Archive for the ‘Imperial/Double IPA’ Category

Brewdog Hop Shot

Rating: 3.85

Another new Brewdog beer for me now, this is one that was actually released way back in later 2016 as a one-off from the brewery that I have spotted a few times on the Brewdog website but have continually avoided picking up but since I had a 30% off discount recently I decided to grab a bottle and see how it rates. Coming in at a massive 22%, this eisbock comes in an unusually sized 110ml bottle that’s a third of the standard sized bottles from the brewery but it’s a strong beer so that seems sensible. This one will actually be the second strongest beer that I’ve ever tried and follows on from the similarly styled Watt Dickie offering from the brewery that I tried back in December but didn’t really enjoy; hopefully this one proves to be a little more palatable. Labelled as a quadruple IPA, this one is brewed with grapefruit peel, oranges and yuzu as well as some pine hap and resin so I’m expecting something with a few hops showing despite the fact that the beer was bottled about a year and a half ago.

Appearance (4/5): Pouring as quite a thick beer, this one was a bright amber colour with a clear body and absolutely no sign of a head despite an aggressive pour. It was a still beer with a clear body but that was to be expected given the strength of the beer.
Aroma (8/10): Quite a lot of hops kick things off with some grapefruit and pine coming through too but it definitely wasn’t as resinous as normal for such a strong IPA, it was a super strength offering though so it’s not a total surprise. There was a lot of heavy alcohol notes with some grain around the middle too but some orange and even a little banana showed at this point followed by some peach and background sweetness too. The beer was surprisingly complex on the nose with the alcohol dominating but enough other characteristics showing to keep it interesting.
Taste (7/10): Incredibly strong stuff with a lot of oily hops kicking things off followed by some nice grapefruit and pine. There was a tonne of alcohol and grain in the early going with some sweet malts, I got some caramel and sugars as well as some marzipan too but the alcohol definitely dominated. There was some spice near the end with hints of orange and a couple background fruits, mainly peach and mango but touches of apricot too.
Palate (4/5): Very thick and full-bodied, the beer was an oily effort with a touch of carbonation that made it seem crisp and even tangy at points. It was sporadically sweet too with quite a warming feel further on and some faint spice came through alongside the oily hop bitterness that closed things out.

Overall (15/20): Very thick and strong, the beer is oily with a very hoppy feel and quite a lot of bitterness as well. There’s a lot of alcohol grain that seems to dominate but there was some citrus and even some banana coming through as well, something I hadn’t expected. It’s definitely one to sip and very much a one-off beer but it was more drinkable than anticipated despite the alcohol content and how boozy it was.

Brewed In: Ellon, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Brewery: Brewdog
First Brewed: 2016
Type: Eisbock/Imperial IPA
Abv: 22.0%
Serving: Bottle (110ml)
Price: £4.55



June 13, 2018 1 comment

Rating: 4.45

Following on from their DIPA v3 2018 and their DIPA v3.1 that I’ve tried recently,  this one is another re-brew from Cloudwater that I picked up from their online store recently, this one a replication of a beer that they brewed last year with Virginia based The Veil over in the United States but this time the beer has been brewed in Manchester, presumably by Cloudwater alone. The beer is a ‘triple’ IPA that originally came in at 10.9% abv. but is now slightly reduced at 10% but is still one that I’m quite excited about trying, I made the bold decision to pick up two cans before I’d even tried it so hopefully I won’t be disappointed. I’m definitely a fan of this latest initiative from Cloudwater and wouldn’t mind seeing them re-release a few more of their older beers since they have fast become one of my favourite brewery’s and it would be good to try some of their beers that I missed in the past.

Appearance (5/5): An pale orange colour that is almost apricot colour with some yellow and pink tinges through it and the body itself is cloudy to the point of being opaque. Initially the head is a centimetre tall, foamy one that is white in colour before settling as a thin surface lacing that starts to turn patchy after a minute or so but is excellent given the strength of the beer.
Aroma (8/10): Fresh with a lot of mango and peach opening things up, it’s a very tropical nose with some pine hops in there as well as some pineapple. It’s slightly resinous with a touch of orange showing before some sweetness starts to come through towards the middle with oily hops following. It’s not an overly complex beer but it was definitely fresh and strong with touches of alcohol right at the death but it was a good balance on the nose overall.
Taste (8/10): Oily hops and some resinous pine flavours kick off the taste with plenty of juicy fruits and tropical flavours in the early going too; mango dominated but again there was some pineapple, apricot and peach in there too. It was quite a strong tasting beer with lots of sweetness at point but for the most part the alcohol was well hidden, only a touch started to show towards the end light the nose but it definitely wasn’t overpowering.
Palate (5/5): Very juicy and naturally quite a hop-filled beer as well, this one was a resinous offering that had a medium body and light carbonation, although it was quite a sharp and dry beer from the start. The alcohol was well hidden right until the end and the balance was a good one too which in turn made it an easy one to drink; excellent stuff.

