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Hardcore IPA - BrewDog

Not Rated.
Hardcore IPAHardcore IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,304 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,304
Reviews: 522
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 13.27%
Wants: 22
Gots: 104 | 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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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,304 | Reviews: 522 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Florida9
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Brown and murky in color. Forms an absolutely huge tan head that has great retention and copious amounts of bubble-laden lacing.

S: Strong aroma of grapefruit and pine with some sweet tropical fruit.

T: Mildly sweet caramel malt gives this one the light flavor of tofee before it moves onto a moderate earthy bitterness that lingers in the mouth.

M: Medium in body though it seems to have a bit of a syrupy feel in the mouth.

D: A decent faux-American style DIPA. Personally, I found it too sweet and lacked the aggressive hop character I was expecting.

Photo of dbossman
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Hazy, orangish brown with no head and little lacing

S:Weird hoppy funk: citrus, feet, weed, onion--I like it--all on top of a grainy backbone

T: Hop oily bitterness up front with pine, citrus, subtle onion; a grainy undertone as well; alcohol is also fairly present

F: Oily quality coats the mouth nicely

D: Alcohol is prevalent but this a good--somewhat strange and harsh--beer

Photo of crnipeter
2.61/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

330 ml, Batch 333, BB date reads 26. November 2011, into tulip. Pours reddish coppery body with a good clarity, topped by medium, frothy beige head with good retention that sticks to the walls. Aroma is caramel-malty sweetness with earthy, grassy, spicy hops and evident fruitiness that might be either hop or ester-derived. Faint, skilfully hidden alcohol. The flavor starts with deep caramel-toasty malts followed by earthy, spicy and grapefruity hop flavor leading into resinous bitterness lingering into the aftertaste. Finish is medium, without harshness and hop-astringency of the Punk IPA. Unusually full bodied for an IIPA, almost sticky with soft carbonation and creamy texture. Somewhat unbalanced, leaning towards the malty side. Not necessarily a bad brew but I was rating to the style hence the low score.

Photo of thedoubler55
3.4/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a pint glass

A- Redish in color a little light, very slight head the disappears quickly.

S- Smell of bitter fruits, grapefruit up front.

T- Very malty and bitter with slight hints of citrus, as it warms the alcohol taste is much more potent.

m- Dry finish, with lots of carbonation

D- Taste better as it warms nothing crazy for an IPA, would be ok with not drinking this one again. Although I have a feeling the one I had could have not been to fresh.

Photo of nickthegun12
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

i've been wanting to try this one for a long time....

the color is a dark murky brown color...with a decent head....and excellent lacing...

smells like any other high grav ipa....malty...but this you can smell the citrus and piney hops....and much malt...

now here is what separates this imperial ipa from others...the maltyness is subdued to an extent by the hop presence...outstanding...

good dry feel....nice carbonation...

drink ability isn't great since its 9% abv

great beer!

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.38/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Going off the pictures of the bottle presented here, I had this version rather than the original. Certainly, I imagine this is the most recent version, and this one has a best before date half a year ahead of me.

Pours a lovely deep orange colour, dark enough to have flashes of ruby to it, with a firm and frothy head of white foam. Often with highly hopped beers you get a yellow tinge to the head, but this is clear and pristine. Lacing is lovely and intricate, falling in anarchic patterns as the beer goes down the glass. Very good looking IPA.

Nose is fresh and hoppy, with big pine resin and spicy citric characters. Indeed, almost getting a minty herbal quality. It's a really delicious nose: fresh, heavy and robust, and on a par with some of the great American pioneers of the style.

Taste is really well balanced, exceptionally so in fact: big hoppy presence on the front, but a tempered bitterness that melds really nicely with the light malt and grain characters on the back, to a very pleasant nutty finish, that reminds me of Mikkeller for some reason. In any case, it's a delicious palate, balanced really nicely between malt, grain and hops, with enough body to support it. Oh yes.

What a great beer. This is certainly one of the best brews I've had from BrewDog. Fresh and robust, but beautifully balanced. For once, I believe they're capable of getting the balance right, rather than just skewing insane beers off in insane directions.

A lovely IPA, I'd say comparable with the best.

Photo of jjanega08
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch 225

A= Pours a Beautiful amber color. Ruby is the first word that comes to mind when I think about this color. The head is huge and rises to three four fingers no problem. Huge thick foamy bubbles on the head with great lacing on the side of the glass.

S= There is an excellent fruity hop aroma coming from it. The hop pepperiness is nowhere to be found and it just sort of has a candied hop fruit aroma. A bit light in the nose and isn't huge with it but it's enough to make it somewhat pleasurable to sniff.

