Tag Archive: IPA


Other Half: Showers DDH Mosaic (USA: IPA: 7.4% ABV)

Visual: Cloudy apricot juice colour. Massive loose white bubbled head. No evident carbonation.

Nose: Gritty bitter hops. Marmalade and orange shreds. Fresh dough. Light greenery and herbal notes. Slight sulphur. Cake sponge. Flour. Apricot.

Body: Egg yolk texture. Tangerine and blood orange. Milky. Eggplants. Nettles like bitterness. Apricot skins. Peach. Hop oils.

Finish: Bitter hop oils. Bitter Seville orange. Marmalade. Melon. Gritty, prickly hops. Slight charring. Egg plants. Nettles. Gunpowder tea.

Conclusion: This is the tie breaker! So far I have had one Other Half IPA that was kind of meh (Which is the one I did notes on) and one I really enjoyed (The Nelson Suavin hopped Triple IPA – Which, of course, ended up being the one I did not do notes on), So with the score at one all, I decided to grab one more Other Half IPA to see which way it fell on the quality scale. Just the one more though, these things are darn expensive in the UK, so one more is all I can justify splashing out on.

This started out well. Hmm, ok correction, after not getting much from the aroma initially – maybe due to the fecking massive frothy head getting in the way – After that, THEN it started well.

The texture is that odd, thick character that seems to be Other Half’s trademark. A thick, egg yolk feeling thing which seems to come across as either positive or negative depending on the quality of the beer strapped on top of it.

So, what does this do with that texture? Well generally orange to marmalade notes, delivered in varied ways from sweeter marmalade to more bitter orange notes. Not unexpected, that is pretty much what I expect from mosaic hops, though here it does have some edge peach and apricot like notes which were nice.

Early on it has some bitterness and hop character that didn’t mesh too well. As time goes on that element fades, which is a mixed blessing. It reduces the rough edges, but also it removes the hop character which is what I come to IPAs for. Ah well, I guess not all IPAs are aimed at my preferences and that is fine.

FINE!

There is still a nice hop oil character under there, as well as some matching bitterness, but the bitterness is not clearly defined – a kind of general, muggy bitterness for lack of a better term.

As a tie breaker beer this is not meh, but not great. It really rocks the marmalade orange and apricot notes a clear and sometimes bitter way. Very good hop use in that side of things. The eggy, thick texture is ok, so works, but the more general hop prickle and bitter hop character is ill defined and occasionally harsh here.

So if fails to break the tie as it is half way between the other two. Ok, but not great or bad. Fuck. So, not bad but not worth the high UK cost. Lovely expression of the mosaic flavours but the backing beer doesn’t quite pull it off.

Background: Other Half really have to work on making their beer naming clearer. I thought this was just called Showers but nope, there are many beers called Showers, this is Showers Mosaic Double Dry Hopped. That last bit isn’t just a description it is a name indicating this is a different beer to other Showers. Making a name clear and easy to work out was obviously not on the table here. Anyway as indicated in the main notes I have had mixed encounters with Other Half, some matching their apparently huge rep, others less so. So I grabbed this one, going for the mosaic hop as it is one I have grown a huge fondness for. I mentioned when I first grabbed an Other Half beer that it was fairly darn fresh, even now this is canned on 13/05/2021 so at time of drinking was only three months old – pretty good for getting over from the USA. As before this was grabbed from Independent Spirit. I went with Caracas: Surgical Steel as backing music, been on a general metal music kick recently which is the whole of the reason.

Drastic Measures: Road Warrior (USA: IIPA: 8.5 ABV)

Visual: Pale, slightly cloudy lemon juice. Large, mounded white frothy head that leaves suds.

Nose: Lemon curd. Vanilla toffee. Cream. Apricot. Grapefruit. Slightly sulphur bitterness. Passion fruit.

Body: Grapefruit. Tart. Resinous. Good bitterness and some hop oils. Apricot touches. Slightly sulphurous. Greenery. Gooseberry. Passion fruit. Marmalade.