Overall (17/20): Great stuff from Cloudwater as I’ve come to expect, this one was an incredibly juicy and fruity beer that had some pleasant tropical flavours and a little resinous pine coming through but seemed to be balanced out nicely with a surprising amount of sweetness showing at points too. It was quite a dry offering with mango flavours dominating and some peaches sitting in the background with a few other light fruits and citrus flavours before some touches of warming alcohol showed nearer the end. Great stuff from the brewery and one that I’d definitely pick up from time to time if it was a regular offering; I’m just glad I’ve still got a second can to drink over the coming weeks.

Brewed In: Manchester, England
Brewery: Cloudwater Brew Co./The Veil (collaboration)
First Brewed: 2017
Type: Double IPA
Abv: 10.0%
Serving: Can (440ml)
Price: £6.00

Cloudwater DIPA v3 2018

June 13, 2018 1 comment

Rating: 4.15

Following on from my recent review of their DIPA v3.1, this one is a similar offering from Cloudwater but this one is a closer re-brew to their original DIPA v3 from 2016. The main changes between this beer and the original are the type of yeast used (WLP095 instead of Vermont ale yeast this time) and the abv. has been reduced from 9% to the current 8.5% but since I never got to try the original this one one I was eager to try. Some of the reviews I’ve seen online have been mixed with a lot of people preferring the original but I’m still hoping this will be a good one as I’ve yet to try a back IPA or double IPA from the Manchester based brewery.

Appearance (4/5): Hazy orange to light amber in colour and topped with a half centimetre tall, bubbly white head that covers the surface well initially before starting to turn patchy at one side.
Aroma (7/10): Not quite as pronounced as I’d expected to be honest but there was some citrus and pine opening things with a few background grapefruit notes. It’s got a hint of tropical fruit to it and some grassy touches before a few caramel notes start to come through and impart some sweetness as they do. It’s slightly resinous towards the end with a few floral and herbal notes coming through and the balance was quite good too but I’d have liked it to be a little stronger on the nose if I’m honest.
Taste (8/10): Coming through stronger than the nose did, the taste kicks off with some citrus and pine hops that are moderately bitter and backed up with some mango and apricot flavours as well as a couple more background tropical fruits that include grapefruit and papaya. It’s a fresh taste with some stone fruit followed by some caramel and earthy malts but neither of these seemed as strong as they did with the nose since the hops and tropical fruits came through more pronounced this time around; very nice stuff.
Palate (5/5): Very fresh and bitter with plenty of hops showing from the start, although they did seem a lot more pronounced with the taste and it was quite a resinous beer too. It’s a crisp and tangy beer that’s well carbonated and very well balanced too which made it easier to drink than is the norm for an 8.5% abv. beer; excellent stuff.

Overall (17/20): Fresh and tropical with plenty of mango, apricot and orange coming through from the start but I’d have liked to have seen the nose coming through a little stronger. The beer is very well balanced and easy to drink with the majority of the alcohol content hidden by the hops and tropical fruits as well as the touches of sweetness and caramel malts further on; great stuff and definitely a beer that I’d pick up again if it wasn’t a limited release.

Brewed In: Manchester, England
Brewery: Cloudwater Brew Co.
First Brewed: 2018 (Original recipe from 2016)
Type: Double IPA
Abv: 8.5%
Serving: Can (440ml)
Price: £4.50

Cloudwater DIPA v3.1

June 13, 2018 2 comments

Rating: 3.75

Not quite a re-brew but a beer that takes inspiration from a previous Cloudwater release, their DIPA v3 from back in 2016, a beer that I sadly never managed to try after only finding out about the series near it finish when v10 was released. This one changed the original recipe slightly and uses flaked outs as well reducing the bitter hops whilst increasing the dry hops; the alcohol content has also been reduced from 9% to the current 8.5% abv. too but this is still a beer that I’m excited to try given how good some of Cloudwater’s previous DIPA’s have been. This was one that I ordered online directly from the brewery along with a couple of other new beers to take advantage of their free delivery in May offer so I’m eager to see how it compares to the DIPA V3 2018 that I ordered at the same time, that one being a closer re-brew of the original 2016 recipe with minor tweaks.

