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Hardcore IPA - BrewDog

Not Rated.
Hardcore IPAHardcore IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,332 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,332
Reviews: 526
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 13.23%
Wants: 25
Gots: 127 | 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: 1,332 | Reviews: 526
Photo of NATOuk
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a large bubble glass, it pours a hazy deep orange colour with a decent head settling to a ring around the glass.

Massive amounts of citrus and resinous pine. Divine.

There is a definite malt sweetness at the very front of the mouth at the start, it gives way very quickly to a building bitterness which crescendos on the finish and stays at the back of the mouth for a long time. There are notes of citrus and pine through from the start to the middle. A very aggressive beer but if you are a fan of American hops in large quantities this beer will not disappoint.

Feels thicker than usual beers, almost like a very light syrup. Coats the mouth and ensures the flavour hangs around.

As a fan of American Double IPAs, this beer is a very good representation. Massive amounts of hops, a well balanced sweetness and a hefty alcohol content makes this a fantastic beer. I could quite happily recommend this as a session beer although your session won't last too long at 9.2% ABV! They've nailed this one, I'll be making sure to keep a regular stock of this one.

Photo of JayAre46
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - 12oz bottle with a best before late july 11' poured aggressively into a nonic, deep amber color, very light tan colored head 2 1/2 fingers here. transparent this one makes me think of a a barley for sure, shows good lacing.

A - sweet caramel notes, citrus present can't put a head on what it is though orange? light pine aroma

T - ITS A BARLEYWINE, fuck bigfoot has more hop presence, its good though sweet caramel presence again, strong citrus that has an amazing flavor transition, piney flavors are here as well, slightly hot, not very bitter at all more sweet and hot with a balance of citrus hops. wish there was more bitterness, oh yeah its from the uk, my impression is they don't like hops as much as we hopdemons.

M - medium, not a lot of carbonation, very creamy. the alcohol gives its presence not over powering though. good feel

O - good barleywine, i mean ipa, i like what they're doing with the citrus and pine, but i would love more bitterness, and the price tag doesn't help my decision to get this again or many more times i should say, but a good beer and i was not disappointed. drink it ya wanka!!!!

Photo of BeerLover99
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: burnt orange body, trace head,

S: peach/mango, booze, light pine scent

T: citrus front, solid malt, big boozy + bitter sticky finish

M: med body, plenty slick/oily mouth

O: Usually like my bigger beers to
have the alcohol well hidden,
but alas, this one has it right in your face.
big sipper, go slow.
I have enjoyed Brew Dog, but this is my least favorite.


Photo of drabmuh
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer is orange and hazy iwth a thin white head of tiny bubbles, some lacing but low carbonation.

Aroma is sweet with alcohol and some piny hops. Smells fine I guess.

Beer is thin and sweet up front with some piny hop flavors in the midpalate and a bitter finish. This is one of the better beers I've had from brewdog but overall just a slightly above average kind of hot double ipa.

Photo of deskim
3.55/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very solid IPA. More east coast than west coast (malty vs. hoppy). Poured a copper yellow into a DFH signature glass. Sweet alcohol smell along with yeast and malt. Not hoppy at all. Comparable to a DFH 90 minute, but a little less malty. Hints of toffee were more prominent as the beer warmed up. It was a little on the expensive side, but would gladly drink it again on tap or if it were a bit cheaper.

Photo of Knapp85
4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours out as a deep copped color with a really nice tan colored head. The lacing was really good on this brew. The smell was excellent, really enjoyed the hoppy pine aromas this one had. The taste was also very hoppy with some light citrus fruits and a powerful pine sting that really males this brew special.'the mouthfeel was a little on the thicker side which I liked. Overall this is a great ipa. I could drink many of these along with several other IPAs out there. Really worth trying!

Photo of daveytheformer
4.23/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a stemmed Lost Abbey tulip.

batch 31(?) Best before 2-15-2012

Pours a deep golden orange with a thick creamy white head that fades from huge bubbles to some very attractive sticky lacing.

Smells like thick resinous pine. Lemon citrus hop aroma. A little sweet malt.

Tastes like toffee, pine, and a touch of grapefruit citrus. Not all that bitter really, just a light crispness at the end.

Mouthfeel is medium to full with light carbonation.

Overall is a pretty damn good beer. This is the second or third time I've had this beer and think I'll certainly have another.

Photo of WankelEngine
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11.2 ounce bottle into a pint glass

A: Pours a hazy brown color with a copper tinge. There is a light tan head of maybe one finger which dissipates quickly, leaving some nice lacing.

S: Citrus and pine dominate the scent. The strong hops come through clearly as well as some floral scents.

