Hardcore IPA | BrewDog

very good
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Hardcore IPAHardcore IPA

Brewed by:
Scotland, United Kingdom

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-10-2008

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Reviews: 550 | Ratings: 1,496
Photo of Sammy
3.77/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A decent drinking beer by itself, though not up to the standards of recently produced double IPAs.I had the first edition, and was gladly abe to finish the whole bomber without feeling it too boozy. t was like a 1.5 IPA with good bitterness, lemoney, and malted down or balance.A tad above average mouthfeel,a tad of hoppy aromas.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
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 Knapp85
4.42/5  rDev +15.4%
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!

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Photo of metter98
3.89/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is clear dark amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of toasted and toffee malts are present in the nose.
T: The taste follows the smell, but also has strong flavors of pine resin hops that persist through the finish and contribute a moderate to strong amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and somewhat crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The hops in this beer are very assertive and make your mouth pucker, but there is just enough of a heavy dose of underlying malts to prevent this from being a complete hop bomb.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very nice beer that pulls back from the aggression that is suggested in its namesake. It's not all that hard core. But it is solid and beautiful.

Sparkling clarity brings a glowing light to the golden-copper elixir. Very good head formation and retention leaves much lacing on the glass despite the soft carbonation.

Maltiness leads the way with crisp, caramel, fresh baked breads, and a lot of fruits. Along with the deep herbs, earthy spiciness, and hit-and-miss waves of pine, this beer begins to take an English turn on things.

Again bready, deep caramels, and fruity estrers set the framework for taste. Well malted and attenuated the beer has a decidedly malty stature that veers away from unresolved sweetness and toward crisp, dry, and fruity taste. Fresh cut grasses, pine needles, and lemongrass flavors come in at mid-palate and set the tone for the finish and aftertaste.

Soft confectionates give a cotton-candy sweetness that lingers on the mouth, similar to aspartame. Otherwise, crisp and clean with just enough sugars to compete with the bitter hops. Thought not crazy on the IBU's, this beer is worthy of the English style IPA's. At 9%, this one hides its strength very well.

A very fine IPA that has some bitter alcohols that weaves in and out of the hops but with a nail polish remover flavor and aftertaste that doesn't settle well.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.12/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650ml bottle, best before Sept 2010, though I doubt the proclaimed hops would be able to last that long.

I must say, although Stone's, Lagunitus' and Sherbrooke's smart-ass label ramblings set the industry standard, I'm coming around to BrewDog's 'storytelling' in a big way. They do give the impression of a few gregarious north shore Scotsman shirking tradition and brewing by personal wont in the land of the Wee Heavy. As with the company they keep in this regard, they usually back up the bravado with the proof in their proverbial pudding.

This beer pours a perfectly clear, bright medium golden copper hue, with a few skinny fingers of dense, puffy, and mildly creamy off-white head, which leaves a bit of streaky remote island chain lace around the glass as it slowly seeps out of sight.

It smells of semi-sweet grapefruit, pineapple, and blood orange fruitiness, floral field honey, a twinge of earthy yeast, and heady biscuity caramel malt. The taste is big and bold, bitter pine/herbal hops up front, followed by some relatively mild mixed citrus rind, solid caramel/toffee malt, with some earthy hoppiness and building estery alcohol on the palate toward the end.

The carbonation is moderate, just a pithy and somewhat pesky frothiness abounding, the body a solid medium-heavy weight for the style, largely smooth and even a tad creamy. It finishes bitter and kind of acrid, the piney and citrusy hops lingering like the spice in a good curry in a bad part of town.

Overall, a balanced enough DIPA, but the individual metrics do have their extremes, or 'explicit' apogees, rendering this a verily warm offering, but only after you think about it, and only a little in a way that smacks you upside the head to remind you of the fact. Although you can sense a hint, a tiny delta, in the old-World pull here, this is by far the biggest, hoppiest beer I've ever had from the UK, building on the Punk IPA in the best of ways. Aye, fae Aberdeenshire.