Finish: Grapefruit. Good bitterness. Gritty hop character. Resinous. Dry apricot. Gooseberries. Light malt chocolate. Dry mango. Marmalade.

Conclusion: Ok, yep, this is exactly what I want from an IPA (Double or otherwise). Though initially I thought it wasn’t going to be from first encounters with the aroma. It wasn’t that the aroma was bad, it was very pleasant. It was just kind of sweet so not what I was expecting from a beer that was pitching itself as a west coast IPA.

Over time a bit of sulphur and bitterness comes out in the aroma, closer to what you would expect, but by that point I had already started sipping. So let’s jump ahead to that and see how it went.

It opens up tart, with full on grapefruit against sulphurous, resinous bitterness. A dry mouthfeel in general that is offset by the tart grapefruit notes. Over time other dry fruit notes come out,with dry mango and passion-fruit giving a thicker flavour that the dry body would otherwise suggest. The tartness is helped by some gooseberry notes that help contrast, until, at the tail end, a most unexpected dry and yet sweet take on marmalade notes give a final unexpected burst before leading out into the resinous hops in the finish.

So, the beer opens up soft and sweet, rapidly stomps on that with a tart character and dry bitterness, then roaming though dry fruit, before surprising you with the mix of sweet and new tart fruit at the end without sacrificing the dry west coast style.

If it wasn’t so expensive to drink in the UK I would be drinking this a darn lot as it is gorgeous. Which, considering the abv of this big beer, I guess I should be thankful for. The high cost of this is saving a lot of damage to my liver.

A great IPA.

Background: Beer Bruvs got a new batch of beers in recently. They specialise in smaller craft brewers in the USA, so have my interest. People who read this blog a lot may remember last time their canned on dates were very variable – which was quite a hit when you got a nine month old highly hopped IPA that was far past its best. Still, it sounded like these were teething troubles for a new company – it sounds like they got far more stock in than they could turn over quickly for a new start up. So I thought I would grab a batch from this new set and see how they did. It was much better, everything I got was between one and two months old, which is a perfectly fair time to get stuff over from the USA, especially with the current situation. So good news, hopefully will keep it up, as this is looking so much better. Anyway, don’t know much about this brewery, but it was a double west coast IPA and that was all I needed to hear. Went back to Rise Against: Appeal To Reason as backing music while drinking. Not up there with Endgame but still a good album.

Neptune: Lost and Grounded: Lost at Sea (England: IPA: 6.2% ABV)

Visual: Darkened, slightly cloudy caramel brown. Massive loose bubbled caramel touched head.

Nose: Malt toffee and chocolate. Chocolate lime sweets. Lightly bready. Cake sponge.

Body: Good bitterness. Tart grapefruit touch. Dry pineapple. Charred bitter notes. Greenery. Ovaltine. Dry chocolate orange. Sulphurous and sour dough.

Finish: Grapefruit. Charred bitterness. Pine needles. Vanilla. Malt chocolate to ovaltine. Gunpowder tea. Orange juice hints. Chocolate orange. High hop bitterness.

Conclusion: Ok, this is, at the very least, slightly atypical for a a West Coast style IPA, but in a way I appreciate. Most west style IPAs I encounter are light and bright on the eye, with the malt out of the way, concentrating on a dry body and bitter hop character.

Now this is fairly dry and bitter hop forwards (Which makes me very happy) , but the malt, while not sweet or fully east coat, does show darker ovaltine to malt chocolate and toffee notes. Still dry, but more present that expected. What makes this work is that it seems to give a lot more grip for the tarter hop flavours to work from. On the lighter end you get clean grapefruit and orange, at the low end it mixed with the malt to give slightly sweeter but still dry choc orange and choc lime notes.

It is kind of a drier take on an East Coast malt in feel, if that makes sense, but apart from that has a distinct West Coast attitude, and has a lot of room for hop expression in bitterness, feel and flavours. You may notice I kind of skipped over the aroma here, it isn’t bad, just not showing that much compared to the rest of the beer. A hint of what may be in there, but definitely doesn’t properly represent the weight of flavour you get in the rest of the beer.

