Hardcore IPA - BrewDog

Not Rated.
Hardcore IPAHardcore IPA

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very good

1,276 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,276
Reviews: 518
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 13.52%
Wants: 18
Gots: 89 | 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:
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

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-10-2008)
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Ratings: 1,276 | Reviews: 518 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of snpub540
2.95/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a mostly clear orangish-amber hue with a foamy almost soapy white head. Left some nice grabby lacing during the whole glass though.

Smell was very complex and different than what I'm used to for an IPA. Very fruity and floral at the same time with a sweetness and a touch of honey. Also a hint at the the alcohol, actually a pretty big hint.

Taste was not what I expected. It seemed it was going to be balanced as I got a caramel malt sweetness up front that turned into bitter and a harsher alcohol taste in the finish. Not alot of hop flavor, but it was bitter.

Mouthfeel was on the thinner side of medium if that makes sense. Alcohol and bitterness make it kind of difficult to put down. Don't get me wrong I love hoppy beers more than most, but this is just bitter without the flavor.

Photo of cjgator3
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle

A- Poured into a snifter. Pours a nice amber color with an off-white head.

S- The aroma is very unique, perhaps unlike any other IPA I've had. The best I can describe it is tropical fruit and citrus notes to go along with the hops. A bit medicinal at times as well. I keep looking in the glass to make sure there isn't any fruit in it.

T- The taste starts off with a pretty innocent malt base. Then the hops slowly start to creep in the palate and keep building until they are completely abusing the tongue with bitterness. Not much balance in this one at all, but sometimes it's nice to get your palate raped by hops. This definitely isn't your typical IPA but I kind of like it's uniqueness.

M- The mouthfeel is between light and medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- The harshness of this beer limits the drinkability. My tongue is officially numb from the extreme bitterness. Not my favorite IPA on the market, but one that I would recommend any hophead picking up to try it.

Photo of cdpike
4.53/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On cask at The Pub in Lexington, KY.

Poured a beautiful deep reddish amber with plenty of nice creamy foam. Nose is big on citrusy, piney hop glory. The smell is terribly inviting and backed with some caramel sweetness and a bit of alcohol. What a flavor this beer has! Lots of thick chewy malt and a good bit of alcohol up front with an aggressive hop finish. This is quite complex and balanced. The cask adds a bit of spicy funk that is just delicious. Additionally, the cask temperature and light effervescence make for a wonderful experience. What a great beer on a breezy Sunday afternoon! Perhaps the cask added more than meets the eye based on the other (less than stellar) reviews here, because this was one of the better beer moments for me in recent memory.

Photo of elniko
3.1/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from bomber into snifter glass.

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 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 but this one comes across as nearly medicinal.

D: Drinkability not a strong trait of this brew. An interesting take but don't think I'll be having this beer again.

Photo of BradLikesBrew
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Toasty malt, pine and kiwi on the nose. The flavor is bitter and hoppy with great tropical fruit notes. BrewDog claims 150 IBUs, and that's why IBUs are worthless. This is a very different IPA. Brewdog used rather common American IPA hop varieties: Simcoe, Amarillo, Warrios and Chinook. But is is the light, Maris Otter malt that makes this different. It really takes a back seat and focuses your palate on the hops. Makes me think of Duvel with tons of hops. I appreciate the different take, their are too many identical DIPAs out there. That said, there's a reason few brewers make a beer like this.

Photo of almychristopher
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

this beer pours a nearly clear orangish yellow color with an uneven white head that recedes to patchy lacing. the aroma brings a nice amount hops to the nose, with just a bit of the promised marris otter at the back. the taste is dominated by the citrus hops while the sweet malt flavor at the front is nearly forgotten, and the nine percent makes it a bit warm on the way down. the full mouthfeel and good co2 make this overall a damn good beer to split and well worth the money.

Photo of foxbat2500
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from BevMo. My 2nd Brewdog beer. I like this one better than the Punk IPA. More bitterness!

A = Yellow with a bit of orange. Lighter than I would expect.

S = A lot more subtle than I expected. Some orange I guess.

T = Nice and complex. A quick hit of toffee or with maybe some vanilla. Then the hops hit.

Lingering bitter aftertaste makes this a bit of a sipper. I'd like to give this a shot off tap. I am sure it loses something in bottle form all the way from the UK.

Photo of RonfromJersey
2.33/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Yellow-orange body, more yellow where the glass is thinner, more orange in the bowl, very hazy, scattered carbonation streams. Good sticky snow white froth and lacing.

Mild orange aroma, with a muted background of other citrus. Expected more at first pop.