T: Similar flavor to the smell. There are notes of bitter orange peel and pine. There are also some light tropical fruits that I cannot place, though they do not contribute any sweetness to the taste. There is a bit of caramel malt here to balance the large dose of hops. The aftertaste is long and herbal.

M: Fairly light with a moderate amount of carbonation.

O: A potent IPA but reasonably balanced.

Photo of srandycarter
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Almost clear Copper Orangey goodness. Nice Big off white head leaves quick to ring. Tons of sticky cling lace all over the glass.

S - Mostly deep malt. More like an East Coast IPA for us folks in SD. That's ok, I like the strong malt profile in an IPA. Bitter takes a back seat.

T - Sweet, really sweet malt center, surrounded by a bittering layer.

M - I like the malt, but this one is exceptionally sweet and the bitter sweet sides to the sweet. Not extremely balanced. Good carb and medium to full body for an IPA.

D - Alcohol is very hidden and the flavors are not ruining to the palate. Might be tempted to drink more than recommended...

Photo of DBoyWhiteLabel
4.14/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got the bottle at a LQ in Indianapolis, so there is no mistaking that the age of the beer is well past its true prime.

With that understood, I graded the beer on a slight curve, but the beer is still a VERY good one.

A - seriously a great looking beer... what I would think a great looking IPA would and should look like.

S - Smells like a barleywine to be quite honest. Not a bad smell, just not the smell I would attribute to a great IPA. It's just missing the hoppy aroma completely.

T - Tastes great, right between hoppy and malty. It does a great job of hiding the alcohol content.

M - Really good mouthfeel for an older than should be beer.

O - Do it.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a dark orange color, 1" head, white. Aroma was missing the dry hop feel of a beer, some hops, but nothing pungent like the name hardcore ipa might conjure up.

Highly bitter beer, not bad, but hops again missing from the mouthfeel. Hides the alcohol. I don't know if I'm being fare, judging a beer that is better fresh, that had to travel halfway around the world. This could be an excellent beer without the 6000 miles on it or whatnot. Sticky. Not a malt bomb by any means, but there's enough substance to it that it doesn't become simply sweet and bitter, it is sturdy. Lots of toffee and caramel to it.

Would love to see some born on dating with these.

Photo of olmatty
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clouded orange with a low white head with lots of lacing
Sweet honey and floral aroma with a flavor that mirrors this aroma. Lots of residual sugar with honey, big biscuit and a floral hop dose. A significant hop bitterness and with somewhat less in flavor and aroma hop. The key here is balance. A big IPA with very nice balance. Carbonation is smooth and body is medium high. Overall quite nice and memorable.

Photo of heygeebee
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a truly amazing(!) head that bubbles and bubbles and then leaves a deep amber body with one finger head. Lacing stays all night.

Strong aromas of citrus/lemon and hops.

Delight to drink - more so than Punk IPA, as the malts and toffee balance out the hop backbone. More rounded.

Creamy mouthfeel, strong warm alcohol aftertaste, in this case, not a bad thing.

At 9.2% tho, you have to drink slowly... a two-part pour into the glass in my case, stopped the beer warming too much - best at around 4-8 deg, rather than higher...

Most worthwhile.

Photo of ZacHart
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: cloudy, burnt orange color that left a half-inch head and no lacing when poured from the bottle to a chalice.

S: toffee malt and alchohol on the nose followed by spicy, evergreen hops.

T: taste is dominated at first with really strong toffee malt flavors, which fade to a fantastically bitter burst of hops. The hops linger on the palate indefinitely, although the alcohol flavor in this brew does not overpower. A very balanced and flavorful brew.

M: this is a slightly chewy, grainy brew that really coats the palate and is relatively low on carbonation.

O: a nicely balanced, potent, and flavorful brew that's good for the special occasion when you can actually find this stuff. It lived up to the reputation of the brewery and reminds me of the 90-minute IPA and other high quality imperial IPAs.

Photo of MadCat
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm amazed that this beer has so few reviews, maybe because it is confusing as to which version of the Hardcore IPA I have. I just went by the look of the bottle.

Appearance: An orangey yellow color with a good white head that dissipates fast and leaves good lacing

Smell: Pine, resin, good bit of malt, somewhat sweet, hints of citrus

Taste: Pretty darn good. Up front, you are met with resinous hops and some sweet malt, with some pine and citrus hops in the back. Respectable bitterness, but decently balanced with enough sweetness to reduce harshness.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with medium carbonation

Overall: Personally I enjoy this better than the Punk IPA, though I'm drinking this one slower. The added malt helps balance the flavors better. BrewDog has earned my respect. Now I would like to try more of their lineup!

