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Hardcore IPA - BrewDog

Not Rated.
Hardcore IPAHardcore IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,313 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,313
Reviews: 523
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 13.27%
Wants: 23
Gots: 113 | 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: 1,313 | Reviews: 523 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of 9InchNails
4/5  rDev +2%
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 +1.3%
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 +6.4%
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 +8.4%
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 -36.5%
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 -6.9%
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.

Photo of machostacos
4.07/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 20oz bottle into tulip. Batch 235; Best by 10-19-11. This is my first taste of a BrewDog brew.

A: Deep golden amber with a full 2-3 finger cream-colored head that settles down to about a half-inch. Very clear. Spotty lacing.

S: Dang. Incredibly bright, juicy fruity hops (pineapple, mango, orange, grapefruit) with some sweet caramely malt shining through with a slight spicy pepperiness from the alcohol. Also some woodiness and dark fruit notes (dates, prunes.) Very intriguing.

T: Tastes pretty much exactly like the smell - very well balanced between the malts and hops. Sweet butterscotch & caramel with a kiss of dried sticky fruits and a hint of oakiness with a nice juicy bite from the hops. It's quite sweet initially, with a flood of hop bitterness swooping in to whisk away the sweetness and exiting with a nice bright, mildly bitter and somewhat dry, puckery finish. Invites another sip, though I fear the overall flavors may start to be a tad cloying.

M: Thin and silky, with very low carbonation. Not really watery per se, but there's not much body in terms of thickness. Silky and smooth and light, but somehow still manages a certain richness. I think the low carbonation is intentional here as it compliments the maltiness, though we're certainly more accustomed to some more bubbles in our DIPAs.

D: Incredibly deceptive with its 9.2% ABV. The alcohol is noticeable in the beer, but more or less as just another flavor component. Very smooth. It would be too easy to knock back 2 or 3 of these and realize the room is spinning. The bitterness has weight but doesn't linger, making this a highly quaffable brew indeed.

Certainly a standout DIPA in my experience, for different reasons. It's very unique in its malt-forwardness (and therefore, balance) but is certainly not lacking in the hop department. It reminds me a little bit of DFH Burton Baton in its deep malt quality (the flavors are quite similar), though the hops in Hardcore are fresher and more striking. I'll be keeping an eye out for other BrewDog offerings in my area as this is the first time I've seen any in the flesh, and is certainly tasty enough to warrant some more investigation into the rest of their lineup.

Photo of mithrascruor
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22.4 oz. bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a really dark, hazy amber color. Great big off-white head has excellent retention and great lacing. Totally hardcore!

Smell: Has a pretty heavy aroma with quite a bit of really dark malt aroma and some dank earthiness. But fear not, there's also some definite hop presence in there too.

Taste: Up-front there's lots of spice and malt flavors. Hoppy flavors come in quickly, but fairly nicely balanced. A fair amount of bitterness is present. There's a flavor here that I've noticed in most BrewDog beers - I suppose it is a product of the alcohol content - a sort of sweetness that ends by sending some mild chills through the body. Leaves a fairly alcohol-based aftertaste, but not without hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and slightly grainy. Fairly mild carbonation.

Drinkability: The taste (with that distinct BrewDog flavor) gets a bit much after a while, and the alcohol hits home quick.

BrewDog does some nice beers, but I feel like I've tasted them before! A lot of the base flavor here I've tasted in their other beers. There's some great elements here, but I feel that it lacks its own identity - and that it tries to be a bit too strong in the alcohol department without needing to be.

Photo of milkbaby9
2.61/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

650ml bomber (Batch 071, Best before 72-04-11, drank on 16 Mar 2011) into Duvel tulip. 2 finger beige to tan very small bubbled foamy-looking head. Big patches of foam left as drank down. Came out of the bottle a very murky dull amber color, cloudy looking. Very hazy and unappealing in looks, kinda yucky, was this mishandled?

Aroma of pineapple, peach, tangerine, grapefruit -- very fruity and a hint of earthy floralness and some alcohol too.

Taste is malty in the beginning, a bit of butterscotch, caramel, a light sweetness. Then bitterness gently rises with a grapefruit rind taste, followed by tropical fruit - guava and papaya - on the sweetish finish. A raw flour taste and salty minerality that lasts into the aftertaste, the flour not being very appealing. Some alcohol in the back of the mouth and nose but not too much.

Moderate to lowish carbonation, a bit of a creamy heavy mouthfeel, but also a bit gritty too, weird.

Great name and label graphics, but the beer itself was disappointing. Not totally sure that this was a well handled bottle that made it overseas through a distributor and then to the store intact? Plenty of other DIPAs round these parts that are much better value for the money. This was almost a drainpour.

Photo of suspect
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 072. Best before 5/26/11.

Poured from 12oz bottle into Duvel tulip. Thanks to HEADYGLASSdotcom for the hookup!

A: Super cloudy, light orange in color. Aggressive pour yielded a little over 1 finger head.