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Photo of brentk56
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a very hazy copper color with a massive head; perhaps a bit too massive, but the retention is strong and plenty of clumpage is left behind

Smell: Sugary malts and pineapple, with grapefruit undertones

Taste: Big malt profile, up front, with a barleywine-like lead-in of pineapple sweetness; by mid-palate, the bitter citrus adds another dimension, but the finish is very sticky and sweet (in a DIPA way, of course)

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation; sticky and warm

Overall: I;m not a fan of DIPAs with a lot of sweet, sticky malts and this one falls in that category; those who prefer that style may feel differently

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a light orangey color ale with a large foamy7 head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of citrus hops is quite powerful with not much else being discernable. Taste packs a powerful punch of citrus hops with a real bitter finish. Malt base is present though doesn’t’ make much of an impression. Body is about average for style with good carbonation. One-dimensional for sure but can’t really argue with the citrusy hops punch of this one.

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Photo of oline73
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at Alewife in Baltimore. Poured into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy reddish brown with a layer of off white head that fades and leaves a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: More malt forward than I thought it would be. Some caramel and dark fruit, pine and citrus hops.

Taste: A malty IPA. Hops are more present here than they are in the smell. There is still a lot of malt with carmel and dark fruit notes. Citrus peel hops with a bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with mild to medium carbonation and a slick finish.

Overall: I enjoyed the malt presence. A good beer that reminded me a bit of nugget nectar.

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Photo of zeff80
3.67/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a clear, burgundy color with a short-lived, small, tan head. It left streaky trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of tons of toffee - very sweet. It was also fruity and floral.

T - It tasted of toffee and sweet caramel malt. It had some light, piney hops providing a little bitterness to attempt to match the sweet toffee and caramel flavors.

M - It was sharp and a little sticky. Almost a barleywine feel with some alcohol heat. A medium to full-bodied beer.

D - This is an interesting brew, very sweet and malty, like a barleywine. Quite a bit of toffee flavor makes it very unique.

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Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 ounce bottle into tulip, best before 7-26-11. Pours hazy dark red-orange color with a huge 3 finger off white head with fantastic retention that eventually reduces to a thin lacing. Aromas of huge pineapple, mango, orange, and pine; with caramel and a some honey. Very nice an balanced aromas, a bit different than I am used to in a DIPA though. Taste of big grapefruit, orange, pine, and spices on the front; with big caramel sweetness afterward. Nice strong bitterness on the finish that lingers for a while with caramel, citrus and pine flavor. Very well balanced bitterness and sweetness with the sweetness being a bit more prominent. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied. No alcohol noticed on taste or finish. Overall a very good and unique imperial IPA.

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Photo of nickfl
3.84/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Half a finger of loose, white foam on top of a slightly hazy, golden body. The head quickly dissipates, leaving only a thin ring of fish-eye bubbles and spotty lace.

S - A very fruity hop aroma of pineapple and grapes with just a hint of pine. Some light malt aroma of toffee and toast balances.

T - Strong, resinous hops up front with tropical fruit notes of pineapple as well as some distinct pine. Sweet malt in the middle, bready with toffee and maybe a hint of caramel. Finishes extremely bitter with sharp, grapefruit flavors and some solvent-like pine notes. Lingering soapy bitterness with a little bit of malt.

M - Medium body, low carbonation, and a slightly sweet, but shockingly astringent finish.

D - WTF. I did not expect this. I was a bit worried that this might be sweet and heavy when I saw the anemic head that warns of low carbonation, but nothing could be further from the truth. The bitterness is overwhelming and so excessively sharp and astringent that any malt character is entirely wiped away by the finish. There are some nice hop flavors and the aroma is pleasant, but the bitterness is by FAR the dominant character in this beer. It works better than it should, but this is still no easy beer to drink; I would recommend it, if for no other reason than because I have never had anything else quite like it, but I seriously doubt I will ever pop the cap off of another one of these. If Brewdog is gaining a reputation for making extreme beers without regard to balance or drinkability, then this bottle is a strong evidence in favor of that opinion.

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Photo of oberon
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I have had mixed reactions after tasting some of the Brewdog stuff,some I like some I dont,this I liked.Poured into a imperial nonic a brilliant copper color with a well sustained 1/2 finger white head that left broken lace behind as it settled slowly.A mix of resiny hop and English malt in the nose,more hop assertive than I thought it would be really.Flavors remind me more of a big American strong ale than anything else,big dose of piney hop,with big leathery notes as well as some fruity esters from the malt,alcohol creeps with its sweetness and sharpness coming in late as I drink more,there is a big biscuity almost sweet dough-like malt base thruought.I like it,its better than expected and almost feel like Iam drinkin an Old Guardian from recent years,well not quite as good.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
1.4/5  rDev -63.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Poured from a 22.4oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a short white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of fruity citrus, light caramelized malts, some honey, alcohol and different scent of hops.