Photo of MasterSki
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased at Lincoln Park Binny's. Batch 235(?), Best before September 16th, 2011. I think this was bottled in December. Served in a Kuhnhenn tulip. This is apparently as fresh as it gets in Chi-town.

A - Pours with two-plus fingers of off-white foam that slowly settles to a thick cap and splotchy glass-coating lace. Body is a hazy copper-amber with a nice glow to it.

S - Hop character is very herbal and leafy - slightly dank, with notes of lemon and bitter grapefruit, and maybe a hint of tropical fruit and cat pee in the periphery. Malt character is present, but mostly bread rather than anything sweet. Not bad for something that appears to be nearly four months old - damn you Preiss Imports.

T - Toasted bread malt character with a kiss of toffee. Not much in the way of overt hop flavor, but a lingering bitterness in the medium-high range. There's a touch of grapefruit in there as well.

M - Body is medium-full, with pleasant active carbonation, a tons of residual hop resins and oils. Texture is very dry, but has minimal grain character. Some minimal alcohol warmth.

D - Pretty drinkable, as the texture is nice and the alcohol is well-hidden. It's faded, but you can tell it was a pretty solid DIPA when it was fresh. While Brewdog's marketing does annoy me, this is a pretty solid beer. It's a shame the importers take ages to get it to the US market.

Photo of AdamBear
3.94/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-hazy dark gold, almost brown with a thick tan head and some lacing

S-smells like berries and hops. medium strength

T-comes in with hops, berries, but mostly tobacco leaves actually. the berries and tobacco lasts awhile. this is interestingly tasty. it has a similar after-taste. its a unique and well balanced IPA.

M-creamy medium carbonation with a fine dry finish

D-this isn't a ground breaking amazing IPA but it is definitely good and tasty. it tasted good all the way through and served its purpose to quench my thirst for hops. i'm glad i got it, and i'd recommend it to anyone to try at least once.

Photo of vandemonian
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

BrewDog Hardcore IPA is a deliciously flavorful double that is great fro drinking in small quantities.

A: Cloudy brown/orange colour and a decent 5 mm head that fades to ok lacing. 4

S: Floral hops, yum. 4

T: Citrus hops and some bitterness. Quite malty for an IPA, which I like a lot. 4.5

M: Very thick and foamy. 4.5

O: Very nice double IPA. The bitterness builds with time.

Photo of paulozanello
3.82/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very hazy copper color with lots of carbonation coming from the bottom. Head is a creamy white color with lots of lacing all over. Retention is average.
Aroma is a mixture of caramel malts, toffee and citric and piney hops with the malts dominating slightly. I also get a little alcohol.
Taste somewhat follows nose starting out very sweet and caramely followed by a good amount of citrus and piney hops and lots of bitterness but not enough to overtake the sweetness.
Aftertaste is long lasting.
Body is very heavy with a low drinkability. Alcohol warmth follows every sip. Carbonation is mild.
A potent DIPA from Scotland. Needs a tad more hops for balancing the toffee caramel malts.

Photo of 9InchNails
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch # 395 Best Before: 12-27-11

The body color reminds me of a carbonated apple juice. Nice fluffy white head. Tiny bubbles move slowly then gushes up about midway.

Nothing but sweet pine, citrus fruits and bitter hops. This smells very intensely hopped. The fruity smell is like apples and pineapples. Smells nice nonetheless.

Mostly bitter and piney hops upfront, a slight toasted maltiness comes peeking in, blending with the bitterness to make the bitterness not too overwhelming.

Medium body, carbonation is there but not overwhelming. Leaves the mouth feeling dry. Some alcohol warmth.

Overall, this is a hop-bomb! If you like double/imperial IPA's this will put some hair on your chest even if you're a woman! With warming, alcohol is a little more noticeable but works quite well. With a 9.2 abv., I advise consuming this sitting down or you might find yourself that way anyway. It sneaks up on ya.

Photo of laituegonflable
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drunk from a growler purchased from Slowbeer. (That's not just a description of my method of imbibing but a description of me a couple of hours later)

Pours a red-tinged amber colour. Head is listless but some nice sheets of lace with not much substance; not thick or sticky. Carbonation is minimal - looks alright but just a bit lacking.

Lots of citrus-forward hops on the nose. Lemon, orange rind with plenty of herbal notes as well, coriander and thyme on there which is really quite tasty. Bit of earthiness rounding it off; very pleasant aroma.

Taste is very hop-centric. Lots of citrus - lemon, orange with touches of tart pineapple on the front-to-back. It's like the pineapple closer to the skin, the more acidic taste. Bit of pine resin to the hops as well. Tangy overall with fruit, sherbet and then floral bitterness with resinous touch. The back is very aggressively bitter but stops short of being overpowering. Great hop bomb here.