I have the feeling I won’t always be up for this particular take on the style, sometimes I will just want a clean West Coast IPA, but it is still a delicious take and I approve – and right now it works fine for me.

Not traditional, not one to always go to, but definitely a great beer that is at least ¾ of its claimed West Coast influence in its final style.

Very nice.

Background: Neptune is a new brewery on me, but Lost and Grounded is a familiar friend over at Bristol. This was one of many West Coast IPAs that came in to Independent Spirit recently. As a west coast fan I was overjoyed. So overjoyed I tried most without remembering to do notes on them. I remembered to do notes on this one. Yay! This lists Citra, Simcoe, Bravo and Columbus as the hops used. I don’t know much about Bravo but the rest are very good go tos for a nicely bitter IPA so I was hopeful. Went back to Garbage: Not Your Kind Of People for backing music, I only picked it up recently but it is already firmly a big hit with me.

Other Half: Ain’t Nothing Nice – Double Dry Hopped (USA: IPA: 6.2% ABV)

Visual: Cloudy lemon juice body. Large, loose white bubbled head that mounds.

Nose: Lemon curd to lemon meringue. Cream. Clean. Apricot. Zero bitterness. Fried eggs. Thickens as it warms.

Body: Peach. Milky. Hop oils. Slightly resinous. Egg whites. Some bitterness. Slightly gritty. Strawberry hints. Thick. Orange juice.

Finish: Moderate bitterness and hop feel. Passion-fruit. Oily. Kumquat. Orange juice hints.

Conclusion: Ok, so I am surprised a bit by this. Since it is cloudy on the eye, I was initially guessing this as NEIPA with all that goes with that. Ah well, NEIPAs are far from my favourite IPA style but I can live with it.

The aroma confirmed what I was expecting, that being absolutely no bitterness, but quite fruity and creamy. Generally light and gentle. Well done for what it is, but still not my kind of IPA.

The body is thick and surprisingly it is also slightly oily and resinous which I would not have expected from the aroma. It is not hugely bitter, but still more than I expected up to this point. The finish then gives an actual decent amount of bitterness in yet anther twist.

Overall the feel is thick and slightly oily, which can become an egg yolk like thick and slimy character sometimes, if that makes sense? It also shows that slightly vegetable bitterness of simcoe very nicely -its always been odd that works, but it does and continues to do so here.

The other hops used here seem to show their influence more subtly, with orange hints and passion fruit touches. The general milkiness of the beer seems to make defining the actual flavours more difficult than they would normally be.

It is well brewed, just well brewed in an IPA style that I am not a huge fan of. The thicker feel seems odd to me here, but even with that I can’t deny an intrigued pleasure at the bitter, yet milky and eggy thick feel.

Very odd, too thick fried egg yolk feel for me to get on board with, but well made for what it is.

Background: Apparently Other Half are a super hype brewery. My finger must no longer be on the pulse of the craft beer community. I’ve run into them once as a collaborator on a Beavertown beer, and that is it. I am old. I have lost it. Anyway…

This turned up as part of a large batch of Other Half in Independent Spirit, so I grabbed it and a Nelson Sauvin hopped IIPA from them (Which was pretty darn nice). I’m not often one for listening canned dates, but since this is a USA IPA, and I recently did so with some from an online supplier, it seems only fair. This one I grabbed about two weeks back and was canned 29/04/2021 and the Nelson Sauvin one was fresher, so pretty nice – about as fast as you can expect to come across from USA without super special measures. Of course Independent Spirit have the advantage that I visit them regularly so can grab stuff as it comes in. Anyway, this is hopped with Galaxy, Mosaic and Simcoe, then dry hopped again with Galaxy pellets and Mosaic Lupin powder . Which is some serious hype hops for me, so is pretty much why I grabbed it. Went with Noctule – Wretched Abyss for music again for this. Nice big, Skyrim inspired black metal. As you do.