T: The taste starts with a medicine-like alcohol bite that over-powers everything else. There are sweet flavors of caramel, honey and citrus that try to poke their way through. The malt character is thin and the hops presence is subdued, providing very little balance. The after-taste is slightly bitter and a lot like cough syrup.

M: Crisp but not smooth at all, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Not tasty or flavorful, does not go down easily, not too filling, strong kick, not a good representation of style, I just flat out did not like this beer at all and would not recommend it.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.91/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Note: Batch 175, Best Before 31-07-14

A: Pours a relatively clear medium copper in color with some light amounts of active visible carbonation rising slowly from the bottom of the glass, light amounts of fine particulates in suspension, and some ruby red highlights. The beer has a quarter finger tall sudsy light tan head that reduces to a small mottled patch of very thin film and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of citrus/grapefruit pith and citrus/orange rind hops over slightly lesser aromas of toasted and caramel malts.

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of toasted and caramel malts with a light hint of toffee sweetness followed. Then there are slightly stronger than moderate flavors of citrus/grapefruit pith and citrus/orange hops which contribute a moderate amount of lingering bitterness. Hints of alcohol in the finish.

M: Medium bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth with hints of dryness and alcohol warming in the finish.

O: Enjoyable but a little too much alcohol presence to be an easy drinker or a beer that I would want to have more than a single glass in a session. Pretty bitter so if you like a sweeter DIPA, this is not the one for you.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.67/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy, pale yellow body with a medium-sized, white head.

Smell: Distinct butterscotch candy scent with additional notes of lemon and grass.

Taste: Buttery candy taste with some grass and citrus creme. Medium-high bitterness. Lemony buttercream frosting. Finishes with a long, lingering bitterness. Hmm.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A bit odd, but it's okay if you can stand a fair amount of diacetyl.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.14/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Egg yolk yellow with softly falling showers of fine yeast. There's also a hint of orange when the beer is backlit. The three finger crown is elephant tusk ivory and features hundreds of bubbles on its surface. As they slowly pop... pop... pop... they deposit an extensive array of lace that looks like it was etched into the upper portion of the glass.

The nose is nowhere near hoppy enough to be considered adequate for the style, much less *hardcore*. Given the optimistic 'best by' date of 03/03/09, age is extremely unlikely to be a factor. The beer is faintly citrusy, faintly herbal and faintly peach skin musky.

Punk IPA is damn good beer so I know these guys know their way around a brew kettle and a hop cone. I expected Hardcore IPA to be the same, only more so. Instead... it's less so. Much less so. This will take a few more mouthfuls to sort out properly.

First of all, where the hell are the hops? Bitterness is no more than moderate and hop flavor is seriously lacking. Ain't no way in hell this sucker can go another six months. Especially since it tastes past its prime today. Plenty of unmasked alcohol does it no favors either.

The malt backbone is just sturdy enough and features sugar cookies with a thin layer of brown sugar icing. Next we have ripe pears, peaches and oranges sprinkled with white pepper. Citric American hops would have worked much better than the grassy, intensely floral Euro hops that were undoubtedly used. This is a strange hodgepodge of a beer that is interesting, if nothing else.

That off-beat quality keeps drinkability somewhat high (okay... medium) because I keep trying to figure out what makes this brew tick. It's disappearing much more quickly than the flavor suggests that it should. The mouthfeel is on the lighter end of the style spectrum, but then most DIPAs are too full and sticky anyway.

With respect to scoring, Hardcore IPA is all over the map. In the final reckoning, this is an interesting mess of a beer that misses its style marks by a country mile. Note to BrewDog: start with Punk IPA, bump the pale malt by 50% and double the hops. Was that so hard?

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

purchased at the lovely gbx, i cracked this open along with a bunch of others in a mini tasting last night. served cold into a pint glass.

great pour with a dark amber color that had slight hints of reddish notes around the side that gave it a really nice color. smooth head of about three inches comes up and drips lacing down the sides of the glass.

aroma is huge hop bomb with tons of citrus coming forward. sharp grapefruit an pineapple with a hint of malt hiding underneath that really does not come out until it warms up. smooth, creamy feel with a warm and easy carbonation it rips the tongue at fist with countless ibus. warming settles it an brings a back bone of really nice caramel malts and a more orange like flavor as it dries out.

overall a very big dipa, but very well done. impressed as i usually find brewdog terribly unbalanced but this worked great for me.