T= The taste is pretty much a mimic of the smell. I'm happy I spotted this at the store because I hadn't seen it before and I tend to shy away from this beer because I never know how old it is. This beer is as fresh as I could possibly have it. The hops show no sign of fading in it and a little booze comes through roaring across the tongue. The alcohol makes itself a little airy and fumey tasting.

M= A little light for me. The carbonation is great.

D= I've been super weary of this brewery without ever really giving them a shot. The recent gimmicks have made me a little shy but seeing as how this beer was almost garanteed fresh with a small 5.50 price tag for a 750mL bottle I can't go wrong. This is a pretty nice beer. Worth trying at least once and who knows I may buy a few more of these.

Photo of BeerNinja007
3.55/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got this single 330mL bottle at Harvest Fine Wine, West Hartford CT, for $3.47 back in September. Batch 072, best before 26-05-11. Served chilled in a similarly-chilled pint glass.

The hiss coming from the popped cap gives a pungent floral and earthy hop.

Beer + glass = 2" of thick and creamy light tan head sitting pretty atop a clear deep orange brew. Head sticks around quite well, but as the cake slowly fades it leaves a good bit of thick foamy lace.

Smell is a lovely hoppy bouquet, a lot of candied citrus rind, some florals, a bit of pineapple. A little malty sweetness backs it up but doesn't detract.

Taste is quite hoppy but could really use more malt backbone. Heavy on the florals, dry citrus pith, some herbal stuff. Good well-rounded hop but too astringent, the body is way too thin. Faint peppery alcohol accompanies the hops in a mild finish. Finish is pretty clean considering the hop intensity.

Mouthfeel is light but not watery, not as thin as the taste. Carbonation is soft. Alcohol is hidden pretty well considering how strong and thin it is.

Despite its shortcomings (lack of body), this drinks pretty well.

Photo of sartoric
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured at home in a (forgive me) Flying Dog Pint :)

The amber hazy colour and the cream white thick head make this beer very photogenic.

The explosion of flavours is fantastic. You can feel agrumes, flowers honey,pine, earthy, sweety candied orange.

Well balanced sweetnees and bitterness with a long bitter note at the end as expected.

The body is full and very satisfying, soft carbonated and with a bitter finished as said.
Anyway, you can't drink a lot of this without eating something :)

I really enjoyed it paired with hot bread and mature goat cheese.

Photo of niklas0770
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A redish amber color with a very thick 2 finger head. The head leaves some nice looking lacing on the glass while it slowly fades fo form a thin lid.

It is a very musty and intensive smell that hits you. Citrus, american hops and some exotic fruits hits you along with the obvious bitterness. Pineapple and passion fruit are followed with some sweetness from acacia honey.

The sourness from all the fruits isn't as present in the taste as it was in the smell. It's still there, but just not as clearly. The taste is bitter and crisp from tones of dry grass, citrus, pineapple and a hint of pepper. The sweetness is very gentle and rounds the beer off in a very nice way.

The carbonation is low and plays well with the biterness. You can clearly feel that this is a high ABV brew, but there's no taste of alcohol. All in all, a very good beer indeed.

Photo of CourteManche
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz. bottle served into a snifter

A - Deep amber, cloudy, slight carbonation. One-finger, light beige head -- looks like an IPA.
S - Less hoppy on the nose than expected. Very floral with citrus. No heat.
T - Less hoppy than expected (Hop Heads may be let down). Tangy, subdued bitterness on the finish that segues into a very subtle, hot linger. Very balanced.
M - Medium-bodied
D - Despite being potentially hard to come by, this beer is hyper drinkable. Low heat despite the high ABV. Super smooth and well-balanced.

Photo of mattipt
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served at 5°C out of a Brakspear goblet.

A - Reddish copper colour, dark for IPA. Not much lacing. Clear, looks delicious.

S - Perfumy, floral hops with huge peach and kiwi aromas. Pleasant and very sweet, with undertones of resiny hop.

T - Complex if a little bit boozy. Resin, tar, petrol, bitter hops. The floral character is surprisingly subdued until the aftertaste, where it blends well with the resiny hop.

M - Balanced and appropriately carbonated. At this temperature, perhaps a little thin.

D - At 9.2%, it's definitely not a session beer. For some reason this one tasted a bit more boozy than previous specimens. An excellent attempt nonetheless for a Scottish brewery to create an American double IPA. I wish we had more of these!

Photo of 3rdRowTailgater
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

BrewDog pushing the limits as usual. A beautifully hoppy imperial IPA.

Beautiful, cloudy orange, amber appearance with nice big head that leaves nice lacing.

Huge, hop bitterness aroma. Great blend of citrus and piney aromas. I just want to walk around with this smell all day. It's simply incredible.

Citrus taste with a ton of piney tastes. It's just incredilbly hoppy, which I love. It does have a nice malt taste but it is simply overwhelm with the hop taste.