Toffee sweet base coats the tongue. Juicy fruit -oranges and other citrus. Very mild hop bitter nip at the swallow. Fruit soaked in alcohol finish, though its a tingle not a burn.

Slighty sloppy mouthfeel. Decent drinkability, though the alcohol is dicouraging while the hop profile does not add enough desire.

Disappointing. The only thing "double" about this ipa is the alcohol.

Maybe in Scotland this can pass for a DIPA/IIPA, but not in the US. Way too much hype, including the name and bottle copy, for what is here. Not a good first impression from a brewery that may be trying too hard for buzz.

Photo of clayrock81
3.4/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a lightly cloudy gold, even ciderish color with a decent head and lace. Smell is a little alkie/medicinal w/ a good herbal hop bitterness. Body is runny and a tad unbalanced as I pick up some citricy and soapy hops but also hints of sweet malt; all subdued as the backbite is quite strong and the ABV (not brutal for a DIPA) seems to overpower on the backend. Not a bad brew but for this style you can find better.

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

A - a honey amber color, with a thin white head and small amounts of steady visible carbonation

S - subtle citrusy hop profile, nice toffee/vanilla sweetness, a bit of ripe dark fruits, like overripe grapes

T - the hops expand their presence in the taste, sweet at first, that toffee, vanilla, but it quickly fades into that expanded hops pine/grapefruit characteristic

M&D - a finely balanced DIPA, enough sweetness to temper the hops without emasculating them, and also enough to lend a smoothness that a quality DIPA should have, a nice brew

Photo of pinotboy007
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Even with a vigorous pour, it yielded a light, thin, dish soap-like "head" that settled to a few bubbles and no lacing. The ale itself is a slightly cloudy gold.

S - Hops, some wet leather and maybe even a bit of tea.

T - Not bad! The hops and alcohol are there for sure but I think the malt is quite nice, and makes for an interesting take on the style.

M - Prickly alcohol undercuts what might have been superb, but it's still pretty decent on the palate.

D - Despite the decent price, this ale is nothing spectacular and I'm not sure I would purchase this again; might be a lot better on tap (in Scotland).

Photo of argock
2.83/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 22oz brown bottle into a Duvel tulip. Best by 11/21/10 on label. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $7.29.

A: Burnt amber with solid 2-3 finger off-white head with good retention and lots of lace.

S: Floral hops aroma is there but weak for the style -- more on par with a really good APA. Malts are very large with toffee and caramel. Alcohol hits too.

T: Flavor is highly bitter and highly alcoholic with a big toffee presence followed quickly followed by floral and raw hops bitterness with unfortunately a big dose of fusel alcohol bitterness as well.

M: The body is medium-full with low carbonation but the fusel alcohol laces the aftertaste so strongly that it spoils an otherwise good feel.

D: Not a good DIPA with way too many off alcohol flavors and not nearly enough hops. My first Brewdog effort is far from ideal. I hope their other brews are free of the alcohol presence.

Photo of tattooedtolley
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Hazy orange, pretty IIPA appearance. Little to no head. Hop and malt wrestle to win the aroma. The taste is hops up front, malt followed by decent bitterness. Overall, this is no west coast IIPA but I'm pretty stoked on it. Its well balanced and its awesome that a double is being brewed in Scotland, I really dig that these american styles are being done over there.

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

Pours a rather hazy burnt orange/gold color, typical of the style, with a dishsoapy head that minimizes quickly. The bubbles that stick to the sides of the glass and float on the surface of the liquid look like what happens when ice cream is thrown into a bowl of water. All airy and wispy, creamy and cloud-white.

Aroma is a bounty of hoppiness--lots of citrus and pine elements in the same measure, with a generous malt presence, indicating that this may not be the most-tongue ripping double IPA, but rather a well-balanced beast.

Wow...first sip and I'm thinking two things: 1) not what I expected from the hints in the nose, and 2) severely, sadly underrated. I only looked at the letter rating here on BA, and I haven't read any other reviews yet (I will very soon)...but what's not to like? Yes, the finish is particularly biting, but that's a hugely hopped beer for you. The front of the sip is particularly well-balanced between malt and hops, the malt having a gooey, soft candy-like essence; some sugar cookie dough vibes here. And the hops...well, yeah, they win out, and they're grassy, and very raw. Not quite astringent, but toeing that line. It's a simple angle of attack, really. Very much a distinctive flavor--one that this hop-lover loves. What's not to like?

