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Brewdog New England IPA v2

July 14, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.75

A new release from Brewdog now and one that was only introduced by the brewery just over a week ago but it was one that I was eager to try so I made a point of visiting one of their bars and sampling it on-tap within a day of its initial release. The beer is a reworking of an early collaboration between Brewdog and Cloudwater brewing based in Manchester, their New England IPA which I consider to be the best beer that Brewdog has ever released so naturally I was looking forward to this one. The beer is an 8.5% abv. double IPA which comes in a fair bit stronger than the 6.8% of the original so I did have the fear going in that the quality would suffer like it did when the brewery increased the strength of their Born To Die beer earlier this year only to reduce it again with the next release in the series. I’ve only tried a few New England style IPA’s so far, mainly because it’s still a relatively new style of beer but it is definitely one that I’m a big fan of and I was hoping that would carry over to my first double IPA in the New England style with this offering; here’s what I thought of it when I tried it last week.

Appearance (4/5): Very hazy golden in colour with a yellow hue to it, the beer was quite bright and opaque looking but sadly there wasn’t an overly impressive head to it, all that was left by the time I placed it on the table was a thin, foamy white lacing that was turning slightly patchy but the colour was a nice one.
Aroma (7/10): Not an immediately strong beer on the nose given it was an 8.5% abv. offering but there was a good combination of citrus and pineapple to kick things off before more touches of tropical fruit appeared nearer the middle. Some subtle hops showed around this point too with a few juicy notes and touches of orange and lemon nearer the end. Overall it was a very fresh offering but one that I’d have preferred came through stronger than it did.
Taste (7/10): Starting in a similar fashion to the nose, the taste kicks off with a combination of citrus flavours that is mainly orange and lemon but with some pineapple not too far behind either. The beer was again very fresh with a subtle bitterness off the back of the hops throughout,  there was some juicy flavours and a few tropical ones sitting in the background too which all seemed slightly stronger than with the nose and as such were a welcome change.
Palate (4/5): Smooth and sitting with a medium body and a nice balance too, the beer definitely wasn’t as strong as anticipated for an 8.5% beer and for the most part the alcohol content was masked behind the subtle hops and the tropical, juicy flavours. There was quite a lively feel this one at times, likely from the citrus in the taste and there was moderate carbonation throughout but it was a little lighter than I’d have liked which stopped it from being as good as the original version in my opinion.

Overall (15/20): Very nice stuff again from Brewdog here and ordinarily this would be a beer that I would have loved but given it’s a reworking of the best beer I’ve ever tried from the brewery the bar is naturally set a little higher for this one. The beer open with a pleasant citrus taste that was backed up by some pineapple and the odd tropical flavour, the balance was good too and surprisingly little of the alcohol content was showing so the beer was easy-going and highly drinkable. The main disappointment for me was the fact that the beer was a lot lighter than expected, the nose in particular coming through weaker than expected and overall the original version of this beer was much better in my opinion.

Brewed In: Ellon, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Brewery: Brewdog/Cloudwater (collaboration)
First Brewed: 2017
Full Name: Brewdog vs. Cloudwater New England IPA v2
Type: Double IPA
Abv: 8.5%
Serving: Keg (Half Pint)
Purchased: Brewdog DogHouse (Glasgow)
Price: £4.28

Brewdog B-Side Vermont IPA

February 28, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 4.05

Yet another new Brewdog beer now and this one is a new release from them for 2017, following hot on the heels of their New England IPA brewed in collaboration with Manchester’s Cloudwater brewery and released a few weeks ago. This one is a small batch offering from Brewdog under their B-Side label and appears to be available only at some of their UK bars on keg only. The beer, like the New England IPA, is a ‘Vermont’ style IPA that seems to be the latest craft beer trend coming out of the state but it’s one that I’m fully behind if the beers are all as good as the first of the style that I tried. I spotted that my local Brewdog bar had this one on-tap recently and was hopeful of trying it when I visited over the weekend, thankfully it was still available and managed to have it a couple of times over the course of the evening; here’s what I thought of it at the time.

brewdog-b-side-vermont

Appearance (4/5): Quite a cloudy yellow beer that is very much like the brewery’s collaboration with Cloudwater what that I reviewed here previously, their New England IPA. The beer is opaque looking and topped with a foamy white head that is about a quarter of a centimetre tall by the time I got it back to my table, about thirty seconds after that it fades to a thin surface lacing but there is at least some nice lacing sticking to the sides of the glass.
Aroma (8/10): Fresh on the nose with a lot of citrus upfront that are accompanied by a more subtle pine hop aroma. There is some floral hops coming through in the early going too but it’s the tropical fruits that take centre stage, and in particular the pineapple notes are the most noticeable. There was some sweetness and a couple of further background fruits nearer the middle of the beer though and I managed to detect some mango and apricot in there before touches of lemon and a floral bitterness see things out.
Taste (8/10): Matching the nose well, this one opens with some strong hop bitterness that is just a touch stronger than what came through with the nose and it is followed up by some touches of pine and tropical fruits; the mango and apricot again feature with the pineapple from the nose a little weaker here but still the most noticeable of the tropical fruits. Around the middle there is some sweetness off the back of some caramel flavours and other sweet malts. Towards the end some lemon and grassy hops start to come through as well and round things off nicely.
Palate (4/5): Medium bodied and a very fresh, lively beer that has a subtle bitterness that again reminds me of the recent New England IPA from the brewery. There was a pleasant tang to proceedings with some sweetness nearer the middle thanks to some caramel as well as the tropical fruits. The balance of the beer was a good one and it turned out to be a very easy beer to drink but I felt it could have been a touch stronger at times to make it a great palate.