It's got a nice mouthfeel with a bitterness that hangs with you and a drinkability that works with me.

BrewDog catches a lot of flack for making beers that are too extreme or just pushing the limits to do so, but I feel that this is a very good imperial IPA.

Photo of theboozecruise
3.51/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into an imperial pint.

Hazy orange color, bubbly white head. Not bad.

Smells like tettnang hops, maybe I'm wrong there. It's hoppy big time, not much else on the aroma.

The taste has a little malt up front, then bold hops. Definitely a hop head's beer.

Pretty good but you'd have to really like the hops to drink several.

Photo of puboflyons
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the 660 ml. bottle marked 62-17-04-11. Sampled on December 30, 2010. The hazy orange-amber pour explodes into a two-inch, long lasting foamy cream colored head with excellent retention. I love them hops in the aroma with a kind of biscuit-like wrapping and a good dose of malts and yeast. The body is of good medium to heavy texture. Hops fill the senses with the taste too weith a tart finale and no noticeable alcohol. Nice beer.

Photo of jacobseyb
3.35/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into the hotel Dixie cup a medium dark amber with a light head that dissipated quickly. Good even flavor with malty sweetness and a very bitter finish. Aroma is citrusy and sweet with a hint of caramel. Gently carbonated and smooth on the medium to full bodied feel. Overall a decent beer a little but too strong to let the flavors of the ingredients through.

Photo of stakem
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes taken 11/29/10. Thanks to wishuwerebeer for sharing. Batch number 71 with a best by date of 27-4-11.

Poured into a snifter, it appears a very hazed amber orange color. A finger of creamy yellowish foam appears and holds quite well. As it slowly fades, it leaves thin legs of lace coating the glass.

The aroma is chock full of piney hop notes which are grassy, leafy and minorly citrusy. Quite spicy smelling with some fruit rind notes and minor yeast quality.

Taste is quite pine flavored that is spicy with notes of fruited rind like grapefruit that clings with lasting power inside the mouth. An astringent alcohol burn fills the mouth and the pine hops with a light peppery note last in the aftertaste.

A medium bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. It is lively on the tongue and fairly drinkable. Quite a bitter, earthy and spicy example of hops are utilized in this brew making it enjoyable and a nice distraction from the typical citrus style ipas.

Photo of PBoegel
3.79/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into a Brooklyn Tulip Snifter, swore the bottles had a best buy date stamped, but the one I am holding is blank.

Look, I'm going to come flat and say it, generally I avoid looking at others/overall grade for a beer before I review it, but I had a sneaking suspicion this beer was going to have a mediocre rating. I had so so experience with Brewdog and thought there Tactical Nuclear garbage and Sink the Bismarck were absurd schtick. Couple that with an ok but unspectacular IPA and a really disappointing big Stout I was not thinking of them fondly, their marketing was better than their beer.

But alas I was willing to give hardcore a try.

This beer looks good, but dark for style, dark orange to light amber in hue, some nice stickiness from the hops with decent lacing off a egg shell white head.

Aroma screams Simcoe, blood oranges, fresh squeezed orange juice, fresh sliced mango and pineapple. Some nice sweet malt undertones and flowery alcohol. No harsh tones, no off estery notes.

Flavor is quite good, more tropical fruit character, piney and resinous, pineapples and touches of mango and grapefruit. Very chewy with sweet malt and caramel in the middle. Substantial bitterness, which is a big plus in my book, too many double IPAs and IPAs rely on late hopping and skip on the bitterness. Again nothing afoul bit there is an overly sweet malt character in the middle and finish which lingers between the bitterness.

Mouthfeel is where this the beer begins to have some issues, the heavy hop character lends a sticky punishing astringency. The body is too thick and near full bodied like a barleywine. The bitterness is substantial but still fails to scrub the sweet lingering under attenuated body.

Very tough to drink a lot of, does it really hit the mark of an imperial IPA, not for my book, not at least across the board. While it is out of style, the flavor and aroma make it a really intriguing and nice beer, but drinkable? Not so much, a sipper and closer to an over hopped barleywine than an IPA.

Back to the beginning my point in calling out suspicion of the reviews...this beer tastes remarkably like Great Divide Hercules Double IPA. A beer I have a love hate relationship with. Sometimes I find Hercules to be delicious and rewarding, other times sticky, thick and out of tune. Of course, Hercules has A rating on BA. Hardcore is floating at around B. Now I also see that there is potentially reason to greatly distinguish from original batches to newer ones, of which my bottle is definitely newer based on the label, and best by dates in the store bottles I looked at being mid to late 2011.

This brew is hardly perfect of balanced, but I would drink this fresh, assuming I find consistency in batches, any day next to Hercules.