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Photo of smcolw
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A Scottish 2IPA? Isn't that a contradiction of terms? The smell is far more malty than most IPA's; there is distinct alcohol warmth to it. The hop aroma is muted given the style--it's present but subservient to the alcohol and dry malt.

Okay, this is not a pucker-your-lips IPA. In fact, I would describe it as closer to a high-hopped barley wine. Again, bitterness seems secondary, with the malt and (light) alcohol showing through more. The aftertaste is bitter as one would expect from the style. This is a thick and rich beer, almost the consistency of cream.

Not much of a head but it does leave some light, spotty lace. The color of the liquor is orange-gold and is very cloudy.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.4/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: A hazy golden color with a barely visible white head. Good carbonation.

S: Malty and very fruity. Not necessarily the kind of fruity you would typically associate with hops, either.

T: Was really disappointed by this beer (the first offering I had from BrewDog). It's sweet, not really all that bitter, and rather doughy. I was hoping for a lot more of a hop kick.

M: Light-Medium body, nice carbonation. Kind of slick.

D: It's not a terrible beer, and it tastes fine, so it's definitely quite drinkable. But it was very lackluster.

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

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

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

Review from notes taken 11/29/10. Thanks to wishuwerebeer for sharing. Batch number 71 with a best by date of 27-4-11.

Poured into a snifter, it appears a very hazed amber orange color. A finger of creamy yellowish foam appears and holds quite well. As it slowly fades, it leaves thin legs of lace coating the glass.

The aroma is chock full of piney hop notes which are grassy, leafy and minorly citrusy. Quite spicy smelling with some fruit rind notes and minor yeast quality.

Taste is quite pine flavored that is spicy with notes of fruited rind like grapefruit that clings with lasting power inside the mouth. An astringent alcohol burn fills the mouth and the pine hops with a light peppery note last in the aftertaste.

A medium bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. It is lively on the tongue and fairly drinkable. Quite a bitter, earthy and spicy example of hops are utilized in this brew making it enjoyable and a nice distraction from the typical citrus style ipas.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance of a cream colored head poured from the bottle into a pint glass. Off red copper color to brown, on a borderline opaquenss but still with some see-through quality. Some decent lacing.

Bouquet of faint grapefruit but also sweet maltyness. Tasting of a lemon front giving way to equal but stronger grapefruit and hop characteristics. Aftertaste is a very surprising sugary almost maple sugar sensation.

Body in mouthfeel just about right making for an easily drinkable great Imperial IPA.

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Photo of Billolick
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, no bargain at $3.59! Purchased @ DeCiccios's in Ardsley, NY. Batch 072, with best before dating of "28/03/11" Ah those Europeans...gotta love em... Pours lighter, on the golden amber side, hazed, with a dull orange hue. Moderate and loose darker eggshell head. Thin film, collar and plenty of fine, loose sheeting and strands of lace left on the glass. Minor hops and light cookie dough on the nose. Easy drinking and quite enjoyable. Alcohol masterfully hidden. Plenty of grapefruit hop notes, undercoating of caramel tinged maltyness. Well done. Cost is prohibitive, doubtful I'd go for this one again due to this factor. Glad I gave it a try as its a nice subtle take on the ever popular and enjoyable DIPA style.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.79/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured on tap in a tulip, the beer is a deep, vibrant, caramel-copper coloring, with a low profile, foamy, off white head. Aromas of pine, dank resinous hops, sugary toffee, toasted grains, bright citrus notes, tangy caramel, roasted notes, and a booze kick. Flavors are roasted and tangy sweet forward, malt heavy, with a toffee and caramel blend, heavily roasted, with a blasting overlay of tropical fruit and citrusy hops. Pineapple, mango, melon, grapefruit, orange, and apricot. There is a decent booze kick in the palate, as well. Very robust flavors on a big, slick body. The aftertaste is rich and tangy tropical fruit sweetness with a toffee blend. The finish is slick, dry, and with a building warmth from the ABV. Unique beer.

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Hardcore IPA from BrewDog
3.83 out of 5 based on 1,496 ratings.
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