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Hardcore IPA - BrewDog

Not Rated.
Hardcore IPAHardcore IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

533 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 533
Hads: 1,437
Avg: 3.83
pDev: 22.45%
Wants: 40
Gots: 202 | 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
View: Beers (104) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 533 | Hads: 1,437
Photo of RuudJH
4.29/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

If you love the smell of hops, this is great stuff. Brewdog again did it for me.

Dark orange to brown ale, good head with good lacing, but hardly any carbonation.

Smell is fantastically green herbs hops and grass, also the apricot(?). Taste is bitterness all over. It's demanding and intriguing.
Smooth, but a tough bitterness.

Maybe the IPA style, which is quite new to me, has more balanced experiences in store fore me in the future, but for now, I'll gladly settle for a bottle of this brew any time.

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Photo of ADZA
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours a redgum honey,light amber hue with decent carbonation that leaves a two finger frothy head that stays around,the smell is very nice,sweet and subtle with aromas of grapefruit,confectionary and honey,it has a medium bodied mouthfeel which really suits the style and doesnt feel heavy and has a rather sweet,fruity,hoppy taste to it with tastes of rockmelon,honeydew and confectionary and for a DIPA i dont get very much bitterness and the 9.0% ABV does not rear its head at all to quite simply make this brew very sessionable and even though its not my most favourite Brewdog brew its right up there with some of their best that ive tasted and will definately drink it again.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours from this little 11.2 oz bottle from across the pond in Scotland. By a couple guys around my age who got bitten pretty hard by the brewing bug. Thank god they did, I don't care if these kids are ADHD bastards looking for attention in the classroom. They're brewing both extreme brews, and those requiring a good bit of finesse. Pours into my Allagash chalice as a bright crystal clear copper amber hue with head dwindling down slowly...leaves behind intricate even thick bands of lace that form nicely with the brews overall experience. Aroma has an explosion of citrus and spearmint in the nose. Also a piney resinous layer of hops going on in the nose with the big Marris Otter caramel aspects going on. Flavor brings on a rush of citrus aka grapefruit flavor that bites your tongue unrelentingly with enjoyable hop bitterness, this is one of those eye opener boozey hoppy brews that will live on, fuck Adderall I think these guys are self medicating with brews like this to control their hyperactivity. Definitely coats the palate with layers of hop oils, medium bodied easy going carbonation a bit of an alcohol burn but really well hidden compared to most DIPAs/barleywines. Overall drinkability this one lands in the really good if it's every once in awhile. Nothing I'll buy loads of but when fresh this is damn good DIPA.

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Photo of bunnyhustle
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow, I was really surprised by this beer. Pours true cooper in color, think copper piping and thats the color. 2 finger white head with great retention and lacing. Smell was great with a strong citric and pineapple aroma too it. Very much like a West Coast IPA but a little more aromatic I thought. Taste was a beautiful balance of malt and hops, with hops obviously being dominant. A nice caramel malt backbone with a strong, but not overpowering, hop bitterness (more on the citrusy side than piney side). Mouthfeel was rich and fuller with a nice oily residue left behind each sip. Overall I have to say this beer was terrific. You would never guess the ABV on this and I cant believe how balanced and palatable this was.

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Photo of dogfishandi
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

batch 109 best before 11-21-2010. 1 pint 6.4 fluid oz.

poured into a goblet style glass. pours a hazy yellowish red, a little golden. a small white head that faded into a ring somewhat quickly. small amount of lace.

not a huge aroma like you would expect in an imperial ipa. the aroma mostly consists of alcohol mixed with earthy floral hops as well as grapefruit hops. there is some caramel malty sweetness tryin to break through the hops as well as a slight bready graininess.

in the taste you get some caramel sweetness, grapefruit, citrus that turns into a little bit of bready grains followed by some alcohol warmth with a bitter tropical fruity lingering flavor. a good taste but is much different than your usual american double ipa. its bitter, but defiantly not knocking your teeth out. has a nice malty side to as well as some fruity flavors. the taste is a little more balanced than the aroma, but still pretty hop forward.

has a big, full body. a nice resiny oily mouthfeel from the hops. a minimal carbonation. overall a good mouthfeel.

this beer goes down easy, but your going to want to take your time and sip this one down. alcohol is definatly not hidden. this one 22oz bottle is all i would need of this beer in one sitting.

this is an interesting take on such a popular style. im prolly not going to seek this out again, but it was nice to try. i wouldnt recommend this beer, but brewdog makes some other interesting beers that i would recommend for sure. went well with some tortilla chips and salsa but kinda overpowered the tangyness of the salsa

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Photo of jbowers56
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A cloudy redish amber kinda colour. A bubbly yellowy cream head which seems to stick around for a while.

