Verdant: Bloom IPA (England: IPA: 6.5% ABV)
Visual: Hazy apricot to gold. Moderate carbonation. Moderate white fluffy head.
Nose: Good bitterness and fluffy hop character. Lots of pineapple and green grapes. Some apple. Floral. Dried apricot. Vanilla.
Body: Creamy thick texture. Custard slice. Nettles. Hop oils. Kumquat. Passion fruit. Toffee. Kiwi. Milk. Floral. Marshmallow.
Finish: Grapefruit. Grapes and pineapple. Juicy peach. Moderate hop character and bitterness. Some hop oils. Bready. Passion fruit. Milk. Floral air. Lightly peppery.
Conclusion: This is a very creamy, thick and milky IPA. Which was unexpected as the can mentioned it had a “Stripped down malt bill”. Possibly they mean stripped down on flavour rather than body, letting the hops do the legwork. Anyway… This is not a common take, the milkiness and creaminess actually makes it feel malt heavy to me – but the milky character does mean that it feels very different to the standard toffee backbone you normally get with these. There are toffee hints but they are not the core here.
On top of that it has quite a floral character, and is an IPA with good level of hop bitterness and hop oils which gives an nice intensity against the soothing base. The hop oils especially work well as they intertwine with the creamy texture.
Under that you find the more traditional set of IPA notes – a mix of fruits – passion fruit, kiwi and pineapple being the most evident. Again the flavours are thicker and creamier than you would otherwise expect. There are fresh touches which keeps it from being heavy, but less fresh and tart than you would expect – generally in line with the character of the rest of the beer.
Overall it is a soothing feeling but big flavoured IPA. Solid in quality and a bit different. The flavours aren’t world shakers, but they do the job. A more relaxed feeling IPA than most but still solidly bitter – good, not great, but fits nicely at the end of the night when the flavours need to be big, and the thicker feel is welcome as a soother before sleep.
Background: Picked up this can about a week ago from Independent Spirit. Between then and now I drank my first Verdant beer at Small Bar and it was very nice – so went into this hoping for a decent beer. Not much else to add – drunk while listening to Ulver – The Assassination of Julius Caesar. A new album on me, very different to what I expected. Which pretty much is Ulver summed up in one sentance.