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Hardcore IPA - BrewDog

Not Rated.
Hardcore IPAHardcore IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

527 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 527
Hads: 1,402
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 14.47%
Wants: 35
Gots: 183 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
BrewDog visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  9.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-10-2008

This Imperial India Pale Ale rocks…hardcore! But don’t take our word for it...this little bottle has a grandiloquent story to tell.

2,204 malted Maris Otter grains gave all they had to offer the world to provide the robustly delicate toffee malt canvas for the ensuing epic. 4 Hop Cones willingly sacrificed themselves to ensure your mouth feels punished and puckering for more. 9,900,000,000 yeast cells frantically fermented their little hearts out as the sugars became alcohol in the depths of our fermentation tanks.

2 humans and 1 canine companion were relatively happy with the results.

150 IBU
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Reviews: 527 | Hads: 1,402
Photo of GarthDanielson
3.79/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured on tap in a tulip, the beer is a deep, vibrant, caramel-copper coloring, with a low profile, foamy, off white head. Aromas of pine, dank resinous hops, sugary toffee, toasted grains, bright citrus notes, tangy caramel, roasted notes, and a booze kick. Flavors are roasted and tangy sweet forward, malt heavy, with a toffee and caramel blend, heavily roasted, with a blasting overlay of tropical fruit and citrusy hops. Pineapple, mango, melon, grapefruit, orange, and apricot. There is a decent booze kick in the palate, as well. Very robust flavors on a big, slick body. The aftertaste is rich and tangy tropical fruit sweetness with a toffee blend. The finish is slick, dry, and with a building warmth from the ABV. Unique beer. (737 characters)

Photo of interzen
4.4/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle served into a tulip glass

Look: Deep, coppery red with a certain amount of haze - one fingers-worth of coppery-tinted head with decent retention. Icky sticky lacing left behind as the head recedes.

Smell: Huge amounts of hops, but then you expected that, right? Really, though, that's all there is - there are plenty of little nuances in there: passion fruit, grapefruit, pineapple, mango, if it's tropical there's probably a hint of it in there. Resiny hops not so much, but the fruit aromas are so out there that everything else gets lost in the noise.

Taste: More of the same, with a really interesting underlying sweetness - think in terms of burnt sugar or toffee. This is probably the only hint you'll get that there are actually malts in there. That being said, it's not nearly as bitter as the smell would make you think - true, there's a fairly astringent finish but that strange sweetness keeps everything under control.

Feel: Very smooth, almost creamy - this does not feel like a 9% ABV brew, not one bit.

Overall: Brewdog - love 'em or hate 'em, you can't deny that they can come up with some pretty decent beer. Hardcore is one of them - if it's a big hitting IPA that you're after then this one will tick most or all of the hophead's favourite boxes. It certainly ticked mine - approach with caution on school nights though, the 9.2% ABV is dangerously well hidden. Demands careful drinking and utmost respect! (1,443 characters)

Photo of BeerDawgs
4.29/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L - Copper with little clarity, 1 finger of head and beautiful lacing left all over the glass. Gorgeous IPA

S - Huge hops, whole cone

T - Citrus and pine, perfect blend of both. Well balanced all the way through. Nice kick of alcohol in the aftertaste

F - Medium body and carbonation

O - An awesome DIPA. Well done! (323 characters)

Photo of MaximalC
4.34/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours an opaque bronze color with a meager head of khaki froth that rapidly settles into a layer of frogspawn. Aroma smells like a basket of rich, candied, tropical fruit, featuring mango, grapefruit, pineapple, passion fruit...you name it. There’s also an intoxicating layer of brown sugar, toffee, butterscotch, and booze on the nose; one of the most complex, best-smelling IPAs I’ve come across.