Maybe the mouthfeel is a little too strange for some. While it is slick and creamy in one sense, it has a kind of flatness to it...not as in "thin" or "watery," just as in "not round." Carbonation is here, but merely to provide a little bit of body. I like the soft, unobtrusive manner in which this lays on the tongue and in the mouth. Not being a huge fan of over-carbonation in big beers, I can only call the mouthfeel "wonderful."

I will most definitely stand up for this beer. Rather than adhering to the style's confines, it breaks from the pack and does its own thing. As much as I love gigantic IPAs like this, there's no doubting that very few brewers are able to put a unique stamp on this style. BrewDog does that with aplomb. I will buy quite a few more of these next time I see it.

Photo of twaddlac
2.7/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Looks like Budweiser with a yeasty head. Lace hangs around for a long time and is very sticky. Decent carbonation.

S- Strong hops, and not to be offensive but it smells like feet..

T- All hops, not much else. Maybe a hint of grapefruit, but it punches you in the face.

M- Smooth and silky with a dry finish.

D- Very bitter, overpowering but you do have to appreciate something like this. It took me a long time to finish, and I'm an IPA person. I don't recommend this to anyone, but if you're up to the challenge, then go for it! NOTE: DRINK ROOM TEMP!!

Photo of LordAdmNelson
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazy apple juice color with about a half inch of white head (after a vigorous pour). The head consists of oversize bubbles that rapidly pop... sounds fizzy like a soda. Decent lacing, however. Smell is slight citrus with some solvent-like notes as well. Pale malts in the background there too.

Whoa, taste is not up to par. A bit of bitterness, some leafy hops, some solvent, some spiciness (almost a rye spiciness), splash of pale malt, odd finish. Decidedly not hardcore. Taste grows on me as it goes along, but not in the way a DIPA should. It's more like a slightly strong ale or an imperial pale ale. In either case, not exactly the type of brew I would choose to buy. Thankfully I got this one for $6, which is a steal considering pricing elsewhere. Not terrible, just not a DIPA.

As it warms it becomes a bit more palatable as the flavors develop and meld together in a better way. Some more citrus comes out, along with some caramel/toffee flavors. I highly recommend having this one at room temperature (I typically like my IPAs cold). There is some sacrifice in the drinkability department at room temperature, however.

MF is decent actually--despite appearing dramatically over-carbonated and fizzy, this one has a medium body, is smooth, and adequate.

Drinkability isn't terrible either. Slight off-notes in the taste hamper this aspect of the brew, but the alcohol for all intents and purposes is nicely masked. For a style that is so broadly defined by extreme and delicious beers, one would expect more from a DIPA labeled "Hardcore". Sadly, this one fails in the hardcore department and fails in the delicious department. Not the worst beer I've had by far, but miles and miles behind other DIPAs.

Photo of TheJollyHop
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy amber with no head at all.

Prevalent fruity malt aroma with very subdued floral hops intermixed. This style should definitely showcase hop aroma, which this brew fails to do.

Tastes of melons upfront that slowly fades to a bitterness that builds and continues to assault the palate in a harsh way well after the swallow. Some toffee nuttiness is noticeable as well along with some faint citrus fruit. Slightly acidic and alcohol is masked well. Sadly, the hop flavor is very muted, despite being two month under the best-by date. With that being said, this is definitely a beer for someone who enjoys bitterness.

The mouth has an oily, viscous feel probably due to the low carbonation.

Despite high bitterness, there is enough malt to tame some of the harshness and improve drinkability.

Photo of babaracas
3.23/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear pale orange, zero head retention or lacing. Smell: apple juice, english pale ale malt character, leafy and very slight citric hops. Taste: background toffee, leafy, spicy, tangerine bitterness. Hops seem faded (but labeled best by: 6/24/10!). Undercarbonated, sweet and drying with a lasting leafy bitterness. I don't want to trash this, as they might just have ambitious "best by" labeling and slow distribution, but this is one of the worst DIPAs I've tasted.

Photo of allengarvin
3.18/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I gave this a very vigorous pour, but got no head at all, hardly even a filmy layer on top. Hops are hardly present in the nose, which is strongly malty with a touch of alcohol. In the taste, bitterness is high, but no more than you would expect from a 9% beer. There's hardly any hop flavor at all. Lots of body and malt, but a strong taste of alcohol at the finish is offputting.

Bleagh, a near-complete failure of an IPA. There's such an embarrassment of riches out there for double IPAs compared to this very bad example. Avoid.

Photo of YOOJ
3.63/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is a hazy dark gold, like apple cider.

Smell is nothing to write home about, mild with an apple hop character that reminds me of other IPAs from the UK.