Appearance (4/5): Quite a thick looking and very hazy orange to apricot colour that is topped with a half centimetre, bubbly white head initially but it’s one that disappears soon after to leave only the odd tiny patch of bubbles on the surface; a nice coloured beer but poor head retention lets it down some.
Aroma (7/10): Very dank and tropical on the nose with a lot of apricot and mango initially, there was some citrus too though and plenty pineapple. It was quite a sharp nose around the middle with some floral notes and an almost metallic smell that had some pine and grapefruit further on. It was quite fresh but definitely seemed a touch rough around the edges with some herbal touches at the end to see things out.
Taste (7/10): Again quite fruity with lots of tropical flavours including the mango, apricot and pineapple from the nose as well as some papaya and citrus this time around. It’s again quite a dank beer with some resinous pine hops and grapefruit coming through with a sharp taste the matches the style of the nose. It’s quite astringent and bitter with some overripe, juicy fruits rounding things off at the end.
Palate (4/5): Sharp and a very dry beer, there was a lot of hop bitterness and resinous flavours with some oily touches around the middle. It was a relatively full-bodied beer, especially for the style, and was well carbonated and refreshing. Only a touch of alcohol showed nearer the end and it was fairly juicy throughout but was perhaps just a touch too rough and sharp for me to really enjoy it.

Overall (15/20): Strong and hop-filled, this one is dank and resinous with plenty tropical fruits coming through with both the nose and the taste; a good combination of citrus, apricot, mango and pineapple show with both. There was an addition of some papaya and some further background fruits to the taste and only a hint of the 8.5% abv. was showing with this one but the biggest letdown for me was the mouthfeel that seemed a little rough and sharp, almost metallic at time and that was something that took away from the rest of the beer sadly and stopped me from enjoying it as much as I had with some of Cloudwaters previous offerings; it was still a nice beer though but without trying the original I can only assume this one isn’t as good based on some online reviews I already read.

Brewed In: Manchester, England
Brewery: Cloudwater Brew Co.
First Brewed: 2018
Type: Double IPA
Abv: 8.5%
Serving: Can (440ml)
Price: £5.50

Brewdog Eight-Bit

June 13, 2018 1 comment

Rating: 3.9

Quite the collaborative offering here, this one was brewed at Brewdog along with seven other breweries as part of their 2018 AGM; Cloudwater, DEYA, Magic Rock, Northern Monk, Stillwater, The Bruery and Seventh Son all pitching in and helping make this one hence the name. The beer is a double IPA that was released in April this year and is one that I managed to try when finally visiting the brewery’s new Edinburgh bar when I was in the city last month. Apparently each brewery selected a hop to use when making this one and it conveniently comes in at 8% abv. as well which gave it all the ingredients needed to make it a beer I wanted to try.

Appearance (4/5): A hazy yellow to golden colour with a thin, quarter centimetre head on top that was foamy and white but slightly patchy on the surface.
Aroma (7/10): Strong and hop-filled to open, the beer was loaded with tropical fruits and some nice pineapple initially, there was some peach not far behind though. It was fresh and fairly lively with some mango and a floral aroma towards the middle but it was balanced and pleasant smelling without being overpowering; a good start to this collaborative beer.
Taste (8/10): Fresh and quite fruity like the nose, the beer was loaded with mango, peach and pineapple as well as some pine and grapefruit hops. Around the middle some stone fruits and juicy flavours came through as well as some orange; fresh, strong and enjoyable stuff.
Palate (4/5):Smooth and quite fresh with a lively feel and a citrus-type tang towards the middle. The beer was bitter with pine and stone fruit hops imparting most of it without overpowering and some touches of alcohol showing towards the end of a well-carbonated beer that went down nicely despite the strength.

Overall (16/20): Quite a fresh but very bitter beer with a lot of pine, grapefruit and various other tropical flavours coming through from the start alongside some citrus and touches of alcohol a little later on. The beer managed to stay balanced and drinkable throughout without straying too far from the standard for a double IPA and is well worth trying but it’s not the end of the world if you don’t get a chance before it disappears forever.

Brewed In: Ellon, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Brewery: Brewdog (collaboration with multiple breweries)
First Brewed: 2018
Type: Double IPA
Abv: 8.0%
Serving: Keg (Half Pint)
Purchased: Brewdog Lothian Road, Edinburgh, Scotland
Price: £4.50

Cloudwater DIPA Citra Enigma

April 23, 2018 2 comments

Rating: 4.15

An eighth Cloudwater beer now and my first since trying their DDH Ella Ekuanot Pale Ale at a Brewdog bar last summer, this one is another double IPA from the brewery that I went out of my way to pick up after seeing that my local bottle shop had a couple in. I managed to grab a few strong IPA’s from the brewery at the beginning of last year and really enjoyed their DIPA v10, DIPA v11 and DIPA v13 offerings so it was about time that I grabbed another similar beer from the Manchester brewery before it disappeared forever. Brewed with Citra and Enigma hops as the name suggests, this one has Mosaic added in the whirlpool and some New England yeast in there as well so I’m expecting a strong, fruity taste and plenty resinous hops; here’s hoping it’s a good one.