The taste is monstrously full-flavored and decadently sweet for an IPA. The sweetness is a deft amalgam that’s hard to pin down, though raisins, brown sugar, toasted bread, white grapes, and even plums are discernable. The hops are mostly resinous and slightly spicy, with rumors of pineapple representing the tropical fruit that was so prominent in the aroma. Warming alcohol manifests just enough to add more character without taking anything away. A palpable stickiness lingers on the lips between sips. Big body and fine carbonation yield a full, creamy mouthfeel that is absolutely spot-on before yielding slightly on the back end.

And so here we have the secret to a great IPA as I see it: a gargantuan, complex malt profile that makes the reams of hops look like an afterthought by comparison. This IPA would pass admirably for a top-flight American barleywine. Indeed, I’d rank this as one of the best I’ve had in either of those styles. This was my first BrewDog beer, and it was enough for me to totally understand their reputation. I wish I had a second glass to simply enjoy after spending nearly the entire first glass analyzing its many depths--impressive. (1,592 characters)

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours hazy amber under a 1” cream colored foam cap that hugs the side of the glass. It clears up as it warms.
S: Spicy, earthy hop aromas are much more prominent that malt. Not much fruity ester aroma.
T: Fruit, big bitterness, citrus, malt toffee and light caramel, finishing with a lingering bitterness.
F: Creamy, medium full body, medium to medium low carbonation.
O: This is a DIPA with big bitterness with a balancing malt presence. (448 characters)

Photo of JamesStreet
3.91/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A- poured reddish-copper with 1FH off-white in color. Heavy lacing.
S- piney resiny hops, slight citrus, caramel maltiness.
T- piney hop resin, toffee malt, good bitterness, orangey citrus.
M- medium feel. Higher carbonation.
O- pretty nice IIPA, especially if you line them with more of a malt presence. (308 characters)

Photo of barnzy78
3.79/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

11.2oz bottle, batch 314, best before 26/08/15. Thanks to my friend, Derek, for giving me this bottle to try.
A - foamy tan head sits atop an amber colored ale
S - fruity, piny, a bit earthy, crystal malt
T - big, bold flavors of pine, grapefruit, and caramel with some background earthy & grassy hops
M - fuller bodied, ample carbonation, quite boozy as expected, sharp bitter finish with lingering pine resin
O - pretty good DIPA, but I doubt I'd get it again. Its so called 150ibu doesn't seem any different than 100, but I've read that beyond 100 the palate has a harder time distinguishing increases in bitterness. (619 characters)

Photo of amorpork
3.51/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a nice copper hue. Smell is malty and boozy. First taste was very malty with fruity overtone. After a minute or so the maltiness subsided and I could get the character which is a real nice balance of hoppy bitterness and a touch malt. Will have this again. (262 characters)

Photo of beerinabottle
5/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Imperial IPA it says and an Imperial IPA it is. A cracking IPA. The after taste feels like you have been liking raw hops. If you are not a hop head stay well away. (163 characters)

Photo of Homers_Beer_Odyssey
4.43/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

APPEARANCE - Dark, opaque, lacing, red, 1FH.

AROMA/SCENT - Hops, sweet.

TASTE - Hops, bitter, pine.

MOUTHFEEL/PALATE/TEXTURE - Dry, smooth, clean, light.

VALUE - $8 for 12-oz bottle. Average.

OVERALL/DRINKABILITY - ABV well-hidden. Easy drinkin'. (253 characters)

Photo of scotorum
4.11/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the 11.2 oz. bottle into a Victory Donnybrook Stout nonick

a: Clear copper with an inch and a half thick offwhite head which receded to rocky surface foam and dense patterned lacing.

s: Moderate pine resin

t: Caramel malt under pine with moderate strength. Bitterness and some malt sweetness linger in the finish. High ABV is quite well covered.

m; Moderate to full, nice body, quite oily, considerabel carbonation tingle.

o: Pretty much as anticipated, a malty, heavily-hopped DIPA, English bitter taken to new heights of bitter. Rather similar to US DIPAs in the malty vein such as Green Flash Palate Wrecker, and at a similar pricepoint. (660 characters)

