initially up front end up hanging around in the background dragging it down.

Lots of good high points utterly let down by a few flaws in the base character.

Background: Not tried any Cloudwater before this, another brewery with a good reputation. We have a seriously well growing beer scene in the UK at the moment and it is awesome. Anyway, grabbed this at Independent Spirit. Again. Thought I would go for the Double IPA as the heavy hop stuff is always a good start for me. Drank this quite late at night, with music on random.

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