Tag Archive: IIPA


Cloudwater: DIPA v13 (England: IIPA: 9% ABV)

Visual: Very cloudy apricot colour. Large yellow white mound of bubbles for a head.

Nose: Tangy. Hint of gherkin. Apples. Slightly musty. Light raspberry.

Body: Thick and creamy. Slight gherkin. Stewed banana. Big peach. Tart raspberry if held. Toffee backbone. Hop oils. Tangy. Slight pineapple. Vanilla yogurt.

Finish: Raspberry pavlova. Tart. Light gherkin. Apricot. Low level bitterness. Bready. Banana sweets. Vanilla yogurt. Chinese stir fry vegetables.

Conclusion: Ok, this is a mix of the great, and the kind of shit. An odd combo. So, erm, here goes. This has a real thick texture – heavy duty and gives a good grip to the flavour. The malt base comes with some toffee character, but is generally a neutral creamy to vanilla yogurt style. Basically something to give room for the hop flavours.

So, onto those hop flavours – well, there is nearly zero bitterness here. A bit unusual for an IPA – even the fruitiest and sweetest tend to have at least a tiny touch of it in the body. Here the only sign is in the bready finish – with some hop oils giving a sheen to the feel, but not a bitterness. Generally this is a bitterness free zone. So, yeah very unexpected for an IIPA.

Ok, so we have a solid base, and a slightly unusual start. Where is the kinds shit stuff I mentioned? The gherkin. The slightly tangy, sour, vegetable gherkin notes. It is very intense early on, especially when first poured – but is still present in a diminished form by the end of the beer. Now, this is an element that can work in beers, but has to be used very carefully. Here it just makes for an uneven, overpowering element that stamps all over the fruitiness the beer has underneath it. I can see what they are trying to do – it feels like it is aiming for a thick, almost crushed cannabis, muggy strength – but in my opinion it severely hurts the overall experience.

Underneath that there is a sense of good stewed fruit and peach melba. Lightly tart in a good way this time – very creamy and moderately sweet. The beer is mostly good in what it does but that one, greenery packed heaviness just makes it one that I really cannot get into at all, instead feeling even sludgy at times. It ends with an almost stir fry veg air – another off note in a beer that felt like it had promise otherwise

I really hope this is not used as the base for any of their new DIPA range.

Background: Had a few of the Cloudwater DIPAs over the past year – didn’t really keep up to date with trying them all as they came out so thick and fast. This one however is their last prototype one off release before they setup a regular line of DIPAs based on what they found out from these. So, thought it may be worth giving another, final go. Unlike some people I have no negative attachment to the number 13, so have no probs with this being their 13th release. Anyway, this was grabbed from Independent Spirit and drunk while listening to Ulver: Childhoods End.

Mikkeller: Nuclear Hop Assault (Denmark: IIPA: 8% ABV)

Visual: Apricot skin colour. A lot of carbonation. Hazy body and thin off white head.

Nose: Nettles. Greenery. Lime. Dried apricot. Dry. Slightly rocky bitterness. Heavy hop feel. Closed and musky. Dried passion fruit.

Body: Solid bitterness. Greenery and hop oils. Nettles. High levels of gritty hop character. Dried apricot and vanilla. Dry body. Light brown sugar sweetness. Tart lemon sherbet. Tart orange juice.

Finish: High hop oils. Heavy bitterness. Heavy hop character. Vanilla yogurt. Dried apricot. Dry in general. Slight squeezed lime. Pineapple air. Orange juice.

Conclusion: Ok, this lives up to its name – it feels on a hop level akin to 1000IBU but with a much drier, less malt led body against it, resulting in an overall harsher, hoppier and heavier beer loaded with bitterness.

Initially that is all you get. Hop oils, harsh bitterness and harsh hop character. Lots of it expressed with greenery and prickling nettles. With nothing to intrude into that bitterness it does hit hard. Not a beer for a lot of people then – but for hopheads you have to respect how it delivers raw hop bitterness with nothing in the way, without feeling just rough and undrinkable.

Time does give it another layer – but only just. So, let’s be plain. It is still a brutal hop bomb – but now there are a few other elements struggling to get out there. The first one noticeable is a dried apricot note -which matches the dry character well, and meshes well with the bitterness. The next few are more contrasting – lemon and orange notes, and a pineapple air – all which freshens the beer oh so slightly. It gives nothing near the freshness of, say, a New Zealand hopped IPA, nor the fruit level of the fruit smoothie style IPAs that are so popular these days. It just adds a little extra, a touch to take the edges off.