Nearly no head or lacing to speak of.

Taste is good, I think this beer is underrated. The apple-ish hop character is quite present, with a nice bitterness but a lack of complexity or balance. All-in-all it is not the best beer, but it is a unique DIPA and certainly tastes good, no 'off' flavors.

If you can find it at a reasonable price I would have no hesitation recommending Hardcore IPA
(Dumb name, though)

Photo of Gmann
3.48/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a slightly hazy apple juice color with a big bubble head that quickly dissipates into a light ring. The head is quite small. The aroma is of a nice tropical fruit and citrus hop with some pepper. Not overly strong but nice. The hop flavor is more piney, chalky, and asprin like; some citrus in the end. There is a light honey malt that is basically crushed by the bitter hop flavor. I know that people like this hop profile but it just doesn't work for me; just too bitter and dry. Moderate feel with soft carbonation leads to a silky feel which then gets ripped up with the bitter hop finish. This is a good hoppy brew for those who like bitter and astringent IPA's but its not for me. I appreciate that this seems well made but I prefer more of a floral hop profile.

Photo of Travlr
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Hazy orange with a small white head that evaporates rapidly to leave a few bubbles and some lacing.
S: Aroma of freshly cut hay, with a hint of black pepper.
T: Hops are evident throughout, persistent bitterness, fairly well balanced. Light spice. Dry-ish finish.
M: Good body for an IPA.
D: Nice IPA, not too over-the-top.

Photo of NittanyBeerFan
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received in a trade with stoutfiend27...thanks, stephen. This went right into the fridge. Reviewed verbatum from notes taken the night of the tasting.

A: Dark amber with little to no head even with a down the middle pour. I was hoping for a 3-finger head on 4 fingers of beer. Lace drips slither down the glass and look like the 'legs' of a wine swirl.

S: caramel malts...more than I think there would be if I had this in scotland... Lots of piney and citrusy hops. A fairly formidable bitter scent.

T: piney and citrus hops lot of grapefruit. Balanced by a nice caramel malt backbone. I wonder what this would be like very fresh, because even with the cross-ocean shipment and probably some time on the shelf, its pretty damn hoppy.

M: sticky and resinous, not too carbonated, probably slightly under-carbonated for the style, but this beer does yield a nice smooth finish. Very easy to drink and enjoyable. A good dipa to share. Not a bit of alc heat even at 9%.

Photo of nickfl
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Half a finger of loose, white foam on top of a slightly hazy, golden body. The head quickly dissipates, leaving only a thin ring of fish-eye bubbles and spotty lace.

S - A very fruity hop aroma of pineapple and grapes with just a hint of pine. Some light malt aroma of toffee and toast balances.

T - Strong, resinous hops up front with tropical fruit notes of pineapple as well as some distinct pine. Sweet malt in the middle, bready with toffee and maybe a hint of caramel. Finishes extremely bitter with sharp, grapefruit flavors and some solvent-like pine notes. Lingering soapy bitterness with a little bit of malt.

M - Medium body, low carbonation, and a slightly sweet, but shockingly astringent finish.

D - WTF. I did not expect this. I was a bit worried that this might be sweet and heavy when I saw the anemic head that warns of low carbonation, but nothing could be further from the truth. The bitterness is overwhelming and so excessively sharp and astringent that any malt character is entirely wiped away by the finish. There are some nice hop flavors and the aroma is pleasant, but the bitterness is by FAR the dominant character in this beer. It works better than it should, but this is still no easy beer to drink; I would recommend it, if for no other reason than because I have never had anything else quite like it, but I seriously doubt I will ever pop the cap off of another one of these. If Brewdog is gaining a reputation for making extreme beers without regard to balance or drinkability, then this bottle is a strong evidence in favor of that opinion.

Photo of skinny0ne
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The color is a light amber/orange and little cloudy. It has very little carbonation. The head that does form is creamy and clings well. The aroma is great. Lots of citrus and pine notes. Under it a bit of yeasty bread. First sip starts sweet. But then the hops kick in. Lots of bitterness. The citrus flavor of grapefruit and orange peel is present. Lots of pine/wood. In the back and on the breath is more citrus. I don't get a lot of bread or yeast. The bitterness lingers nicely on the tongue. Really, it's missing more carbonation. It is a bit flat on the tongue. Overall a very good and strong IPA (9%). Perhaps I got a bad bottle without enough carbonation. Otherwise it would be stellar for a big IPA.

Hardcore IPA from BrewDog
88 out of 100 based on 1,276 ratings.