Appearance (4/5): Quite a hazy orange to dark golden colour, this one started with a centimetre tall head that was white and foamy before fading to a thin lacing around the circumference of the glass after about thirty seconds; the body looked great but I’d have liked to see slightly better head retention.
Aroma (7/10): Quite a dank opening with some light citrus hops and tropical notes in the early going without it being overly pronounced or overpowering; I got some pine with a little mango and some pineapple following on behind.  Further on some oranges came through with a resinous aroma and hints of sweetness that complimented the light malts.
Taste (8/10): The taste follows on well from the nose with the same strong hops and citrus coming through but it definitely seemed a touch stronger this time around; there was again plenty of mango and pineapple as well as the oranges that all seemed to add to the hop bitterness. Around the middle the soft malts from the nose were slightly stronger too and again quite dank and juicy with a tropical sweetness seeing things out.
Palate (5/5): Juicy to begin buy definitely turning dry towards the end, the beer is very fresh and zesty throughout with a tonne of hops adding to the bitterness from the very start. It’s a balanced offering with a nice combination of tropical fruits and just enough sweetness from the soft malts towards the end to keep things from overpowering; excellent stuff.

Overall (17/20): Really nice stuff as always from Cloudwater, this one got off to a slightly shakier start with the nose definitely a dank one but there wasn’t that special something to it in the early going; something that when coupled with the poor head retention had me slightly worried. Thankfully things picked up with the taste, it was more of the same but stronger and more pronounced which was nice, the palate in particular was a good one with a juicy start that drier towards the end but stayed balanced throughout. There was nice variety to the beer and despite the strength it was an enjoyable, very easy beer to drink; it’s one I’d have again too.

Brewed In: Manchester, England
Brewery: Cloudwater Brew Co.
First Brewed: 2018
Type: Double IPA
Abv: 8.5%
Serving: Can (440ml)
Purchased: Good Spirits Co. Wine & Beer (Glasgow)
Price: £5.90

144 Roman Heads

February 12, 2018 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.45

My fourth ever beer from Slovakia now but my first since trying three beers from the country when visiting Bratislava back in 2011; it’s been a while. Amazingly this seems to be a country that doesn’t really export beers to the UK, something that is surprising given how many Czech beers seem to make it into supermarket here. This one follows on from the pint of Zlaty Bazant that I tried in Bratislava as my first Slovakian beer in about seven years, the other two from the same trip that I tried were draft servings of Kelt 10% and Šariš 11% Tmavý so this one will be my first ‘craft’ beer from the country as well; hopefully I won’t need to wait as long before trying another in future.

Appearance (4/5): An almost murky amber colour that was cloudy and topped with an oversized, foamy head that was off-white and started about two inches tall before reducing very slightly in size. It looks like quite a strongly carbonated beer as it’s poured but head retention is quite good at least.
Aroma (7/10): Quite a lot of hops kick things off here and there is definitely some grapefruit and pine opening the show with a solid helping of apricot following soon after. I managed to get some sour touches and a little citrus around the middle before some caramel malts and background fruits came through towards the end; there was some orange and grapes in there with a little pear too.
Taste (6/10): Quite bitter with a lot of pine and grapefruit hops in the early going, the beer is quite a resinous one with some tropical fruits showing as well; there was the apricot from the nose with some mango and peach in there too. It’s a strong beer with some apples, grapes and a little sourness around the middle with some citrus not too far behind. The malts are more hidden with the nose, I did manage to get a little biscuit towards the end but the bitterness drowned out most of the rest.
Palate (3/5): Quite a strong beer that was very hoppy and pungent at times, there was a lot of resinous pine and grapefruit kicking things off and I’d liked to have seen more malts to balance this out a little. The alcohol content of the beer was showing towards the end too, although only slightly and it remained drinkable throughout with a dry feel throughout and moderate carbonation.

Overall (15/20): Nice stuff from Unorthodox initially with a lot of hop bitterness on the nose with pine and grapefruit dominating alongside some background fruits. Further on there was some touches of sourness that I hadn’t expected and some sweeter malts started to come through; this carried over to the taste with more bitterness showing this time but the balance could have used some work in truth.

Brewed In: Bratislava, Slovak Republic
Brewery: Unorthodox Brewing
Full Name: Unorthodox 144 Roman Heads 20°
First Brewed: 2017
Type: Double IPA
Abv: 8.1%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Wee Beer Shop (Glasgow)
Price: £3.20