Cushnoc: All Souls IPA (USA: IPA: 6.2% ABV)

Visual: Clear gold to yellow. Massive white mounded head that leaves lace. Lots of small bubbled carbonation.

Nose: Vanilla fudge. Pine needles. Light crushed custard cream biscuits. Lightly resinous. Soft kiwi. Light flour to floured baps. Apricot touch. Cake sponge.

Body: Prickly bitterness. Dank hop oils. Light charring. Kiwi and grapefruit. Popcorn hop feel. Floral. Vanilla. Dry fudge. Moderately dry overall. Lightly chalky. Slight sweet grapes.

Finish: Flour. Popcorn hop feel. Good bitterness. Light charring. Slight chilli seeds.

Conclusion: This has a nice range of notes from the hops, yet keeps the bitterness on point. While I knew this was made with a mix of West Coast and Australian hops it didn’t explicitly say it was West Coast style, so I wasn’t sure what to expect going in, but I kind of hoped for west coast influenced at least.

Anyway, it is very west coast like. Yayz! And it does it well as well.

So, let’s dig into things, how does it feel?

Base body is pretty dry, not bone dry – there is some vanilla and drier fudge notes in there, so the malt base isn’t completely out of the way. It is however dry enough to be exactly what I want for a hop delivery system.

Those delivered hops emphasise bitterness, mainly in the popcorn feeling hop kick and some charring notes. I will admit the charring isn’t my favourite thing, but in general I am down for what this beer is selling on the hop bitterness side.

Outside of that it is more subtle. There is some tart grapefruit and hints of apricot sweetness and soft kiwi. They are not pushing any element too heavy but they are there – little grace notes around the edges.

It is lovely being able to try more USA made West Coast style IPAs, even if again I think this comes from the east coast. I think. This is quality made – light charring aside- there is nothing unusual, but is another good example of exactly how to do a lovely bitter kick IPA with just enough release and interesting qualities that it isn’t one note.

I may just be recovering from the NEIPA trend and just jumping onto any proper clear and bitter IPA, but I am loving these in general and enjoying this in specific.

Background: Another IPA grabbed from Beer Bruvs, this one with canned on date of 22/12/20. So a bit older than perfect, but on the line where I would expect it to still hold a lot of the flavour, if not the full effect. I have had two other IPAs from them that were older, around the 9 month to year mark and they were definitely past their best by that point so I didn’t do full notes on them. The oldest one was on sale, but still felt it lost too much to be worth it even like that. At this point I would say most of their beers are from very fresh, to decent if not great freshness, but if you want fresh IPAs it is worth keeping to their more recent arrivals. Again, I have sympathy, as a new start up in these times, but I would not be doing my best for you all of I did not advise. Hopefully as they get more established their turnover will increase keeping things fresh. Anyway, this is made with a mix of Australian and West Coast hops, which is what caught my eye. Not much else to add, put on a mix of Television Villain tunes while drinking. I am biased as I know one member, but I think they are amazing.

Big Oyster: Hammerhead IPA (USA: IPA: 6.4% ABV)

Visual: Clear, darkened yellow body. Large white mound of a head that leaves suds. A small amount of small bubbles for carbonation.

Nose: Vanilla fudge. Pine cones and needles. Slightly oily, resinous character and bitterness. Lime cordial. Cake sponge. Apricot. Flour. Grapes.

Body: Good bitterness. Oily hops. Prickly. Kiwi. Light charring and gunpowder tea. Tart grapefruit. Tart white grapes.

Finish: Greenery. Hop oils. Oily charring and good bitterness. Good hop punch. Light grapes and grapefruit. Flour. Kiwi.

Conclusion: While I have been on a right West Coast IPA kick recently, this is the first USA made one I have had for a while – so as the originators of the style, are they still the masters of it?

Well, first impressions are what you would expect. Clear on the eye, simple but effective on the nose.

The aroma opens up with sweet vanilla, though that definitely diminishes over time; In return more oily, pine cone hop character comes out backed by a light freshness.