Photo of Dentist666
4.6/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured into english pint.
Pours copper-orange hazy beer with 1-finger off-white head, mediocre retention. Sticky aroma, malts and tons of floral hops. Massive body, noble bouquet of hops, masculine embodiment for gentry and blessed. (232 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.89/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is clear dark amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of toasted and toffee malts are present in the nose.
T: The taste follows the smell, but also has strong flavors of pine resin hops that persist through the finish and contribute a moderate to strong amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and somewhat crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The hops in this beer are very assertive and make your mouth pucker, but there is just enough of a heavy dose of underlying malts to prevent this from being a complete hop bomb.

Serving type: bottle (803 characters)

Photo of dmgeng
4.46/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I really enjoy watching BrewDogs and I figured that this beer would show me their prowess.

A - Deep orange color. Hazy from the dry hops with a bountiful white head and light lacing.

S - Pungent and strong hop fragrance with lots of citrus fruit, pine, and dank hops. Could smell it before I picked it up. Almost perfume like from the magnitude of aromatics. Some slight alcohol presence while at 45 degrees.

T - Awesome flavor with the strong citrus hop character. The alcohol and strong hop bitterness are also present but not in contention with the NW hops. I think there is a ton of hops in order to keep this hight ABV beer as delicious and hop forwards as some 6% ABV IPAs. There are also light malt and caramel character in the middle but is in no way balanced.

M - Moderate mouth-feel with moderate carbonation.

Overall, a very good DIPA. Very similar to many other big DIPAs but it is still really delicious and worth a try. Not all the way at the top but I really enjoy the hop explosion that is present in this bitter and alcoholic brew. This beer is great if you like Imperial IPAs.

Glass- Tulip (1,116 characters)

Photo of mr-jj
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%

Poured into a hotel tumbler. Purchased from Don Quixote in Kawasaki, Japan.

Couldn't assess color in the tumbler. Head is nice and thick. Aroma is piney, citric hops and booze. Flavor is similar - strong hop and alcohol presence with just a bit of malt. Finish is lingering and bitter. Body is medium/full.

Overall, a good beer, but not as well balanced as its little brother. (386 characters)

Photo of The_Mad_Capper
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.75

The aroma includes bread, a touch of pine, and a good citrusy accent akin to grapefruit and orange rind. The body is dark amber with an off-white head. The flavor is dominated by bitter pine needles and soap, a little orange rind, and some sweetness and a little bready flavor from the malt. It's smooth and on the light side of medium-bodied with a good bite.

Quite intense with bitter soapiness dominating in the flavor with just a little sweetening from the malt. Could be better balanced and better tasting. Kudos to them for making the 9.2% ABV virtually imperceptible though. (583 characters)

Photo of hopley
4/5  rDev +5.3%

• Nice pour with 1.5 inches of initial head that fades to a thinner carpet that remains the whole time, clear orange color, minimal lacing
• Can’t get much smell other than strength
• Medium mouthfeel – slightly sticky but not chewy and definitely not thin – whatever the hell that means!
• Kind of a sweet earthy slightly tangy taste with lasting bitterness – a malt forward IPA
• 4.0 rating - overall a pretty decent imperial IPA (449 characters)

Photo of Omnium
3.69/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Out of a bomber into a bow-tie pint

A - muddied orange with a big two finger off white foamy head, thick lacing.
S - Lots of citrus and orange, some hidden melon and grape notes, tangerine, alcohol, hop resin, grass and pine, caramel malts, toffee.
T - Lots of massive bitterness, sweet caramel and biscuity malt base, lots of agressive hop spice and citrus bite.
M - Thick, massively thick, alcohol burn, chewy.
O - I think this will be the last time I taste anything from BrewDog in a while. (494 characters)

Photo of JamesMN
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Clearly printed best before date of 1/31/15.

Appearance: Awfully opaque and the color of caramel. Stiff off-white, almost tan, head.

