Home > American IPA, India Pale Ale > Devil’s Backbone IPA

Devil’s Backbone IPA

Rating: 3.6

This was a beer I was in two minds how to list, on the one hand it could be considered American since it was originally brewed by the Devil’s Backbone Brewing Company based in Virginia but at the same time it was safer to class it as an English beer given it was first brewed on English soil at Wolverhampton’s Banks’s Brewery by the head brewer from Devil’s Backbone last year and is now brewed under license at Banks’s for exclusive sale when passing Wetherspoons pubs in the UK. It’s a beer I’ve seen on a number of occasions now at Wetherspoons pubs and even tried once in the past, again at Edinburgh Airport a couple of months ago despite not reviewing it properly then. Amazingly for a brewery set up in 2008, this marks the first time a Devil’s Backbone beer has been readily available outside of the United States – despite not being a proper beer from them in my opinion but at least it’s a start.

Devil's Backbone IPA

Appearance (4/5): A bright coloured, medium amber with a fairly clear body and white, foamy head that sits about one and a half centimetres tall whilst holding quite well.
Aroma (6/10): Subdued pine hops and a malty, light caramel backing start things off here. There is some citrus/lemon notes coming through alongside a combination of background fruits but the nose does seem quite light for the style in my opinion. There is a burst of tropical fruits but this is fleeting and that’s about it for the nose really, quite a light, subdued aroma here.
Taste (7/10): This one starts with some pine hops and a touch of grapefruit before some biscuit and caramel come through and balance things out some. There is some sweetness coming from these and this is backed up by some fruits sneaking in at the back giving the beer a pleasant enough taste without it ever really exciting.
Palate (4/5): Medium bodied with a naturally dry palate and moderate carbonation, this one is also quite crisp and proved an easy one to drink with quite a nice bitterness coming through from the start.

Overall (14/20): Not a bad beer for a contract brew at all really, this one was fairly enjoyable without really being memorable at all; maybe that had something to do with it being first thing in the morning when I sampled the beer this time. It was an easy beer to drink but I couldn’t help but thinking that a regular IPA from Devil’s Backbone’s state-side operation would be so much better than this one. Not a bad beer by any means but certainly not as good as I’d have hoped for.

Brewed In: Wolverhampton, England
Brewery: Banks’s (Marston’s Plc.)
First Brewed: 2014
Type: American IPA
Abv: 5.2%
Serving: Draught (Pint)
Purchased: The Sir Walter Scott (Edinburgh Airport)
Price: £4.35

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