Tag Archive: IPA


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.

Wild Beer Co: Circadian IPA (England: IPA: 6.5% ABV)

Visual: Cloudy dark lemon juice colour. Large off white bubbly head that looks fragile but lasts.

Nose: Oats. Peppery. Horse blankets. Crushed barley biscuits. Soft lime. Dried apricot.

Body: Thick and sticky. Sour cream and chives. Bitter. Oats and muesli. Dried sultanas. Gooseberry. Slight backing toffee. Prickly hops. Peach skin. Lime. Bitter red wine. Late on dried dark fruit.

Finish: Peppery. Bitter. Oats and muesli. Hoppy and earthy. Dried apricot. Tart grapes. Charring. Herbal. Dry white wine and bitter dry red wine. Dried raisins.

Conclusion: With all the odd methods used to make this beer it all comes together to make a beer that feels like an earthy, rustic saison with the bitter hops shoved way up.

Up front it is quite thick and bitter. It tastes like of like drinking mashed up peppered oats, but with that yeast funk giving a distinct feel and flavour. Here, early on, it is all about that feel. The oat mouthfeel and flavour, matched with the earthy rustic taste pushes away any subtle notes that try to make themselves known.

Time lets you acclimatise and lets the beer open up. It is still sticky and sour creamed touched, still bitter, but now with a smoother toffee malt note desperately trying to show itself from under the weight. Similarly a subtle peach and lime set of notes poke out at the edges. It gives just a hint of a release from the rustic main style.

The closest comparison I could make is to Stone Brewing’s Enjoy After IPA, though the comparison may not be completely fair as I have not aged this one at all yet (I do have a second bottle for ageing). That beer was drier ( though this is still fairly dry) and more harshly bitter (though this is still fair bitter) which makes me wonder if similar is to come here?

Id say, comparing the two, that this is better, so far at least. It has a more distinct progression, especially late on where you start getting a mix of dry white and red wine notes coming out and much more in the way of apricot notes. It is still definitely a beer in the interesting examination over casual enjoyment camp as the tail end is where the beer really starts to stand out. The aforementioned wine notes start playing amongst the heavier front. You start getting dried dark fruit and here, in my second pour, and the later end of the beer is when it is at its most interesting and complex, but you have to do a lot of work to get here.

While it is never a bad beer, to get this beer at its best you really need to dedicate some time for each layer of flavour to come out. Early on it is simple but ok, still different and heavy, but only ok. Give it time and it gives you a lot in return.

Definitely worth investigating if you are willing to take your time, never quite becomes closer to great than interesting – but it sure rewards you for taking an interest.

Background: Ok, going to be a lot of copying from the bottle for this one, there is a lot going on. Pitched as the culmination of everything they have learned over seven years (Seven years, already? Darn time flies) this is an IPA where the wort is cooled in Coolships ( open top flat cooling traditionally used for lambics), with added Kviek Farmhouse yeast (which I’ve seen around a bit but I think this is my first actual taste of), Brett and white wine yeast was added after fermentation, then aged in various oak barrels, blended, then dry hopped with mosaic. So, yeah a lot going on there. As a huge fan of Wild Beer when they started up I’ve been meaning to grab some more stuff from them for a while, and this made me finally take the plunge and order from their web site. Well, that a 10% discount for first order, the fact they had the awesome Yadokai going cheap as it was near its best before date (and I am sure it will only better with age), and a few other bits I wanted to pick up. Anyway wax topped, which oft gets on my nerves these days, but it is a big anniversary beer, and was fair easy to get off so I’m ok with it this time. Went With Run The Jewels 2 for music – only got into them recently and checking out their back catalogue, and it is intense!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marston: Devil’s Backbone: American IPA (England: IPA: 5.2% ABV)

Visual: Clear browned gold body. An off white, thin head that leaves suds as it descends.

Nose: Good hop character. Soft lime. Fresh dough to brown bread. Slight sulphur. Greenery.

Body: Solid bitterness. Mild golden syrup. Creamy lime and kiwi. Reasonably thick body with syrupy touches. Pine needles and resin. Vanilla and custard touches.

Finish: Lime. Reasonable bitterness and hop character. Prickly hops. Kiwi. Vanilla fudge. Resin. Hop oils. Grapes. Sugared apricots.

Conclusion: You know, I may catch some shit for this, but this is a solid IPA.