S: Not really sure if I can pinpoint what's overpowering in the nose here. But something is. Just checked another review - PINEAPPLE! That's what it is. Totally pineapple. How unique! I don't think I've ever smelled pineapple in beer before. Let alone it being the most prevalent smell. Alcohol is definitely present here.

T: Not nearly as pineapple forward as the smell. I was worried, but all for not. This is tasty. Hop oils are prevalent here with sweet malt finish. Alcohol is really well hidden.

M: Light, bubbly. Not very heavy at all.

O: Wow, this one caught me by surprise. At 9.2%, you have to be careful not to have too many in one sitting but I could definitely pop a couple of these.

Photo of cetherid
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into a pint glass


Beer is a dark orange/copper color. About a fingers worth of off-white head. Nothing really standing out in appearance.


A little more malt dominant than hops. A caramel malt aroma with smalller smells of flowery hops. Perhaps some slight citrus in there as well.


Big punch of sweetness and bitterness at the same time. Big caramelly and toasted malts along with the bitterness you'd expect from a DIPA. Kind of weird, but enjoyable. Booze is pretty prevalent in the taste. At 9.2, i guess that's expected.


almost full bodied. Great carbonation. A little syrupy/sticky mouthfeel that has a slight dry finish.


overall a good beer. Was a gift so I didn't lose anything. Doubt I'd seek this out, but a decent beer my first time having any type of BrewDog.

Photo of Allpe45
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

best before 08-08-11
Appears hazy red/orange with thin 1 finger head and equally thin yet resilient lacing.

Heavy pineapple/grapefruit smell with a balancing malt undertone

This is quite an interesting DIPA, extreme maltiness. The malt flavor really takes the front, with resin and hop bitterness carrying through to the finish.

This is full bodied, heavy for the style, with smooth low carbonation. The hops provide a residual oily sticky feeling.

Quite an interesting take on the style, I really want to try a fresher one.

Photo of beergod1
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a Murky bronze with orange tints, Foamy off-white head reducing to a film. Aroma doesn't explode out of the glass like other 2IPA's I've had, but still is okay, with caramel, and...can't quite pinpoint what else that is. A little disappointing in the Aroma.The flavor is no let down, though. Sweet malt, hops and fruit all combine perfectly. The balance between sweetness and bitterness here is just flawless. Bittersweet, but smooth with lots of resiny hops. Long somewhat citrusy finish. The only down side other than the aroma may be by the time I finished it, it seemed a little to resinous or cloying. But still a mighty fine 2IPA. Thanx goes to D. Kurtz

Photo of feylure
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow... This is my first Brew Dog beer ever, and I must say that I am already a huge fan! Batch: 395 (best before 12/27/2011)

Brew pours quite well. It has a nice, clear caramel look to it and is well carbonated.

Smell is great. Sweet, caramel and malt notes are everywhere.

Taste is excellent! Complex caramel and malt flavor mixed with a nice hops bite to it. The hops aren't too aggressive, but they aren't too rounded off either. It's nice balance that gives you the bitter taste without it dominating flavor. Mouthfeel is extremely full the entire time.

I'm impressed. This brewery puts out kind of a punk feel on their bottles, and they know how to brew a beer with character. Definitely be getting this again along with some of their other brews!


Photo of drumrboy22
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a standard pint glass. Beer was a slightly hazy, dark orange color. Two-finger, creamy tan head with heavy lacing around the glass. Slow, soft carbonation.

Aroma was big, citrus hops. Notes of caramel, pine and biscuit. Smells awesome.

Taste was caramel, bitter citrus hops, grapefruit and malt. Good balance of sweet and bitter. Alcohol content is pretty detectable, but still pretty drinkable overall.

Good beer. Would seek out again.

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

Appearance. Pours a deep copper orange with some thick haze. A finger of bubbly, off-white head.

Smell. Sweet caramel malts, some herbal hops, some spoiled fruit notes.

Taste. Thick caramel malt, nice herbal hops with some citrus peel. Better than the smell leads on.

Mouthfeel. Medium-full bodied with nice, medium-low, smooth carbonation. High abv pretty well hidden.

Drinkability. A little heavy to drink more than one or two. Good drinker for the high abv.

Photo of SWMeyer4141
3.33/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Whenever I find a brewdog beer, I usually buy it, especially a 4 pack at 8.99.

Appearance-Color of Apple Cider, lots of carbonation bubbles with very little head

Smell-Floral and Butter smelling. Initially smelt grapefruit, and a good amount of banana.

Taste-Alot going on. Citrus, Pine, Alcohol, Malt....Not bad, not great.

Mouthfeel-Lots of carbonation, pretty dry.

Overall-It's pretty drinkable, but there are plenty other DIPAs i'd drink before this. Nothing hardcore about it.

If this beers around me I'll drink it. If it's not around me I won't crave it. Not too memorable

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

Pours a russet orange color with a huge active off-white head.

Smells very hoppy for lack of a better word. It is floral, bitter smelling, citrussy, sweet and slightly bubblegummy. It reminds me of a Smuttynose.

