The Vicar's Cross | Boxing Rock Brewing Co.

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The Vicar's CrossThe Vicar's Cross
Very Good
46 Ratings
The Vicar's CrossThe Vicar's Cross

Brewed by:
Boxing Rock Brewing Co.
Nova Scotia, Canada

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by ludachris on 10-07-2013

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 46 |  Reviews: 12
Photo of Phyl21ca
2.48/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Bottle: Poured a clear brown color ale with a light foamy head with minimal retention. Aroma of caramel malt with light earthy and musky hops is more or less pleasant. Taste is also dominated by caramel malt notes with dry earthy and musky hops that falls flat with some bitter notes in the aftertaste. Body is full with low to average carbonation. Ended up in the drain as the malt bill is too powerful and doesn’t allow for the hops to really shine.

 453 characters

Photo of djcreepshow
2.75/5  rDev -28.4%

Photo of cfalovo97
3/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of byronic
3/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of Powers30
3.11/5  rDev -19%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of polloenfuego
3.2/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of dfecteau
3.4/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of johnnnniee
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of Kmat10
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Ivanhoes_Backpack
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of TT--Cashout
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of deonreds
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of ludachris
3.57/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The deep amber red hue of the body is a sight when held up to the light. There's the slightest haze that stops it from being crystal clear. I can't tell if this is because it may have only went through the first stage of filtration or if the break in clarity is due to its darker colour. Whatever it may be, it has a very clean, still look to it. Just shy of a finger's worth of off white head struggles to stay afloat after a steady pour, leaving fine legs of lace along the edges of the glass.

The nose is quite tame for a double IPA. Fresh grass clippings, lemon peel, melon and grapefruit pith are what the hop character is composed of. It's almost outmatched by the sweet bread and toffee notes that lie at its core. Sticking to the look, its aroma is very clean and incredibly balanced. There's no flaws but lacks the "umph" I seek in beers brewed in this style.

Thankfully, there's more weight in the taste. Grapefruit comes in first, giving off all of its sweet and bitter qualities as it dips to the sides of the palate. A floral kick with raw grass clippings follows right behind. This hoppy bitter goodness comes quick and stays long. An outline of caramel and rich bready malts is apparent up until the finish where a dry, earthy, minerally, and grassy hop character sinks in. This lingers after the finish with a kiss of caramel.

This is medium to full bodied with a creamy center and dry finish. What stands out here is how clean, rounded, and tidy the feel is. It has a crispness to it many DIPA's lack. It's a tad sticky with this feeling being reaffirmed on my lips.

This is easily one of the most sessionable DIPA's I've had to date with its strength lying in its cleanliness and crispness. The higher alcohol never poses an issue and the dry finish invites you to take sip after sip. With that being said, there is plenty of room for the hop character to be more pronounced in both the aroma and taste. Dry hop the heck out of this and Vicar's Cross would be a gem in this province. Until then, I'll take another on a hot summer's day.

 2,061 characters

Photo of MattCampbell
3.61/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of ewpass
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Hazy dark amber with a smallish head. Floral hops to the nose. Sweetish, medium malt body with intense bitterness. Alcohol warmth not in evidence.

148 characters

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of mmurphy525
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of CurtisD
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of lgmol
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of JayQue
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Good beer but more of an English IPA than a DIPA. Pours a hazy amber color with a medium size white head. Good head retention and thick rings of lacing on the pint glass. Aroma is slightly sweet bready malt and mild floral hops. Flavor is more of the same but there is a good strong bitter presence. Mouthfeel is crisp, nicely balanced between malt and hops, with good bitterness. No hint of the 8.5% abv. This is the last of the Nova Scotia beers that I brought home and once again it is ten times better than the ubiquitous Alexander Keith that is served everywhere. This is a well crafted and tasty beer.

 614 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.79/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Nightwing
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%

Poured from 650ml bottle. Strong aroma of citrus. Hazy amber with minimal head. As expected the taste is heavy on the bitter. Medium body, oily texture, and average carbonation. Overall, it is a very nice Double IPA.

 217 characters

Photo of kuhndog
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of chinchill
3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery.
Clear dark amber body topped with a bubbly white head.
A well balanced DIPA that emphasizes hoppy aromas rather than high bitterness. The exceptionally appealing aroma features tropical fruits and seems rather exotic. A lot of grapefruit peel in the finish that, surprisingly, doesn't completely carry over to the aftertaste.
Very smooth, medium+ body.
Worth seeking out.

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Photo of biegaman
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The Vicar's Cross is initially a very handsome beer - deep tawny amber, with a dim complexion but subtle highlights and a frothy, bubbly beige head - but all that becomes entirely spoiled by the last few ounces of the bottle, which transform the stylish liquid into some kind of sludgy brown gravy.

It's not uncommon for 9%, 90 IBU Double IPAs from the United States to drink as if they were 5%, 50 IBU. That's because hops don't fill you up - malt does. Bitterness can be off-putting, but never bloating. The secret to American Double IPAs is that they don't use as much - certainly not as dark - maltiness and so they don't need to overdose on the bittering hops to compensate.

My biggest complaint with Canadian DIPAs is that they do just that. The Vicar's Cross, however, does something very interesting: it lets malt take the lead and reserves hops for a more supplementary role. This approach makes for a different beer altogether, one that might disappoint die-hard hop-heads...

But the results are every bit as impressive and gratifying. Nuanced aromas and flavours of molasses, toasted dark bread, dried fruits and toffee are encased in a cognac-like glaze and complimented by subtle fruit peel and tree resin notes courtesy of the hops. The underlying tea-like bitterness actually serves to accentuate the sweetness of the malt, which absorbs that 8.5% alcohol whole.

Like the name suggests, The Vicar's Cross is a product of British heritage. While nowhere as explosively hoppy as its American counterparts, this DIPA instead showcases nuance, sophistication and drinkability while still offering great flavour. It's no surprise this is every Nova Scotian bartender's favourite.

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The Vicar's Cross from Boxing Rock Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.84 out of 5 with 46 ratings