Without that extra note this would be an interesting, but only try one, assault of a beer. With the extra notes? Well, I think for most people this would still be try once – it is rough edged and unbalanced. However for people, like me, who have become a tad blasé due to over exposure to high hop levels – this is very nice. The dry character gives it some extra punch to surprise without making it utterly one note, or undrinkable.

So – not a super flavour range – but, there is definitely something here for a masochistic hop head. In a lesser brewer this would be undrinkable shit. From Mikkeller, it just about holds together.

Impressive and intense. Not for everyone, but achieves its goal well.

Background: Ok, this is called Nuclear Hop Assault. An IIPA made with Hybrid hops. From Mikkeller who made the awesome 1000 IBU. There was no way I was not going to try this, was there? Another one grabbed from Independent Spirit – This was drunk after catching up on some Progress Wrestling – they have seriously got me back into Wrestling in a big way over the last few years. So in a fine mood for an intense beer. I wanted equally intense music so put on Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip’s Repent, Replenish, Repeat. Utterly brilliant album with the haunting Terminal being a stand out amongst many great tracks.

Tempest Brewing: The Old Fashioned: Bourbon Barrel Aged (Scotland: IIPA: 9.5% ABV)

Visual: Hazy, cloudy, reddened apricot with medium caramel touched white head. On later pours the head grows to be utterly massive.

Nose: Ginger bread. Orange liqueur and orange bitters. Lots of rye bourbon. Crushed mint leaves. Musty hops. Vanilla and toffee.

Body: Vanilla. Orange bitters. Peppermint cream. Rye crackers. Peppery. Gingerbread. Caramel notes. Moderate hop bitterness. Lemon cream. Thick. Bananas. Key lime.

Finish: Peppermint chewing gum. Greenery. Musty hops. Vanilla. Peppery. Light oak. Seville orange and marmalade. Bourbon. Kiwi. Creamy bananas. Sour lime.

Conclusion: Does the concept perfectly? Tick. Just about can still see the DIPA below it? Just about tick. Thick texture? Big tick. Tons of bourbon? Huge tick. Lots of ticks kicking this off.

On the cocktail concept side of things – this has tons of orange, orange bitters with the IIPA hop bitterness, zest marmalade into the finish. Lots of very well defined, rye touched and similarly orange influenced bourbon notes. This is pretty unusual, usually I expect just the vanilla and spirit notes from the bourbon ageing – but you really can taste the range of bourbon notes in here.

That alone would be interesting enough, but if you take your time and let it warm, there is actually even more to this. Initially the body underneath everything is lovely and creamy and thick – with vanilla notes but not much else. A solid delivery system for the concept but not much else. Then, as it warms more hops in kiwi and key lime and the like float out form underneath. Lovely green fruit notes that complement the beer and give contrast to the core conceit.

Now, to enjoy this beer you have to buy into the concept – but it doesn’t exactly hide that. If you do though, it does it so well. Lots of malt character in sweet custard and toffee to compensate for the hop and orange bitters, giving it a lovely balance of tart, bitter, fruity and malty character.

What would normally be a flaw – the muggy nature of the hops, probably due to the ageing, is not too out of place here. The hop flavours aren’t so crisp and prickling, and due to that they seem to merge with the orange bitters styles better. That was either utterly great planning, or bloody good luck in developing this beer.

Any which way, a brilliant idea well done. If you aren’t fundamentally against the concept then, damn, try it.

Background: Another beer it was hard to pick a beer style for – Ratebeer lists it as part of the wide category “American Strong Ale”, The base beer is a Double IPA according to the bottle, and they advise to drink it fresh due to high hop character. I went for Imperial IPA, but it is a toss up really. Anyway this is the aforementioned DIPA, made with orange and ginger, and aged in Heaven Hill bourbon barrels to mimic the flavours of the “Old Fashioned” cocktail – one I drank my first of in only the past … year I think. I lose track of time easily. It is also in a wax topped bottle. Fuck that wax. Fuck it in the ear. Took me fucking ages to get it off. This was grabbed from Independent Spirit and drunk while listening to some riot grrrl punk from Heavens To Betsy – “Calculated” to be specific.

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.

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