This is the older version, not the new 9.2% version but to me it smells like a combination of freshly opened packets of centennial, simcoe and, well, weed. Smells really dank. Have real trouble picking out some malt, but it is there.

Taste is not as brutal as I'd hoped, still very pleasing though. First up is a malty sweetness, followed by some really super fresh, slightly vegetal hops. Some presence from the malt profile steps in lending a caramel like sweetness but then the big old american hops step in with their resinous, grapefruity flavours and powerful bitterness to take over the show. Definitely a robust IIPA. I can see why people wouldnt like this, but I'm totally in to it.

Mouthfeel is good, but not exceptional. Though it is reasonably full, it is not full enough to justify the slightly sticky feeling you are left with after a mouthful. I'm marking the drinkability down due to the sheer intensity of the hop flavours. I can't sip at this one very quickly, nor do I want to. It's a good 5 minutes before the flavour has subsided from my tongue.

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Photo of DoreenAndDave
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer is a fairly attracting hazy amber. Very little head. Not much aroma. Faint hops and malt. Taste is kinda nondescript, but has a bitter malt and hops finish. It's not that hoppy considering that this beer calls itself an IPA. Mouthfeel is a little heavy. The alcohol is quite warming. Drinkability is so-so. This is a strong, heavy beer. Wouldn't want to have more than one.

As with many Brewdog beers, it's a little weird and unconventional. It's almost a cross between Fin du Monde and some sort of double IPA---perhaps Dogfish Head's 90 minute. This certainly isn't a typical IPA. All in all, not bad, but not quite good, either. An interesting occasional change of pace, but not something I'd want again and again.

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Photo of vdoz3
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had low expectations given the B-, and was very much impressed. Figured I'd review it to do my part to counter. 330ml bottle poured into a tall glass.

A - accidentally poured too rough creating a huge head, which died down just enough to leave a sizeable head that's still there 3/4 of the way down. Huge chunks of sudsy lacing reach all the way to the top of the glass. Brew itself is a clear reddish orange (more orange when held up to the light).

S - There's a breadiness in the nose that comes in first before the tart, pungent (mustardy) hops kick in.

T - This is where the beer won me over. It starts with big, aggressive, oily spicy (mustardy) hops, followed by sweeter, more floral, still oily, and almost taste like wet-hop, hops. Ends with a clean, sweet hop taste.

M - Despite ending on a hop note, it's not a sticky, cloying end. It's a very smooth, clean, refreshing end.

D - I would definitely not guess this is a 9%+ brew. Could keep drinking it, probably even pull off a big champagne bottle.

Alright, BrewDog! Maybe I will have to try Sink the Bismarck! afterall...

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Photo of Casey10
3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one is okay I liked it and while I rated it just above average in most categories I would try it again as it definately is well balanced.

A - hazy yellow with minimum head.

S - Fruity almost smells like a barleywine smell.

T - candy caramel apple with a bit of cinnamon.

M - almost dry a little sour as well and a bit puckering.

D - Is good I would have again and I like the fact it tries to be different from all the other IPA's out there as well.

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Photo of mgbickel
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured ½ of a bomber into a Perfect Pint glass. Formed a single finger off white head that dissipated quickly leaving no trails behind. The body is a hazy amber/orange color with lots of active bubbles.

The nose has lots of fruity aromas up front...citrus, apricot, maybe a little pine. A sweet grain (grass like) aroma can be detected in the background.

The flavor starts off sweet and caramel like but turns into a bitter hop bomb at the finish. You can detect some fruits and grains all throughout the drink.

The mouthfeel is medium, slightly drying with a good amount of carbonation.

This is a nice drinking IIPA. The alcohol is hidden well and sneaks up on you. I would have no problem finishing a big bottle or two...!

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Photo of rarbring
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A clear copper amber beer, with a pale head leaving some lacing.

The smell is very citric and floral, grapes, pine resin, dried flowers and a whiff of Stilton cheese.

The taste has some sweet, toffee and caramel, then grapefruit seeds, some alcohol and a salty cheese presence.

The carbonation is medium high, a complex feeling with a harsh finish.

An extremely hoppy beer, so when your in for that this is very right.