Photo of hopstradamus
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A. Pours a bright, golden, orange color with a delicate off-white head that dissipates quickly. It is hazy but not cloudy. There is plenty of carbonation but not much head.

S. Its hoppy but the aroma is more of sweet, tropical fruits than traditional hop aromas. There is some piney, floral, fruity hop character bet I smell fruit more than anything. There is some caramel malt character, but it is more dry than sweet smelling.

T. The taste starts with extreme hop bitterness before becoming more malty and mellow. The finish is dry and a little astringent. This beer also has a boozy quality to it as well but it is not overdone.

M. Medium to full mouthfeel and a little chewy- this seems more like a barley wine than an IPA.

D. It's not insulting, but it was disappointing. I was hoping for a great IPA, what I got was a solid but not spectacular barley wine.

Photo of potownbill
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Excellent Brew!
Appearance: Nice amber brown color with a 1" off-white head. Good lacing
Smell: Citrus hops. Not overpowering
Taste: Subtle citrus hops, some alcohol burn, but very well balanced
Mouthfeel: Mild carbonation. No bitter aftertaste
Drinkability: Very drinkable. Delicious American double from Scotland. Huh?

Photo of thekanna
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Darker hazy amber bordering on orange with medium head.

S: Very strong pine hops, almost like smelling pine-sol, but less astringent. Strong citrus and floral notes.

T/M: Extremely strong pine and evergreen-tinged hop flavor with big notes of citrus (especially grapefruit and pomelo) and a strong, bitter hop bite. Medium bodied with oily finish.

D: Unmistakably an IPA, and doesn't have any pretenses to be anything else. This is a very slap-in-the-mouth, take-it-at-face-value beer.

Photo of ism
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thick 2-finger head, off white, on top of a just-hazy amber body. More than acceptable retention. Nose is sweet grapefruit with a touch of floral, rather straightforward and clean. Gentle-medium carbonation, medium body, slight butter texture from hop oils on the tongue. Taste is big, lots of malt, a good dose of hops, the sweetness edging it out. It isn't until it goes down smooth that the hops truly emerge, citrus at first, then pine resin as it lingers.

A solid DIPA, finely made, just not terribly complex enough.

Photo of digita7693
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Note: this is not the same version as the original black label Hardcore IPA, which was 9% alc, this is a new formula and bottle, dark aqua bottle with white lettering and 9.2% alc.

A pours a beautiful amber/orange with a good 2 finger head and decent lacing.

S great citrus (grapefruit) and pine jump out at you, strong hop aroma, smells simply wonderful

T Delicious. Again the citrus grabs you right away, very bitter, then a wonderful sweet malt backbone, not overwhelming, but a nice change to just bitter (honestly reminds me a bit of some fresh barleywines, like a fresh bigfoot)

M sticky and coating on the tongue, which I would expect, and which is not a bad thing... but dont expect to taste too much after this

D good, but I do not think i would drink more than 2 of these, though for me thats saying a lot... so I guess highly drinkable:)

just got back from a few days in Edinburgh and once again got to try many wonderful beers, including several brewdog beers, picked up a bottle of this at Cornelius Beer and Wine near Leith Walk.

Photo of riored4v
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 11/5/10

Poured a murky, amber colored body in to my tulip glass. Rocky, off-white head that held nicely.

Smell was bitter with a mild malt sweetness. Some caramel notes. Hop presence was citrusy and floral.

Taste had a medium malt sweetness helps balance out the bitterness. Very mild finishing bitterness on the back of the tongue that is mildly resiny. Some grapefruit notes from the hops along with citrus and spice. Notes of caramel as well.

Mouthfeel had a medium body with a medium carbonation. Mildly dry finish.

Drinkability was good. Good balance that leaves a touch of bitterness. No signs of ABV and a light sweetness.

Photo of ectomorph
4.04/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz with a batch Number 225 best before August, 2011. Poured into a DFH glass.

A - Cloudy dark orange body holds a smallish off white head. Decent retention with some sticky lace.

S - Pungent and dank pine hops. Citrus rind, orange blossom and wildflowers. Some alcohol and malt sweetness. Clean fermentation with little to no fruity esters.

T - Moderate initial bitterness unfolds into a big malt backbone. There are hints of caramel and toffee and a solid fresh bread character. Loads of hops flavor on the backside. Pine sap, orange rind, and grapefruit slaps you about the face and neck. Alcohol warmth is noted in the belly almost immediately.

M - Medium to big bodied for an IIPA, but not chewy at all, just not "dry"... Bitter aftertaste is a side effect of the hop oils on the tongue. Citrus burps are my favorite!

D - The big ABV holds this one back, but for an IIPA it is what it should be which is on the big side of everything. Underrated on BA IMO. Kudos to BrewDog.

Hardcore IPA from BrewDog
88 out of 100 based on 1,304 ratings.