Aroma: Quite a malt bomb of caramel, sugar cane, and astringent orange. Almost in barleywine territory.

Taste: As hinted at in the aroma, this is a monster of an IPA that drinks much more like a barleywine. This is due to a couple factors, the first being the huge depth of malt flavor. I've become so used to west coast DIPAs that I forgot other styles let the malt bill shine. The other factor that I contribute to a more barleywine-esque experience is the sort of wonderful finish that combines the huge malt sweetness with a bitter orange pulp hop attack and results in a highpoint of both flavor and balance. But that's just my two cents on style guidelines. The malty flavor of caramel/nutty Marris Otter that dominate the initial flavor ride out the aftertaste accompanied by moderate citrusy hop bitterness. At 9.2% ABV Hardcore IPA drinks like an even larger beer.

Mouthfeel: Full in body with the right amount of smooth carbonation to suit a beer this size. Decent drinkability for how thick it is.

Final Thoughts: Wow, this one really took me by surprise. After the aroma I went in with low expectations and Hardcore IPA came back with big flavor. At the end of the day the line between double IPA and barleywine can be a little hazy... especially after drinking one. However, this beer definitely has its merits and deserves whatever glass its poured into. Would I drink it again? Sure, on-tap in Scotland. (1,556 characters)

Photo of drpimento
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

Pourd at a perfect temperature with a thick cream colored long-lasting head lots of Lace and a clear honey amber color. Aroma is malt Caramel, little more resin then grapefruit and a bit of weed. Flavor is extremely bittersweet with enough carbonic tang to balance. Great body. Boozy in the finish. Killer sipping beer (318 characters)

Photo of James-A-Goddard
4.75/5  rDev +25%

Just like the Scottish - fucking hardcore!

This is one of my regular purchases at my local shop. It delivers boldly on flavours, with a sharp bitter note at the end. (167 characters)

Photo of ExtraStout
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Bought a 4-Pack of bottles for $14.99.

A: Glowing amber poured with almost no head. Lacing not as heavy as expected.
A little bit of a letdown with the appearance.

S: What a unique nose for a DIPA. Quite floral and fruity with the alcohol apparent as well.
A little bit of tropical notes apparent as well.

T & M: Wow, what a hop bomb! Balance is not on top of this brews qualities.
I am a hop fan and this one delivers.

D: Drinkability not a strong trait of this brew. An interesting take but for the money
I don't think I'll be having this beer again. (582 characters)

Photo of SStein
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Golden Orange on color with full lacing across the top. Strong citrus in the nose, with a touch of toffee on the back end. Tastes like it smells. Very smooth carbonation as you drink. Overall a great IPA with little hype, which means I won't have to fight for it at the stores. (288 characters)

Photo of badmotorgrunge
5/5  rDev +31.6%

A: Bright orange, little haze
S: Amazing! One of the best smelling ipa's I ever had!
T:Follows smell perfectly. Well blended, citrus, toffee, just a treat.
M: Ahhhh! thick rich, perfect
O: I cannot understand why this doesn't get more love. Can't think of anything I don't love about this brew! Its just incredibly crafted. Cheers Brew Dogs! (342 characters)

Photo of Retroman40
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Paired this with Chipotle Chicken and grilled vegetables and it was quite nice. Poured out a somewhat hazy amber color with a hint of orange. The intense citrus and pine aroma were a clear indication that this one could stand up to spicy food. The initial flavor was citrus hops that gave way to toffee like malt sweetness on the back of my tongue. Carbonation was just right. There is absolutely no "hotness" from the 9.2% ABV even as the beer warms. Warning - this one could sneak up on you!

I like the show "Brew Dogs" and when I spotted this at my Liquor Barn I had to try it. While I think there are better DIPA's available to me (Dogfish Head 90 minute comes to mind), I am glad I gave this one a try. (708 characters)

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Hardcore IPA from BrewDog
86 out of 100 based on 527 ratings.