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Photo of bbeane
3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Poured into a DFH snifter... starts with a nice white head that mostly disappears somewhat quickly. Beer is light amber color with very fine sediment and light activity

S- Smells hoppy, bit sour, with hint of booziness

T- Definitely hoppy, but accompanied by a good amount of malt in the finish

M- Light/medium body with little carbonation

D- Not a bad beer, but kind of in the middle of my IPA preferences... too balanced. I either prefer more hops or more malt. In retrospect, well worth the $3 I spent on the bottle


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Photo of mostpoetsdo
3.3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Light copper, and small white head on top, some lacing.

S: Fairly malty, but some hops and booze mixed in.

T: Not much hop taste, but a sweet caramel matliness to it. A strong backing of boozy flavor in there as well.

M: Just about right, fairly high carbonation, but nothing impressive.

D: This is a decent beer, but nothing special as a DIPA.

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Photo of sixerofelixir
3.05/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

22.4 oz bottle. I recall it was fresh, perhaps drink by 10/10?

Pours an ever-so-slightly-hazy golden with a whitish head that soon becomes a ring. Smell is fruity (apples) and sweet. At first, the taste is oily & spicy, melding into severe hops, and ending with an alcoholic deluge. Akin to a shot of brandy, coating the mouth. Slightly carbonated, but finishes with the dryness/hoppiness. A sticky white-wash of lacing coats the glass the entire way down. Drinkability is low - too alcoholic and not enough natural complexity.

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Photo of Jeffo
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Got this one at Bert's Bierhus in Utrecht.

From a bottle into a snifter.

APPEARANCE: Pours a medium looking 2 finger off-white head with decent retention. Burgundy or maroon brown in color, perfectly clear with next to zero carbonation evident. Head fades to a thin film with a ring and leaves some immediate lacing. A wisp remains and leaves some nice looking lacing down the glass. Good looking and a nice color for a DIPA.

SMELL: A nice nose of pale malts, lots of grapefruit and other citrus notes. A light floral hop note makes an appearance as well.

TASTE: Pale malts and a nice amount of caramel sweetness up front, followed by a nice dose of grapefruit, citrus, and other bitter hop flavors. A touch of floral hops as well. Mild and shorter aftertaste of caramel sweetness and bitter hop and grapefruit notes makes an enjoyable and balanced finish.

PALATE: Medium body, but only semi-creamy and smooth on the palate. Goes down fine, no bite, and finishes slightly dry on the palate. The 9% ABV is definitely well hidden. Not bad, but not quite as big as some of the others in the style.

OVERALL: A very drinkable and quite an enjoyable brew. A good offer from BrewDog, rivaling their Punk IPA for top spot in my book. One to check out if you get the chance.

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Photo of mtnbikerpa
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber bottle with a freshness date stamped on the label. Copper orange color with little carbonated bubbles but almost no head. At first there was a strong smell of alcohol but as it sat for a few minutes that mellowed. Strong hoppy flavors are right there. At 150 IBU this is a hop bomb. Well balanced with malts make this almost a barleywine. I love how the boundaries are blurred sometimes among great beer. Alcohol is pretty well hidden. It is relaxing to drink and paired well with some baby swiss.

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Photo of Brent
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice bold hopping going on here. Overall, I thougth it fell just short of the double IPA mark, ringing in at more of an APA, but the big ABV does tend to pump it up a notch. Citric, slightly tropical hops hit up front and hang on at the finish. Malt is well balanced.

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Photo of flannelman808
4.07/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: looks nice! This beer is very bright and has a light amber color. It's topped off with a frothy bone white head.... Nice lacing and retention.

S: I could smell tropical citrus just from pouring this beer! Mango tangerine and a mild piny quality dominate the bouquet. There is a sweet juicy quality which is pretty nice... Like a more intense sculpin.

T: tropical fruit dominates wow this is great!!! Lots of mango! There is a nice bitter piney finish as well... Other reviews do not do this beer justice (else I got lucky and have a really fresh bottle!!!). There is a best by date which is 16/10/10.... No botteled on date. Regardless this stuff is great!

M: mild carbonation resulting in a sticky mouthfeel... But not too muh so... Leaves a nice lingering finish.

D: pretty high for me... For the abv this one is rather dry! The alcohol comes through a bit but it almost helps to dry the beer out! Props brewdog!

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - almost a hefe-like cloudiness to this orange/yellow concoction. A thinnish head even with a rough pour. Little lacing.

Aroma - some sweetness and some grain, no hops though. Reminds me of a helles lager. A little fruitiness comes out with warming but not much.