Very bitter on the first touch. It quickly transforms into a barley wine-esque brew that is rich in malt character. It's very British tasting on the grain, almost peat-smoky, and the hops are not knock-over hops but just straight up hops. I like it.

Mouthfeel is a bit chewy, some of that comes with the style, but some of this one is just chewy.

Drinkability, not so much. It's a sipper and would be enjoyable with equally harsh foods, but it is pretty harsh.

Photo of bucklemyshoe
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 mL bottle at 42 degrees into a Stone IRS tulip.

A: This pours a heavily clouded ruby red color with a finger of dirty-white heat with average retention but excellent lacing.

S: Strong juicy grapefruit, pineapple, strong hoppiness, and a powerful caramel maltiness.

T: Strong grapefruit, orange peel, tropical fruits, resiny hops, caramel, and rye.

M: The body is thick and syrupy with lots of carbonation.

D: This drinks like a hoppy barleywine.

Photo of birderbeerer
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a metallic brown, darker than copper. Off-white, one-finger head.

Very lush, fruity hop smell. Grapefruit, bananas, orange.

Taste starts off with the big, fruity hops. Grapefruit and orange. Then a huge dose of dry, caramel, toasty malts comes behind it. Huge malts. The hops are big but are quickly swallowed by the malts.

This is a great beer. It's not a hophead's dream, but it's delicious, with tasty hops upfront followed by rich, tasty malts in a big way.

Photo of BB1313
3.66/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Batch #174, Best Before 7-26-11. 11.2oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass. Pours your typical burnt orange, pretty hazy, nice creamy white head and very sticky lacing. Looks very good! Lots of fruits, pine, and resin up front. This isn't your "tropical" DIPA. I can taste lots of orange, clementines, and pine. There's a slight woodsiness to it w/ some more resin. Tastes good, but nothing new. There's a bit of maltiness to this one. Mouthfeel is nice, well carbonated, smooth and creamy; full-bodied. Finishes slightly warm. For being full-bodied, this drinks pretty well. It's very easy to go through this beer. The alcohol isn't really noticable. Pretty easy-drinking DIPA. My biggest gripe is it tastes like alot of DIPAs I've had in the past, doesn't stand out. Reguardless, it's good.

This is a pretty good DIPA. Maybe the flavors aren't out of the ordinary, but they're good enough and it's well crafted.

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

A - Pours a clear copper color with a small, white creamy head, and gentle carbonation.

S - Juicy caramel malt, pine and lightly pungent grapefruit. Overall nose has a slight tang to it.

T - Taste is fairly balanced with a warm, toasty caramel malt tingling the tip of the tongue up front followed by a musty, pungent hop character with pine, mild grapefruit, and a slight floral flavor. The overall palette is moderate and not as forward as some other big IPA's. There is some alcohol warming with this beer.

M - Very gentle on the tongue, lighter side of medium body, a little bit watery in a sugary kind of way.

D - Good.

This is a good beer but there's others in this category I prefer more. Still, worth seeking out.

Photo of superdudeo
4.73/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My wife bought me a bottle of this for Valentine's Day (how about that?!). Normally, this isn't a beer that I would buy as I have avoided the style lately. However, I was surprised by such a delicious, and well-crafted, beer.

Beer poured a cloudy dark blonde with a one inch head. It laced nicely around the glass as I drank it. It took me a long time to drink this and I was amazed at how the head managed to stick around.

The beer smelled of sweet citrus. I could make out a little pine in there too.

The taste?! Oh man! I really enjoyed it. It had hints of citrus and a nice hop presence. It tastes like a really good homebrew should.The type of homebrew that just piles in the hops. That maybe shouldn't come as a surprise. The blurb on the side proports this to be a small brewery. I probably won't ever find out because I don't have the money to visit Scotland anytime in the near future.

You can clearly taste the hops with a hint of pine that compliments it nicely.
Little bitter, but the perfect bitterness for the style.

For a 9.2 IPA, I was very surpised at how drinkable it is. It didn't burn going down and at the end I lamented how I did not have another.

Highly recommended!

Photo of Durge
3.99/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A clear but dark mahogany copper color with a whispy off-white colored head and nice lacing. The aroma is a beautiful sweet pine and floral blend and maybe a touch oaky. The flavor makes a bold earthy pine hop statement. It's sort of a syrupy peat, grainy idea yet thick with a near cloying floral edge. It's also nearly full bodied with a little alcohol presence. It has medium carbonation, smooth but alive and a fairly drinkable brew for the style. Very much recommended.

Photo of rye726
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Up for review is a bottle of Hardcore IPA from Brewdog. These guys are crazy! Right? Poured at cellar temp into a pint glass. Seems a bit weak and stale for an IPA. But I guess that happens when you send IPA's over seas instead of your cool barrel aged beers. Go get some, try it for yourself.

Hardcore IPA from BrewDog
88 out of 100 based on 1,313 ratings.