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Hardcore IPA - BrewDog

Not Rated.
Hardcore IPAHardcore IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,312 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,312
Reviews: 523
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 13.27%
Wants: 22
Gots: 111 | 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: 1,312 | Reviews: 523 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of danieelol
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a decent orange colour with good head and exceedingly resilient lacing. The lacing is very nice and forms all sorts of patterns on the glass. 4.5

S: A sort of funky burnt malt smell assails the nose initially. Caramel. This beer has seemed very malt-forward to me both on tap and in the bottle. Fresh bottle too, expires on the 10th of the 8th, almost seven months away. As the beer warms and opens up I get some more coffee-ish umami smells from it. Definite pineapple in the nose. Bit of pine subdued by some maltiness. 4

T: Hops are more prominent in the taste. As well as some pleasant honeyish malt there's some floral notes and some sort of flowery citrus fruit taste. The alcohol is detectable but actually very well integrated with the overall flavour. There is a vaguely unpleasant aftertaste which may come from impurities in the serving vessel or being served too cold or simply a fault in the brewing process. I'm not sure what the cause is. The honey-maltishness gets particularly pleasant later on. Quite sweet initially, but bitter enough as it goes down to make one want more. Fruity ice blocks are also present in the taste. 4

M: Thick and pretty hard to complain about for the style. 4

D: Expensive but worth it. I'd only have one a night though. 4

Goes very well with rich meat dishes- especially the rich malty hoppy finish. Would readily drink this beer any time (especially if it were more affordable), but I still get the feeling I'm yet to find my holy grail of IPAs/DIPAs.

Edit: bumping up the ratings cause it's such amazing stuff. I gladly pay through the nose for this beer because it's the only good DIPA you can buy off the shelves in Australia. When will Australian brewers learn how to make good beers?

Perhaps I've been getting the fresher stuff recently.

Photo of dragonWhale
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle cracked open to the tune of Motown hits.. A little cloudy with a burst of grapefruit and some harsh bitterness. The flavor is very nice, big citrus with the malt hidden in the background and the alcohol unnoticeable. A little too much harsh bitterness up front, but it mellows out into something beautiful, big, and hoppy. A nice beer from these BrewDog silly folk.

Photo of schoolboy
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this along with 11 other different beers today at Mentor (OH) Savon (go there if you are in the area), this one being the one with the highest hopes pinned on it. Especially after reading the style listed here, I want this to be great. It would be were it not for the dark, bitter, burnt ( but not roastly taste). It still tastes too much like a scottish ale and it is missing that american over the top floral hops taste.

That said, it's still good, and I would only refuse one if I had already completed a few. It is strong.

Though not clear in the glass, it is pretty (the sun in shining through mine). The unique aroma doesn't cease to please - nice.

For the price I will probably not look for it often, but it's something I would recommend to anyone and would gladly drink again.

Photo of tonymoore
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Had this an hour ago on tap. Poured a little hazy, looking like cider. The head was a little weak, but i never know if it's a bad pour or the beer itself. Everything after this was stellar. Smell, taste, alcohol warmth. Loved every drop and would look for it again.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

purchased at the lovely gbx, i cracked this open along with a bunch of others in a mini tasting last night. served cold into a pint glass.

great pour with a dark amber color that had slight hints of reddish notes around the side that gave it a really nice color. smooth head of about three inches comes up and drips lacing down the sides of the glass.

aroma is huge hop bomb with tons of citrus coming forward. sharp grapefruit an pineapple with a hint of malt hiding underneath that really does not come out until it warms up. smooth, creamy feel with a warm and easy carbonation it rips the tongue at fist with countless ibus. warming settles it an brings a back bone of really nice caramel malts and a more orange like flavor as it dries out.

overall a very big dipa, but very well done. impressed as i usually find brewdog terribly unbalanced but this worked great for me.

Photo of hophopandaway
2.78/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

On opening, the beer looked promising- copper in colour with a medium head that reduced to a thin lacing. Orange, grapefruite, flowers and peat are the dominant flavours and the combination seems a little off balance.This beer is lightly carbonated, sweet, and full-bodied.

If this beer was 6% I would say that it would be a good, but not outstanding, beer. The flavour is very dissapointing for something so pokey, there is a rather nice peaty flavour that makes it a little interesting but other than that there is really nothing noteworthy about this beer.

It's not unpleasant, but it's certainly not something I'd buy again unless it's on special offer. There are many better beers that are 3% weaker

Photo of LittleCreature
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - 4.0
A hazy copper-orange body is topped by two fingers of dense cream coloured head that steadily receded to a few millimetres.

Smell - 4.0
A strong, but somewhat muddled aroma of warm caramel, flowers, eucalyptus leaves, lemon peel, fresh mandarin and alcohol.

Taste - 4.0
Plenty of sweet, rich toffee malt that is nearly overwhelmed by the resiny, fruity, leafy hops and their powerful bitterness. Flavours of the aforementioned toffee, pineapple, grapefruit, orange peel and plenty of warm, peppery alcohol, finishing surprisingly dry.

Mouthfeel - 3.5
Rather thick and sticky in the mouth thanks to the substantial amount of residual sugars needed to balance the truckload of hops. Moderately carbonated with very fine bead.

Drinkability - 3.5
Not hard to drink for a seasoned hop head, but I'd certainly stop at one. There are more drinkable DIPAs out there.

A tasty, very hoppy, very bitter DIPA that would benefit from a lighter body to truly let the hops shine.

Photo of StJamesGate
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours hazy ruby amber with a puffy white head that dies but sheets nicely. Citrus oil nose with some toasted caramel. Dark honey on brown toast malts with a sharp bright pink grapefruit hops hit, like hard candy. Tangerine and pine lurk below. Skunky finish, dry lemony linger. Medium, crisp, tingly, no real burn.

The thing about this one is the balance - it's a hop bomb, no doubt, but doesn't scorch the tongue, isn't hot, and drinks fairly light. If someone were drinking BrewDog's core range, which they've refined down to 4, and then branched out to this, it would be both satisfying and not that scary. Which is probably a good thing, in the end.

A DIPA that is approachable while remaining genuine, which is another way of saying you could stay on this all night and find yourself in trouble! Which says good things about the beer...

Step away from old Hardcore, which was a pale, unbalanced, white grapefruit bomb.

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.

Hardcore IPA from BrewDog
88 out of 100 based on 1,312 ratings.