Home > Belgian IPA, India Pale Ale > First World Problems

First World Problems

Rating: 3.2

My first beer from Stewart Brewing since trying their Weiss Christmas Blanc around Christmas time back in 2014 and it wasn’t a beer that I particularly enjoyed which might be one of the reasons I’ve not had anything else from them except that one offering. This one, their First World Problems, is a Belgian IPA from the Edinburgh based brewery that I received as part of a box from the Beer52 website recently and is one of the beers from the box that I hadn’t already tried prior to receiving it. Brewed with a combination of new world hops and using Belgian yeast, this one is a special offering from the brewery that was actually based on a recipe from home brewer James Hardacre after winning a competition for the honour. After doing a little online research I also discovered that the beer is currently considered one of the best beers in the Belgian Ale category on RateBeer, it currently sits in 20th place on their list and promises to be a good one; I can’t wait to crack it open.

First World Problems

Appearance (4/5): A moderately dark, almost copper tinged amber colour that is topped with a thick and very creamy looking head that is a slightly off-white to cream colour and one that holds remarkably well over the opening few minutes as the beer opens up a little.
Aroma (7/10): The beer is quite a sweet one on the nose, especially after it was given a little time to settle and open up. There was a strong caramel presence early on with the beer and I got some sweet malts and a few background fruits coming through; most notably some apricot and citrus notes. There was a nice pine aroma coming through around the middle and some tropical fruits featured too but overall the beer was relatively subdued on the nose with some bread malts, biscuit notes and a bit of toffee further adding to the sweetness toward the end of proceedings.
Taste (5/10): Starting off with some nice tropical fruits and sweet juices, the taste of some caramel malts quickly follows compliments the sweetness of the fruits. There was an early hit of pine and some nice citrus notes but none of these flavours were quite as pronounced as I’d been expecting going in. There was an earthy bitterness around the middle of this one with some bread and biscuit flavours as well as some light hops sneaking in as well before some toffee and touches of butterscotch feature right at the death.
Palate (3/5): A slightly thicker than expected beer, this one probably sits just past medium bodied and it was a lot sweeter than expected with a good helping of caramel malts throughout and some toffee flavouring towards the end; this coupled with the tropical fruits gave the beer a solid sweetness from the very start. The beer didn’t seem particularly well-balanced and it was quite a bitter one as well, it definitely seemed overdone towards the end and the aftertaste seemed to linger a lot longer than I’d have liked.

Overall (12/20): This one was a beer that I had quite high hopes for, especially after reading about it online and discovering how highly rated it was but in truth it was a bit of a let down and one that I took a while to work my way through. There was a nice start with some decent tropical fruits and fresh, citrus flavours but the sweetness of the beer soon took over and seemed to dominate proceedings from the middle onwards giving the beer an unbalanced feel. This was compounded by the fact that the finish was quite a bitter one that seemed overdone and overall the beer seemed more like an American pale ale than a Belgian IPA which was a shame really and in truth I didn’t really think it worked as an American pale ale either, there’s far better beers out there in my opinion and I’d recommend giving this one a miss sadly.

Brewed In: Edinburgh, Scotland
Brewery: Stewart Brewing
First Brewed: 2015
Type: Belgian IPA
Abv: 6.2%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Beer52.com
Price: £1.62 (approx.)

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