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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 SmashPants
3.51/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: 330mL brown bottle. Pretty plain, yet kind of stylish. At least it's different.

Appearance: pours a hazy / murky copper-orange colour with a big ivory head that drops quickly to a solid, rocky two-fingers. Great lacing.

Aroma: plenty of toasted malts, caramel and toffee, with some citrus hops over the top. Not quite as hop-orientated as I expected.

Taste: much the same on the palate - caramel and toffee, some liquorice with bright hops along for the ride. Not an unpleasant beer, but certainly not what I was expecting from a 'Hardcore IPA'.

Aftertaste: all of the flavours hang about for quite a time, with some bitterness finally coming through.

Mouth feel: a moderate body with low carbonation. I can't help thinking it could have used a bit more carbonation to spruce up the hops a bit.

Overall: not a bad beer, but I certainly wouldn't have given it the moniker 'Hardcore IPA'. Still quite drinkable, but not for AU$140 a case (2014).

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Photo of BastardFromABasket
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A hazy amber ale that pours a fluffy, off-white head that fades quickly. Smells faintly of hop tanginess. Tastes malty followed by a nice hoppy bite and a copper/metallic tang reminiscent of a Dogfish Head 60. Hides the alcohol well but you'll feel it quickly. Mouthfeel is full and creamy.

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Photo of Bodega95
4.26/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

This beer packs a very hard punch, it kicks the shi.. out of your taste buds in a single sip! Almost comparable to what a hard liquor would do! Nice texture and body! definitely not for pussies! Overall a very dry IPA excellent for Loud music and spicy foods.

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Photo of Roguer
3.78/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a nice thick cream-white head. Beer is thick and cloudy, a very dark orange - almost brown - lightening to a barely translucent gold-orange at the bottom of the glass. Very good retention and excellent lacing.

Immediate aromas of grapefruit and floral hops, and caramel malt, with a hint of brown sugar. Smells way too boozy and malty, but the beer is perfectly fresh. Still smells like an old IPA.

Flavor follows the nose, and while it has characteristics of what might normally be ascribed to a past-prime IPA, it's really indicative of the intent. Hops are strong and floral, but the malts dominate the flavor with caramel, honey, brown sugar, and vanilla. The hops give a nice balance, keeping it from being too sweet, and give you a floral and light citrus finish, as well as some spicy, earthy hop bite.

Lively, with a bit of a sting, but an otherwise full mouthfeel. Slick and slightly oily, with an almost resinous brown sugar coating.

I'm more used to American IPAs, but once you get past that, this is a very, very good beer. It reminds me a lot of Lagunitas Brown Shugga and DFH Burton Baton (the latter crafted after an English style ale). It would make for a good nightcap.

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Photo of mrc7477
4.66/5  rDev +22%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The Hardcore IPA has one of the best aromas I have smelt. The taste is amazing. It is the best IPA I have ever tasted. I work at Bayway Market as a beer specialist and I really recommend this IPA to people. Anyone in Coos Bay, Oregon that prefers a really good IPA then come into Bayway Market and pick one up. We have the best prices in town.

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Photo of BWE
4.93/5  rDev +29.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

If you love IPA's... I mean love as in the more Hops the better, then this one does what you need.

It's somewhat cloudy, which I kinda liked because it reminds me of my brews. Smells fantastically hoppy. I'm guessing a lot of Cascade Hops maybe. Very piney. The taste is just the same. All hop and some sweetness actually. Being 9.2% you would think some alcohol flavor would slip through. But if it was there, I didn't catch it, and I've drank it several times.

I'm on the search for another place that sales it in my area. Unfortunately the liquor store I bought from burned down.... All that beer...

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Photo of Glennlawless
2.78/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Pint Glass

A - Very hazy dark cloudy orange, almost copper. one inch head.

S - Grapefruit,pine, A little earthy and some other tropical things happening as well...simcoe hops make a presence as well.

T - The only problem I have with doubles is that the alcohol sometimes takes over the beer..this is one of those beers. All you taste are the simcoe hops and alcohol in this brew, everything from the nose is now gone. Im seeing all the reviews saying this is the best ipa theyve ever had. I dont feel the same way...