The body delivers on that promise of the aroma. It is mainly straightforward hop bitterness, light charring and a slightly dry kick, but with resinous edges. The bitterness goes hard, into occasionally harsh with gunpowder tea like notes, but with just enough grapefruit release for it to work

There are sweeter notes, with apricot and kiwi, but fruit wise the tarter grape and grapefruit notes are doing the heavy lifting. Even that is never the main course of the beer, but they are evident enough to freshen it up and keep it from being too harsh.

As time passes the bitterness, greenery and hops rise to dominate the beer, and it is the main thrust at the end. Which admittedly is exactly what I wanted from a west coast.

Not unusual, or fancy, but as I say, damn this does exactly what I want from a west coast. Bitter, resinous and just enough release from the harshness.

I have missed this.

Background: It is getting hard to get American craft beer over here in the UK, outside of a couple of regulars that have become commonplace, so when I saw that there was a website called “Beer Bruvs” that was importing and selling some lesser seen craft beer from over there I thought I would give them a go, see how they do. Even if Beer Bruvs as a name is like nails on a blackboard for me. I will not judge them on that. Mostly. While I am not cult like in my need for freshness, I will be posting canned dates where relevant, as a new importer am am interested in what sort of turn around they have on beers, especially the hoppy ones. Now, these are cans which will help, and frankly with COVID, Brexit and the like hitting the entire infrastructure right now I am more than happy giving them leeway, but is is still useful info for you all to know when I am doing notes. This one is dated as 16/03/21 (Yes I changed to UK style dates), so pretty good – probably the freshest of the IPAs they sent. A few different IPAs were back from Sept last year, which isn’t the worst, but may put off people who want them super fresh. Anyway, I don’t know much about the brewery, but was excited to try a proper old USA made West Coast IPA (Even if the brewery is, I think, based on the east coast) – been a while and I adore the style. I went with Mclusky: Mcluskyism as backing music for this for some random energy.

Elusive Brewing: Oregon Trail – West Coast IPA (England: IPA: 5.8% ABV)

Visual: Just slightly less than clear, yellowed body. Medium carbonation and a medium sized centimetre of a white foam head.

Nose: Vanilla yogurt. Flour. Popcorn feeling bitterness and hops. Slight lemon sherbet. Generally quite clean. Bready as it warms.

Body: Good bitterness. Bready, doughy character. Peppery. Brown bread. Subtle grapefruit. Lemon sherbet. Slight sulphur.

Finish: Dry. Peppery. Harsh bitterness. Resinous. Sour dough. Dry lemon cakes. Vanilla fudge.

Conclusion: So, since it seems that the classic West Coast IPA is getting a bit of a resurgence, it is only right and proper that, after I have been calling for more of them, I at least drink some of them as well. So I did, and this is one of them. Naturally.

Initially this is very bready, and surprisingly sturdy with that, along with a slightly sulphurous dough like character – however with that said, this still brings the bitterness well, along with a peppery character, giving a recognisable west coast style hop character.

As it warms it becomes slightly drier, which makes it much more evidently West Coast, but it still has more of a bready weight than I would otherwise expect. I am used to a more clean and dry west coast, but this still utterly rocks the bitterness and the resinous character, so gets a lot of the basics right.

The citrus hop character promised is less evident. There is a gentle background of grapefruit notes and a slight sherbet lemon. Nice, but very restrained. It feels like a bit bigger citrus pop over the generally good base would really make this shine. While a bit over weighty in general, this has the attenuated bitterness set, and if a more fresh punch was there as a contrast the two would really set each other off well.

So, a nice bitter kick, not fancy, but it is an IPA that remembers to be resinous, bitter and hop forwards and I will never not respect that!