The body however is, well, odd I will admit. It has that standard, slightly syrupy thick style that Marstons seem to use in their beers a lot. Not really American IPA style, any of them, but still something I can live with here.

What I like about this is that it actually uses the damn hops like they always used to in an IPA. Good bitterness, solid resinous character and hop oils along with a fluffy hop feel. It may not be a masterclass but I can taste a nice hop kick. I’m missing that in a lot of IPAs these days, even when I avoid NEIPAs.

Fruit hop flavour wise it is a reasonable if not not inspiring mix of green fruit – lime, kiwi and grape, all quite sweetly delivered. In fact the whole thing is fairly sweet under the hops with a heavy vanilla influence over the slightly syrupy body.

It’s decent, a very Marston familiar body meets good hop use, if with unoriginal hop flavours choice, but you know, I’ll take that. A nice hop kick with an odd choice of malt backing.

I genuinely could see this being a nice regular beer to visit for a good hop infusion. Not stand out, but goes down nicely and not too expensive.

Background: While they are back via delivery, for a while in this virus lock-down a lot of bottle shops have been closed. So I decided to take advantage of this time to look at how the beer selection has changed in supermarkets over the years and do some notes. This one is from a local Co-Op. I first saw This beer in one of my rare visits to Weatherspoons. I respect Weatherspoons’ beer selection and decent price, but their owner is a grade A fucking shit. So, I tend to only go when mates want to or it is the only available choice. No seriously, the owner is a complete cockwomble. Devil’s Backbone is a USA brewery but this was brewed at Martson’s in the UK. First time around people from Devil’s Backbone came over to help, now I’m guessing it is just brewed under licence or similar. I found this out by a quick google, my suspicions were raised by a) The brewer listed as Marstons hidden in small print on the back of the label. And b) the text that opens “Hey there Englanders!” followed by some real folksy bullshit. In my experience no beer label from a beer actually brewed in the USA opens with anything quite that twee. Anyway, I put on a bunch of old superbursts and other Warren Ellis curated music podcasts while drinking.

Brew By Numbers: Broaden and Build: C5 India Pale Ale – Blood Orange (England: IPA: 7% ABV)

Visual: Pale grapefruit juice colour – opaque at the top, and clear around the edges. Large white, loose head.

Nose: Orange rind. Vanilla. Fluffy hops. Tangerine.

Body: Prickly hops. Malt chocolate and toffee. Bitty orange juice. Vanilla yogurt.

Finish: Tangerine to blood orange. Toffee malt character. Crisp hops. Moderate bitterness. Prickly feeling. Peppery. Nettles.

Conclusion: OK, orangey, yep this has orange notes, got that. Not 100% sure it is screaming blood orange to me, but definitely orangey.

This still manages to surprise me though. The malt bill does not come through in any way like what I expected. It hints towards East Coast style IPAs with the malt use coming through with malt chocolate and toffee styled darker sweetness. Not what I would expect for a blood orange IPA, and not what the lighter coloured body on the eye made me expect. It makes for a very solid malt base, the heavier character possibly is why some of the lighter orange notes don’t express themselves as much as they may have as they have to contend with that dark sweetness. Instead the malt provides a solid base for a prickly, nettle like hop character and moderate bitterness.

Now, its most direct competitor, or point of comparison, is Beavertown’s Bloody ‘Ell. I prefer that for its fresher and more orange emphasising character, but they are very different beers despite sharing a similar base conceit. This is more solidly beer like, really showing the base malts and the hop prickle – I can respect that. The orange is a dominant characteristic, but this isn’t afraid to let the beer do a good chunk of the work as well.

Its a very solid beer. Good use of the special character but not excessively so. I prefer a bit more out of the way malt in my IPAs but that is personal taste, this is still solid.

Background: Been a while since I grabbed a Brew By Numbers beer, and I’ve only had one, pretty decent, encounter with Broaden and Build. Keep meaning to grab more BBN beers though. They have a huge rep behind a fairly simple numbers based facade. So, I saw this, and I remember enjoying my previous encounter with a Blood Orange IPA from Beavertown, and wanted an IPA. So I grabbed it. Another Independent Spirit beer, who are, understandably, closed at the moment. My heart is breaking still. In respect there is no music listed for this tasting note, and no it is not just because I forgot to write it down.

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