Taste - biscuity grain to start. An unusual sweetness to this, I think it's just the caramel nature of the abundant malts. It's not the typical flavor though, it's slightly candyish, but still decent. The hops have a good citrusy, pineapple flavor. More bitter and nearly harsh at first, as the bottle proceeds it has a more appealing citrus and mild bitter flavor. Ends with some residual bitterness and some drying, though not as much as I'd expect.

Mouthfeel - just a little heavier than normal, some decent smoothness, but not as near the huge body I'd think for a DIPA.

Drinkability - a quirky kind of double. An enjoyable drink at length, and a reasonably price for a Brewdog bomber at $6. Goodness here, but not greatness.

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Photo of champ103
3.38/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a clear golden/orange color. A large, dense, white head forms, and recedes after a minute. Some sticky lace is left behind.
S: Pine, citrus, and grapefruit hops are up front. There is a buttery, diacetyl aroma that lingers on.
T: Again, lots of pine, citrus, and grapefruit. A substantial bitterness. Some light buttery, diacetyl flavors again. Hot alcohol is noticeable.
M/D: A medium body and carbonation. A little on the thin side for my liking. A soapy and oily feel from the hops. The bitterness and hot alcohol really makes this a little hard for me to drink.

If I was more of a hop head I think I would enjoy this more. A solid example of the style. Worth a look if you see it.

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Photo of Kromes
3.57/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Hazy orange with no real head. Oily film on the sides of the glass.

S: A big citrus and pine hop aroma with some alcohol thrown in and a slight toasted malt aroma.

T: There is a sweet malt taste to the beer that immediately gives way to the sort of tame citrusy/pine hop. The hop lingers long after the finish.

M: It is heavy and smooth and oily. The bitterness from the hop mixes with the peppery spice of the alcohol in the finish. While it's not unpleasant, it does take away a little bit from the beer.

D: Not bad. An average double IPA. Alcohol is hidden well. Worth a try, but I'm not too sure I would have this again.

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Photo of fastsrt
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured 600 ml bottle in tulip glass
A: typical golden color, bone white head that is lose and falling fast.

S: hops present earthy, spicy qualities.

T: this one is hoppy, but it is a one dimensional beer, liquid amarillo hops it is spicy floral and earthy. that is all I get, no booze,

M: thin body the malts are just not there there is no backbone which lends to liquid hops just no character ,lighter carbonation than most which leaves way to more bitterness

D: I am not a fan of this one, and would not buy it again it is to forgeable and it just tastes like I had it before.

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Photo of meeekyh
3.43/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This IPA was poured from a 22 oz bottle into a Fin Du Monde tulip.

The color is a very pretty deep straw color with a slight haze. The head is bone white, medium-thin and leaves only a little lacing. Not bad looking though I could appreciate a bit fluffier head.

Smells are pine and juniper, a bit of citrus and a bit of yeast. Smells bright and inviting.

The taste is tart, piny, and strongly hopped, though the usual malt balance I find in an imperial is missing.

Mouthfeel is on the oily side of medium, dry and crispy.

Drinkability is only moderate but good for the style.

This is decent beer, don't get me wrong, I just expected more from this one. I like my Imperial IPAs to have more balance, but this is one aggressively hopped monster suitable for hopheads in search of the cure.


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Photo of johnwarne
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A beer haiku for you:

"Hardcore? Soft core beer;
Drinkable, but without lust
No raves here, just fair."

Not familiar at all with this brewery or their IPA option, but certainly willing to give any [purported] IPA of quality a go--even one with a less than well known lineage. A decent IPA, but several of our domestics would put this one to the test.


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Photo of BeerBelcher
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on cask at Nicholson's in Cincinnati. It was interesting - I wasn't familiar with Brewdog prior to this, and didn't even realize they were from the UK. This may have been prejudice on my part, as the server described this beer as super-big and overly hopped. By English standards, perhaps, but I found this beer to be pretty tame. It wasn't bad, but it didn't have the over-the-top hoppiness I was promised. It was a nice golden color, with a clear body, and a head that looked surprisingly-un-cask-like. Aroma was faintly hoppy, biscuit-y, and toffee-like. A nice malt balance. Flavor was same. Mouthfeel, for a big (9% ABV) was nice and smooth and middle-of-the-road and not too slick or sticky. A nice beer, but not what I was expecting.

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Hardcore IPA from BrewDog
86 out of 100 based on 533 ratings.