Overall (17/20): Another very nice ‘Vermont IPA’ from Brewdog and as expected after seeing it pour, the beer was quite similar to their recent New England IPA brewed with help from Cloudwater but sadly this one wasn’t quite as good. This particular offering was a slightly lighter version the same beer with the pineapple flavours again coming through strongest on top of very pleasant floral and subdued pine hops to give the beer quite a fresh, balanced taste. Despite not being the better of the two Vermont IPA’s I’ve tried from the brewery, this beer is still an excellent one that is well worth trying and I’m hopeful it will turn into a regular offering from the brewery in the coming months; very enjoyable and one I’ll try to have again soon.

Brewed In: Ellon, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Brewery: Brewdog
First Brewed: 2017
Also Known As: Brewdog Small Batch Vermont IPA
Type: New England IPA
Abv: 7.4%
Serving: Keg (Schooner)
Purchased: Brewdog DogHouse, Glasgow, Scotland
Price: £3.47

Brewdog New England IPA

February 27, 2017 2 comments

Rating: 4.6

A new collaborative offering from Brewdog now, this one brewed in conjunction with Manchester’s Cloudwater brewery and was released in bottles and on-tap at the beginning of February too much fanfare online at the time. The beer is actually one that I’ve already managed to try straight from the keg on two occasions, trying it at Brewdog’s DogHouse bar in Glasgow a couple of days after its release and very much enjoying both schooners I had of it. I opted not to give the beer a proper review at the time given I’d already picked up a bottle of the stuff the day before with a view of reviewing that one but I can confirm it’s an excellent beer. The beer is labelled as a ‘Vermont IPA’ that uses Mosaic and Citra hops to give a more subtly hopped flavour but shouldn’t be confused with Brewdog’s B:Side: Vermont IPA that has been released in small batches at their UK bars and is a beer I hope to try soon. Possibly one of the best Brewdog beers that I’ve ever tried and seeing that it is another limited release from the brewery, it’s one that I plan to try as much of as possible before its gone forever.

brewdog-vs-cloudwater-new-england-ipa

Appearance (5/5): Pouring an unusual coloured yellow amber, this one has a very cloudy body that is pretty much opaque. The head is a centimetre tall, foamy white one that eventually settles about a quarter of a centimetre tall but continues to cover the surface of the beer well; a great start.
Aroma (9/10): Very fruity and hoppy in the early going without being an overly pungent nose, there is some nice pineapple notes kicking things off before some touches of peach and orange make themselves know but overall it is a very juicy aroma initially. Some tropical notes that included some lemon, mango and papaya came through around the middle with some further hints of pineapple at this stage too. The beer was very fresh on the nose from the start with nice bitterness that was a little more subtle than expected but definitely still noticeable.
Taste (8/10): An excellent continuation of the nose with an early burst of tropical fruits kicking things off again, the pineapple in particular being quite noticeable. There was some peach, apricot and a little mango following on behind this and I could detect some of the orange, papaya and citrus lemon soon after. The beer was very fresh tasting with some faint pine and grassy flavours nearer the middle before a very subtle hint of sweetness made an appearance along with a touch of spice. There is a nice bitterness nearer the end that’s quite floral and juicy, helping to round the beer off very nicely indeed.
Palate (5/5): Medium bodied and quite a bitter offering without being pungent or too resinous, the hops provided more of a juicy, floral bitterness that was backed up with a nice citrus tang. The balance of the beer was near perfect, the fruits all working well together and the subtle sweetness nearer the end added a nice dimension as things drew to a close. It was a lively carbonated beer that was very fresh and surprisingly easy to drink; outstanding stuff.

Overall (18/20): Excellent stuff from Brewdog and Cloudwater here, this one is a great beer that grabs your attention straight away thanks to the abundance of fresh hops and juicy flavours that kick things off. It’s a more subtly bitter taste than I’ve come to associate Brewdog with but it is great with plenty of pineapple and a great combination of tropical fruits and citrus flavours backing it up. The balance of the beer was particularly good with the hints of sweetness nearer the end coming quite unexpectedly but they very much appreciated. This one is easily up there with the best beers Brewdog has produced and it makes me all the more excited to try a couple more from Cloudwater as well; this one is definitely a must try.

Brewed In: Ellon, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Brewery: Brewdog/Cloudwater (collaboration)
First Brewed: 2017
Full Name: Brewdog vs. Cloudwater New England IPA
Type: New England IPA
Abv: 6.8%
Serving: Bottle (660ml)
Purchased: Brewdog BottleDog (Glasgow)
Price: £6.08