Home > American Pale Ale > Brewdog Hop Fiction Pale Ale

Brewdog Hop Fiction Pale Ale

Rating: 3.25

This one was a new release back from Brewdog way back in the summer of 2015 but it was one that almost completely slipped under my radar after I wrongly assumed it was the same beer as the brewery’s Hop Fiction IPA that was released towards the end of 2014. That particular offering was a prototype beer that I reviewed in early 2015 and wasn’t particularly taken by so I opted not to have it again when I’d assumed it was released with a proper label later that year. As it turns out, the beer was tweaked some with its alcohol content reduced from 6.5% to it’s currently 5.2% as well as it changing from an American IPA to an American pale ale in the process. Today the beer is the spring seasonal from Brewdog and when I released it was a beer that I hadn’t actually tried I then made a point of picking up a can from the Glasgow BottleDog on my last visit and seeing how it compared to the original version that I remember, here’s what I thought.

Appearance (4/5): This one is very light bodied and looks more like a lager than a pale ale at times given its light golden colour that is incredibly clear looking as well. There is a few bubbles rising to the surface of the glass and the head was a fairly decent looking one initially with it sitting about a centimetre tall before it roughly halves in size. The texture of the head is a bubbly one with it eventually turning slightly patchy and although it certainly wasn’t as I’d expected colour wise, it wasn’t a bad-looking beer.
Aroma (6/10): Fresh and floral on the nose initially, there was also some nice citrus notes coming through alongside touches of melon and lemon. It’s not an overly complex beer on the nose but some subtle tropical notes some through, most notably grapefruit and peach coming through. Overall it was quite a zesty but there wasn’t much sign of any malts coming through thus far.
Taste (6/10): Citrus and grassy hops with a few floral touches and a solid lemon taste open this one up. There was some slight tropical flavours coming through with touches of grapefruit and peach in there. Like the nose the beer was relatively zesty with a little orange in there too but it was also quite fresh which was a plus.
Palate (3/5): Slightly thinner than I’d have liked, this one sat somewhere around light-medium bodied with a nice tang and quite a crisp feel to it. The beer had a lot of zest on top with a strongly carbonated feel to proceedings and a fairly fizzy body too. There was a nice floral bitterness from the start as well but the balance could probably have been better, the citrus seemed to dominate a little too much at times.

Overall (13/20): This one turned out to be a bit of a strange beer in that it was a modified version of the early Hop Fiction IPA from the brewery but ended up still tasting like an IPA to me really, there was no sign of the malts or sweetness I’d have expected from a pale ale. It was dominated by floral hops and strong citrus flavours that gave it a zesty feel whilst also being quite dry and strongly carbonated. There was some grassy hops and lemon coming through at times and perhaps it turned out a fractional better beer than the original IPA prototype version but it’s almost to close to separate them and I doubt I’d have either beer again; I definitely struggled to tell the difference between the two.

Brewed In: Ellon, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Brewery: Brewdog
First Brewed: 2015
Type: American Pale Ale
Abv: 5.2%
Serving: Can (330ml)
Purchased: BrewDog BottleDog (Glasgow)
Price: £2.23

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