Background: I have been on a heck of a West Coast IPA kick recently, it is just me being rubbish at actually doing notes recently that explains why this blog hasn’t been awash with them. Thankfully, after a bit of time away during the height of the NEIPA craze, the West Coasters have started showing up again, giving me a lot to pick from. West Coast IPAs tend to be be drier, and more concentrating on bitter hops that their sweeter and more full malt bodied East Coast cousins. Which is fine by me. Elusive are a brewery I have only hit a few times before, generally good if nothing standing out as a must have so far. This was grabbed from the ever reliable Independent Spirit. Shocking I know. Music wise I went with a mix of Prodigy tunes while drinking, mainly from Experience and Music For a Jilted Generation. Classic tunes.

Barrier: Money (USA: IPA: 7.3% ABV)

Visual: Hazy, cloudy lemon curd colour with large yellowed white mounded head. Lots of small bubbled carbonation.

Nose: Apricot skin. Nicely bitter hop character. Jiff lemon. Pineapple.

Body: Good bitterness. Sweet pineapple. Grapefruit touch. Tart grapes. Resinous style. Light chalk touch. Light strawberry.

Finish: Oily hop bitterness. Growling bitter character, but of medium intensity. Caramel touch. Peach. Gritty hop grip. Light strawberry. Grapefruit.

Conclusion: Ok short version – This is a good IPA, the Double Dry Hopped variant is better. This is good, that is great. Got that? Cool now for people who want more, here is the long version.

This is more instantly cloudy, on first pour it already had the NEIPA cloudy look that only came late pour for the DDH version. Thankfully, like DDH it still holds the hops – still resinous and oily. Less so, but still rocking a full variety of the hop range.

It is more evidently pineapple led, in quite a sweet but fresh take with some tarter grapefruit notes behind. This is bigger on the citrus pop, but has less range to go with it. When you combine the bigger emphasis on the citrus with the more subtle hop style it makes for a more general drinking, fresh, IPA but at the cost of some complexity in exchange for that lovely drinkability.

It still has that backing malt sweetness, more evident in the caramel touches in the finish, present but unobtrusive in the main body – giving just enough sweetness and weight for the hops to work against.

It is a lovely IPA – fresh, just enough East coast style sweetness, but very restrained against a sweet, tart citrus feel that reminds me of New Zealand beers, matched with a good range of hop expression.

Don't mistake not being as good as the DDH version and not being worth trying. This is still a joy.

Background: Last month I tried Money DDH edition, and found it very much to my taste. I was tempted to just grab another can of it, but decided to grab the baseline Money to see how it works, and what it was they built off. Hope that doesn't turn out to be a big mistake. Another one grabbed from Independent Spirit, same place I grabbed the DDH version. Went with Ghost: Prequelle as backing music. Looking at the internet Ghost seems to be either the greatest thing ever, or a crime against metal and I should be ashamed to listen to it. This is my first Ghost album and … it’s fun, reminds me of 80’s stadium metal and Sigh’s Gallows Gallery. Lighter than my usual metal, but full of energy.

Thin Man: Jar Of Green (USA: IPA: 7% ABV)

Visual: Yellow to cloudy peach skin coloured main body. Massive yellow white loose bubbled head that leaves suds.

Nose: Clean. Good fluffy hop feel and some hop bitterness. Peach. Pineapple. Vanilla custard.

Body: Thick. Oily bitterness. Greenery. Just below acrid level hop character. Soft charring. Brown bread. Heavy feeling. Smoke and sulphur.

Finish: Lots of greenery. Smoke. High hop bitterness. Sulphur. Peppery.

Conclusion: Ok, this does what it says on the tin. This is very green, be it in actual greenery notes, or smoke and sulphur notes. By smoke and sulphur notes, I am assuming from the name and nature of this beer that this is made with fresh, wet green hops, which gives it a vegetable character and those aforementioned sulphur characteristics. It makes it quite a brutal beer for drinking.

Oddly, on doing a google search I found this beer listed as a NEIPA multiple times, which led to me asking two questions. 1) How the fuck do I find a non NEIPA IPA these days? And 2) What does NEIPA even mean now? Does it just mean hazy? As it matches exactly zero other expected characteristics for a NEIPA for me. I’m enjoying it for one.