Overall, this beer was decent at best. It was not rough going down whats so ever but all im getting is alcohol, and a little bit of sweetness....i dont know, I myself am a west coast style hop head but I have had some east coast(style) IPAs that have been great, this was not one of them.

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Photo of bcsbeer
4.94/5  rDev +29.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Picked up a single at ABC. Best before date 141 15-0?-14
Poured into a DFH signature glass.

A: Amber leaning towards orange. Off white rocky head with minimal retention and lacing.

S: Big on the piney hops. Very nice! It would make a great air freshener.

T: Big on the malts with biscuit and orange. Each sip left you wanting another. This was a hard beer to put down.

M: Medium to heavy, somewhat oily. Carbonation was on the lower side. Coated the tongue and taste buds with a lasting flavorful bitterness that left you wanting more.

O: This is my second offering from BrewDog. I wasn't impressed with the first one (punk IPA) so my expectations were not that high. What a surprise! One of the best DIPA I have had. Very well balanced between the malts and hops.
Damn that metric system, only 11.2 oz

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Photo of KingJason
5/5  rDev +30.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

When I'm not watching the Victoria Secret Angel's blow me kisses in their commercials I'm meditating on this beer to open my third eye into Nirvana, the one Tom Cruise always mentions. Did Prince Harry try this yet? I mean in his Apache helicopter?

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Photo of ExaltedNecrosis
4.34/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

11.2 oz bottle poured into tulip glass.

A - Cloudy caramel brown with 1-2 fingers of light khaki head.

S - Very sweet smelling, with caramel and piney hops.

T - This is one of the sweetest IPAs I've ever had. Caramel sweetness, followed by piney, resinous hops. It is moderately bitter, which is balanced by the huge sweetness. The 9.2% alc is well hidden.

M - Full bodied for an IPA, very sticky and resinous. Moderate carbonation. The aftertaste is sticky and resinous.

O - Definitely not your run of the mill IPA. This is super sweet and piney, with a full sticky body.

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Photo of sudsy2drunk
5/5  rDev +30.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

my buddy klye shared a four pack with me best night ever

A- puffy off tan heady with the darkest almost red look

S- hops hops and more hops

T- a strong kick in the face with a smooth malty after taste couldn't wait for my next sip

M- fantastic almost as over bearing as the taste

O- literally the best ipa ive had i really wish i could get more of it

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Photo of oceanman907
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from the bottle.

This beer had me in a quandary. Very unique DIPA, in the sense that there is very little piney, bitter hoppiness in the forward palate. Instead it is replaced w ripe stone fruit and fresh baked biscuits. very malt heavy for the style, bordering on a strong hoppy red ale. Since the DIPA is really a distinctly american style, this beer feels like an english take on an american (and especially west coast) variety which is interesting, but I'd take my pliny, meltdown, and hop dog anyday over this beer.

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Photo of snaotheus
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle poured into a chalice. Batch 053, best before 12-03-14.

Pours cloudy brownish-orange, medium head. Slightly carbonated. Smell is very similar to what I remember from Whoop Pass, but still don't know how to describe very well. Kind of a mushed up hops-and-vegetable-matter smell. Pulped grass and leaves, pine.

Taste is surprisingly soft in comparison with what seems like a somewhat harsh aroma. Grapefruit, lemon.

Mouthfeel is pleasant and velvety. Actually, very nice. Overall, this is a pretty good beer, but I'm not blown away.

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Photo of Aaron_Ramson
4.17/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Chewy, oily, thick, resinous but not overly bitter, has an alcoholic burn ( 9.2 ABV!) that reminds you that you're drinking something heavy. An outstanding IPA that doesn't over do it with hop bitterness. It says that this beer is "retired" but we found it readily enough at a local beer and wine shop. A very exceptional imperial IPA, as good as Avery's Maharaja IIPA, with a better nose. Definitely something you want to try in your lifetime!

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Photo of beergoot
3.91/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle info: Batch - 278, Best before date - 30-08-13

The beer poured out a deep copper-orange color and created a thin yet persistent head. Rich malt aroma; caramel; faint ripe apricot. Richly sweet malt taste with a great hop bitter component; nice integration with the ABV – noticeable yet let's the malt and hops do most of the talking. Medium bodied; somewhat syrupy; tingling on the tongue.