Quite a full body with lots of texture. A bit sharp around the edges where the hop acids really assault the mouth but yeah, enjoyable overall.

Well flavoured and brewed IPA. A growler full must be shared with friends but it's definitely a good one to send round a party (as I did, for the most part).

Photo of CMB2012
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle, batch 174, best before 26-07-11. Served in a 16oz stemless snifter, out of the fridge for about 20-25min before serving. I have had this many times, but I finally decided to review.

A- Pours a deep copper/orange color, slight haze, and one finger of creamy, off white foam. The head dissipates pretty quick with some lacing. Without much effort though, this beer will keep a nice and creamy topper throughout the adventure.

S- Distinct English ale yeast character, sugary fruity- dried apricots, cherries, figs, prunes, dates, and raisins (very lovely). This all melds into sweet caramel and toffee malts, and the whole aroma is wrapped in a tangy, citrus, grapefruit and alcohol blanket. So where are the hops? Well, they are certainly there, mixed in with the fruity yeast character, but they show themselves most distinctively with an earthy pine and wood scent, which is slightly bitter.

T- Very sweet for a Imperial IPA and it's right up front. English style IPA meets American style Barley wine. A citrus tingle encompasses the tongue while sweet, sugary fruits burst upon the taste buds. Again, I get apricots, prunes, figs, dates, and raisins. Dark fruits abide, but not in a winey Imperial Stout way. This beer is very sweet and round. The hops make a bigger stand in the taste, showing up early on in the form of citrus acidity Then once the fruit is gone, they mix with the large malt backbone to create a nice nutty caramel effect. This ale finishes sticky and bitter, but somehow very smooth- lots of pine, earthy grit, and some wood notes. There is definitely some heat on this one, the 9.2% isn't hiding very deep. Intent? Well, I am partial to this beer because it was my first favorite for the style, and I personally appreciate the burn it produces. To each their own, but the alcohol is noticeable.

M- Possibly the best part of this beer, the mouth on this is as creamy as it gets for the style. The body is only medium, maybe medium-full, but it is viscous without being thick, chewy without being rough. It is sticky, but akin to a cream ale in consistency. Not much carbonation to speak of, but certainly enough. I love it, it really works for the flavors this beer offers.

0- As mentioned before I have had this beer many times and it is a favorite of mine. It isn't what you might typically expect from an Imperial IPA*, but then again none of Brew Dog's beers are typical. The brew is English at it's core, so don't think West Coast. It's hoppy and high in alcohol, and you will be overwhelmed, but it is far from one-dimensional, there is a lot of complexity here. You really need to sip and think about this one. Try it!

*In all honesty I think it is unfortunate that this site requires all IIPAs to be considered American Double/Imperial IPA's. This beer does not exactly fit the American IIPA category, and I don't think it wants to. I decided not to review it based on this categories more strict guidelines because it would limit my intent, and also rate this beer lower than it deserves.

Photo of Krakistophales
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a very dark, murky brown that yields about 2 fingers worth of an off white head that retains rather well.

S: Strong pine hops with a hint of pineapple, lime, and slight malts.

T: A powerful lemon, orange, and grapefruit blast hits the palate at first, followed by powerful pine hops and finished with the very slightest touch of malt, with a lingering hop sensation in the aftertaste.

M: Good carbonation with a powerful bite that lasts, a bit of stickiness that clings to the palate.

O: This is a great IPA. This is right among 90 minute and Maharaja in my top 5. No wonder this got the 2010 DIPA gold medal.

Photo of ChadQuest
2.49/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

large 3 finger head, the body is an amber color, darker then what i personally desire in an IPA, but i can't knock it for being what it is.
nose is a bit resiny with an orange sugar candy aroma too, like those brachs orange slices. Alcohol is easily detected here too, and is somewhat solvent like.
I guess Scotland is on the East Coast now, this is not very hoppy and i am still 4 months within the best-by window. Flavors are not bad per say, but i did reach for this wanting an IPA, a "Hardcore" one at that. The non-hardcore flavors include Candied Pears that are slightly fruity but more sugary, some piney notes, and a mist of citrus to make things obligatory. Besides the Sugar coated light fruits there is some caramel thrown against this canvas.

If this was called an English Strong ale, maybe i would approach it better, but i wanted an IPA. Mission Failed.

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy orange-ish to copper color with a light tan head. In the aroma, orange citrus and alcohol. In the taste, dry hops, starts with pine to an orange citrus, quite malty and a hint of sticky alcohol. A small bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry, small orange citrus hop in the aftertaste. Big and hoppy, and balanced and boozy.

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Hardcore IPA from BrewDog
88 out of 100 based on 1,332 ratings.