However, while I am enjoying it – it is very one note. The aroma possesses some fruit notes, yes, but that ain’t what you get once you start sipping. It is all heavy, dark, dank hops – all charring, greenery, smoke and bitterness all the time. As a burst of a beer I like it, but it could get old very fast.

The malt does try to show some sweetness, but it rarely comes up, instead showing itself mainly in the very thick mouthfeel.

Not one I would recommend as a general drinking beer, but it is an utter blunt burst of green hops. As I say, it does what it says on the tun.

I’m fairly sure you know from that if you will enjoy it or not.

Background: Another one grabbed from Independent Spirit’s new batch of USA beers from breweries I had not tried before. Another one that unexpectedly turned out to be hazy. There seriously needs to be a law that this stuff needs to be listed on the can! Ok not that seriously. Also I am fairly sure when it says pint it means tiny USA pint. I miss my extra 95ml. Anyway, went with The Germs: MIA The Complete Germs as backing music. Early smart punk which I have a soft spot for but hadn’t revisited for a while. Not much else to add. Too warm. Fuck Covid-19.

Barrier: Money 2 Times Dry Hopped IPA (USA: IPA: 7.3% ABV)

Visual: Pale hazy lemon juice colour. Huge white mounded ice cream float looking head that leaves suds. Moderate bubbled carbonation and some sediment on final pour.

Nose: Pineapple. Juicy. Wheaty hop character and low but present bitterness. Slightly dry. Lemon juice. Vanilla ice cream.

Body: Vanilla. Buttery. Good hop character. Vanilla ice cream. Kiwi and lime. Resinous. Lots of greenery. Hop oils. Lightly “dank”. Apricot. Creamy. Custard notes.

Finish: Good hop bitterness. Choc toffee eclairs sweets. Good hop character. Some charring. Hop oils. Resinous and “dank”.

Conclusion: Ok there is some serious sediment and haze in this beer, it just didn’t come out in my first pour. The second pour where I emptied the can emptied everything out and really changes this beer!

On first pour this had a good hop character and some bitterness, but it pushed the fruit character more with great kiwi character, and some apricot and pineapple. It had some resinous and hop oil characteristics but they served more as a backing to a fruity IPA.

Then, after taking my time to enjoy this I rolled the remainder of the beer around the can and added it into the glass for a nice refill. Instantly it is more hazy – I was suddenly nervous, was this going to go full NEIPA on me and just be all fruit and hide the hops? Then I saw the sediment that came with it. Was this a good sign of hop character, a sign of bad filtering, a problem, an opportunity, all of the above?

I should not have worried. It became oily, resinous and yes …sigh ..”dank” – all nicely bitter. Whatever had been left in the latter third of the can made this the beer I wanted as soon as it was poured in. Still fruity, but now with the hops up front in all their varied resinous, oily, bitter and fluffy stylings.

Still lightly caramel sweet, with a creamy thick body, but now using it all to kick. Sweet apricot, kiwi, etc are all still there. Custard and toffee notes and still there, especially in the finish, but holy heck it kicks the hops up a notch.

I am digging it. The second pour took this from good to great. Enjoy it if you can.

Background: Independent Spirit had a bunch of breweries from USA I’d not encountered before in, so I decided to grab a couple to try. With a weak pound and all the crap going on we don’t get many of the less mainstream USA breweries these days so was very happy to try. Went mainly with some IPAs as, in general, it seems to be a style where the USA does it best. I don’t know what it is, and it is generalising a massive amount of breweries both in the USA and the world, but they seem to hit the spot more often than most. Anyway, this is a double dry hopped version of the original Money, which I have not drunk so cannot compare. On ratebeer this is listed as a NEIPA – while it is slightly cloudy on the eye it didn’t really hit me as that, but maybe that is because I enjoyed it and I am massively biased against NEIPAs. Who can say? Went with Evil Scarecrow: Galactic Hunt as backing music. Funny, b-movie, horror Metal. Something absurd and fun was just what I needed.

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