Massive yet approachable. Balanced and complex. Should be a hit with most hop-head IPA lovers.

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Photo of TriggerFingers
4.24/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I have been wanting to try this one for a long time.

Had in DC out of the bottle. Bottle says: Batch #039, best before 22-02-14.

Nice color. Smells slightly citrusy and quite pleasant. Flavor is really unique--very malt forward with a slight tang. Bitterness is almost non-existent (or should I say lingering bitterness and astringency) which for an IPA is something to behold. In a way you can tell this isn't an American beer (rather it tastes like a foreign interpretation of an American beer). With that being said, this is super smooth! You can tell its higher alcohol, which comes off a little boozy because the bitterness doesn't quite keep up, but I think in a way it works. Its almost like a Scotch Ale brewed in an IPA style (if that makes any sense).

B+ for overall effort. Its different, and sometimes that is great! This beer delivers on the goods and from a fresh bottle its quite nice. Wish the nose were a little more pronounced and perhaps the hop flavor more developed. That being said, if you could try a single give it a try. From a tasting standpoint, I think it has a flavor and novelty that American IPA's simply don't have. If you are building a "custom 6'er" anywhere, put this one in there!

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.74/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

11.2oz bottle served in a snifter.

L - clear deep amber color with a off-white head that thinned to a ring.

S - pine and tropical fruit aroma.

T - starts out with pine and some sweetness before a citrus rind bitterness takes over for the finish.

F - medium bodied it's smooth and somewhat warming.

O - not bad but there are lots of other beers in this style that I would take over this one.

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Photo of dheacck11
4.19/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pour is a deep caramelly red/orange. finger of dense off white head, lingering.

Nose is big, sweet and sticky. Lots of pine, caramel, and a little hint of citrus. Perhaps just a hint of spice.

Taste is big and rich. Lots of thick, rich caramel and malt initially, with a little bit of citrus (mostly orange and tangerine) again. Follows by a solid piney, hoppy bitteriness. Little bit of scotch noted as well.

Mouth feel is rather thick and full, very sticky. Really nice.

This is a bit old, so not getting it at it's freshest is likely subdued the flavors some. Really has aged nicely though, to the point it almost tastes like a scotch ale at times. Would like to try again fresh to see if the hops are more prominent, but a really good brew anytime. Definitely an atypical DIPA for american standards.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Batch 020. Best before 7/18/13.

Pours a murky dark orange-brown with a foamy orange-tan head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, caramel, toffee, and citrus zest. Taste is much the same with malty and citrus zest flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of hop bitterness and an alcohol kick on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that has a great smell but it's a bit too alcohol forward in my opinion.

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Photo of bmwats
4.01/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a footed tulip.

A: Dark amber hue. Pours about a 1 finger, foamy, tan-white head. Settles fairly slowly, leaving a thick foam ring around the rim of the glass. Hefty amounts of uneven lacing.

S: A little buttery sourdough bread, with some sublime pine, and a little honey and molasses. Nice overall floral aura.

T: Bready, and very piney, with just the slightest hints of sweetness.

M: Mouth-puckering acetone bitterness in the front-end, levels off to a light and subtle soft piney goodness. Thick and syrupy body with a dry finish.

D: Sip and enjoy. The bitterness character will dictate it.

Atmosphere is very good. Great body (which is nice...) including a nice head and some persistent lacing. Nose is very pronounced with a bready pine, balanced with some sweet and savory components. Flavor is doughy bread with pine, and some sweet balancing tones. Tastes like it smells. Heavy body.

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Photo of mick303
4.06/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a distinctively reddish copper colour, with a nice white head, good lacing and retention.

S- an astringent pine and grapefruit hoppiness, tropical fruitiness, fresh almond nuttiness. Some caramel-like maltiness in the back. Lot of herbal character, somewhat antiseptic but quite interesting.

