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Hardcore IPA - BrewDog

Not Rated.
Hardcore IPAHardcore IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

538 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 538
Hads: 1,451
Avg: 3.82
pDev: 22.51%
Wants: 41
Gots: 217 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
United Kingdom (Scotland) | website

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
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 538 | Hads: 1,451
Photo of Kromes
3.57/5  rDev -6.5%
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 -8.4%
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 -10.2%
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 -14.9%
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 +4.7%
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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Photo of ebraun
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass from a bomber.

A: Cloudy orange, very little head. Looked really thick with slow rolling bubbles. Good lacing all the way down for the style.

S: Orange soda, more Jarrito than Sunkist. Wet leather and tobacco.

T: Just like the smell but with more emphasis on the leather and tobacco. First few sips had huge hops that puckered pretty strong, after that though I settled in for a nice sipper.

M: Thick, chewy, sticky. Carbonation light.

D: One bomber of this is plenty. It's a lot to take in with the high alcohol and super-rich backbone. The leather and tobacco notes can really wear you out. This left me wanting something light and crisp not another one.

I thought this was a really good beer and thoroughly enjoyable. The hops weren't as huge as the label might lead you to believe. I'm sure it's been in the bottle for a while on its way across the pond so the hops have likely faded. Nevertheless, really good beer even if it's a special treat.

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Photo of zoso1967
2.98/5  rDev -22%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very light amber with light carbonation. The head is just okay, but it does have nice lacing. The aroma is quite interesting. I am getting a lot of peach, apricot, flowers and a hint of toasted malt, as well as way too much of what seems like a medicinal sort of smell. The taste is moderately bitter with a very interesting hop profile. A bit more citrus than in the nose, but still mostly peach and floral notes. The bitterness is nicely supported by a toasty caramely malt backbone. The mouthfeel is fairly smooth, but seems awfully light to style and the finish is a bit sticky. The lighter body no doubt lends to what appears to be a fairly good level of drinkability. I have to say I am disappointed. All in all a decent brew, but not up to par with many of the other doubles I have had over the years. Worst of all, this brew is far from "hardcore."

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Photo of BrlyHpsWtrYst
2.75/5  rDev -28%
look: 1.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: Well starting off to say that there was absolutly no depressurization when I uncapped this 22... Pours cloudy orange amber with dismal head. large bubbles, either this beer wasn't shipped well or my local brew shop owess me an apology.

S: almost none without the head. stirred up a bit (i know) it gives off a very pleasing citrus/floral bouquet that really gets my hopes up

T:Not at all like the nose.. Maltier up front with a creeping bitterness without any real hop notes, almost tastes like they used Noble german hops like hallertau... not what I was hoping for, it's missing the botanicals that really keep me an IPA fan, a little spice/citrus finish perhaps? I'm hoping i just got a bad bottle because i really wanted to like this beer.

M: A little oily, chalky. A kind of alcohol tingle on my tounge that almost feels like this beer is carbonated.

D: Now I will drink almost any beer for the the experience and this one is tempting my first drain pour... Well I can't in good conscience pour my hard earned dollars down a drain, can I?

Oh Well, in the words of Dave Chappelle playing Samuel Jackson, "IT'LL GIT YA DRUNK" but thats about all. Sorry Brew Dog, I was pulling for you being half scottish, I like your stout but you might have to call this an english IPA rather than the American (West Coast/San Diego) style that we've been spoiled on.

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Photo of far333
3.25/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Cloudy baby aspirin orange with a low wispy head that disappears quickly. Low aroma of floral notes.

Thick and chewy flavors of doughey malt, with citrus and floral notes, hints of cinnamon and toffee.

Thick mouthfeel, viscous and chalky. Could use more complexity, flavors are muted, would like more hops.

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Photo of Axic10
2.51/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured from bottle into standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a hazy orange with no head.

Smell: Different nose for a DIPA. Hoppy yet medicinal. Not bad, but not great.

Taste: Bitter candied citrus. Bitter, but not in a good way. Slightly medicine taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied

Drinkability: It's honestly tough for me not to make this a drain pour. It started off promising, but failed to deliver in taste.

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Photo of dqderrick
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Slightly cloudy with a golden color. There is a slight brown tint. The head is light but healthy. It exhibits a clean hop scent. I pick up a scent of rye or maybe old hops. Batch 357 and appears to say best before 10/16/10 (actually says 16/10/10.

The nose is a little light when compared to what I'm used to with west coast style but smells inviting. Maybe even a little Pliny the Elderish?

Taste is good but not great. I'm enjoying the mild flavors and balance. It has an interesting aftertaste that is difficult to place. I don't think I like the aftertaste too much.

One big bottle is enough.

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Photo of BigMike
1.59/5  rDev -58.4%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured into a tulip glass. Batch #207

Pours a hazy light orange color. Even with a hard pour and several hard swirls in the glass i couldn't get any head to form.

Smells a bit like sour butterscotch. A touch of floral and light caramel malts but nothing too pleasant.

Wow. This beer tastes awful. Medicine like bitter sweetness. Tastes like caramel flavor cough syrup.

Not a lot of carbonation. Pretty thick and heavy. Each swallow is torture.

Drinkability = DRAIN POUR This beer is horrendous. I knew nothing about this beer when i saw it. I saw DIPA at 9% for $4.99 and was happy. After smelling and tasting. I was UNhappy. I would not recomend this to my worst enemy.

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Photo of snpub540
3/5  rDev -21.5%
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.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.48/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

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Photo of cdpike
4.52/5  rDev +18.3%
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.

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Photo of elniko
3.14/5  rDev -17.8%
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.

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Photo of BradLikesBrew
3.57/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

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Photo of almychristopher
3.78/5  rDev -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.

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Photo of foxbat2500
4.3/5  rDev +12.6%
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.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
2.36/5  rDev -38.2%
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.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.45/5  rDev -9.7%
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.

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.15/5  rDev +8.6%
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

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Photo of pinotboy007
3.56/5  rDev -6.8%
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).

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Photo of argock
2.86/5  rDev -25.1%
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.

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Photo of tattooedtolley
3.78/5  rDev -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.

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Hardcore IPA from BrewDog
86 out of 100 based on 538 ratings.