T- coating herbal bitterness, grapefruit/lemon citrus, pepper spiceiness, lot of dryness and herbal spiceiness on finish. Caramel toffee malt. A slight pineapple, and fruitiness, honey and hazelnut note, strong tart hop character wit ha slight underlying vanilla note.

M- big and slick, coating hoppy oiliness, herbal, moderate carbonation, big and pleasing. Dry and lingering finish. Really drinkable for a high strength IIPA.

A nice solid IIPA, good example. Bold and hop oily yet nicely sippeable, it is pleasing. Perhaps not as complex as the best examples but still a real treat on the UK scene. Well put together and a really quality beer. Big yet drinkable with a tasty complex profile.

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Photo of ThePaleRider
3.59/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

A - Very dark orange. Looks almost like a red ale. Nice two finger white head that leaves big chunks of lacing on the glass.

S - Very straight forward smell. Hop resin and very piney. The aroma isn't very complex but really foretells the flavor to come.

T - Hello bitter slap in the mouth! Wow, I've had this before, but this bad boy has some bite. Not a whole lot of citrus flavor. Plenty of pine and bitter taste. Love the bitter taste, but would like to have a little more citrus in the mix. Now that I'm done whining this beer is a monster. Bitter and strong. Should this be what a IIPA tastes like? Who knows, but cheers to Brewdog for not taking any prisoners.

M - Pretty smooth after taste with a light body for the flavor.

O - Love this beer, but not as good as I remember. The west coast floral style has grown on me over the overly bitter style.

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Photo of Thehuntmaster
4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle 9,2% Abv.
Served chilled in an oversized wine glass.
Batch: 317
Best Before: 09/10/2013

I was so shocked to see some bottles of this sitting on the shelf at my local bottle store. I never thought I would see the day that I could buy a decent beer locally!

Appearance: Hardcore IPA pours a beautiful amber-orange colour (crystal clear), with a rough pour generating a creamy off white head that lasts really well and leaves rings of lacing as it recedes. The 9,2% Abv is noticed as a swirl yields some light alcohol legs.

Smell: Hmmm, well the age of this bottle is certainly apparent (an IPA with a year shelf life! Really?), but it still smells pretty good. Sweet citrus notes (orange/tangerine), grape fruit pith, resin, orange blossom honey as well as caramel and toasted malt make up the bulk of the aroma. Warming yields some additional fruity notes (pineapple and peach) as well as a light floral character. Even at room temperature, there is no trace of the 9,2%.

Taste: Mmmm, this is still pretty tasty. Sweet caramel and orange blossom honey are noted at the front of the mouth, but are quickly overtaken by a massive wallop of bitterness and notes of grapefruit pith, pine resin, sweet citrus, touches of pineapple and peach and some dankness. Warming brings out a little more sweetness and a light toasted note. As with the nose, there is no trace of the Abv.

Mouthfeel: Wow, the mouthfeel on this bottle is far better than I remember - I am not sure I could ask for much more from a big IPA. Medium-full bodied, with a little stickiness and a medium level of ultra smooth carbonation.

Overall: This bottle was not as good as the three week old bottle I had in 2011, but it is still probably the best beer I can buy in the country!

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Photo of TrappistJohnMD
3.67/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Amber color with lots of off-white head that lingers well in DFH IPA glass. Decent lacing.

Smell is pretty malty with lots of caramel and some hints of banana. Not as much hop character as I would have thought but there are notes of pine and grapefruit.

Taste is similar to smell. More caramel and malt than expected. Mild grapefruit and pine but doesn't linger very long. Moderate bitterness.

Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied. Average carbonation.

Overall this was worth a try but I won't seek out again unless on tap.

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Photo of endovelico
4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pristine amber brew with white frothy head that holds well with good lacing.

Aroma: Complex and intense. Spearmint at the front and honey and flowers on the back. It feels a bit rough around the edges but it's notwithstanding very pleasant and powerful.

Taste: Medium high in intensity. Taste is earthy, citrusy (grapefruit comes to mind), spearmint, caramel and toffee. So elegant and balanced.

Palate: Medium full bodied. Medium low carbonation. Medium high bitterness.

Overall: When it's good, it's good. They're not reinventing the wheel here sure, but they hit nearly every mark with stupendous craftsmanship.

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