Beer Focus: Brewdog – Hardcore IPA
I’ve been wanting to feature a BrewDog beer on my blog for a long period of time now. In fact, ever since I started to introduce craft beer to my website I wanted to eventually feature a good quality BrewDog beer on here.
Whilst on my adventures around Sheffield, I stumbled into a Rhythm & Booze and took a look at their craft beer selection which having said that their selection is really quite something with breweries such as Kelham Island, Dogfish Head Brewery and Goose Island Brewery, a really good selection in my eye to say that the shop’s main seller is probably watered down Fosters or Bud..I’ll just stop there.
So I picked up a fine bottle of BrewDog’s Hardcore IPA for £2.85 and as it stands the perfect first taste into imperial IPA’s, you see I predominantly stay in the boundaries of double IPA’s with many breweries now packing in some very adventurous hops with Kernel experimenting with double mosaic hops which I tried at The Lyric, Soho an intense and fruity experience which as from The Kernel is outstanding but who says you can’t open your palate to new flavours and experiences.
This beer is a 9.2% heavy hitter but doesn’t get thrown off, the colour is a gorgeous clear amber colour with a minimal head which surprisingly clears after a matter of minutes. With an IBU of 125, you will find that there is a crisp taste, to begin with, and then a medium bitterness on the aftertaste, which I find gives this beer a great character and overall finish.
Upon opening, I found an absolute assault of aroma coming through which was taking me back to Beavertown’s Gamma Ray which like this beer is full of citrus, deep woody pines and resin. Depicting the aromas there was pineapple, deep mango with clean citrusy and caramel to round it off, which to me was no surprise saying that this beer is packed full of tropical and citrus bursting hops from the Simcoe, Amarillo and Citra, Columbus and Centennial which I found a perfect balance of sweet and citrus – Brewdog always bring a great amount of clarity and craftsmanship in their beers making the flavours of the beer all work together, whether it would be their lagers, pale ales through to their stouts, porters and sours.
It had taken me at least 3 sips to figure out the flavours of this beer due to not being able to shift the taste of the alcohol. But after the third I sat back and tried to get in the beer and pick out the flavours, you will find that if this is your first time trying an imperial IPA it might be slightly hitting with the ABV or the fact it might be pungent with the full flavour of the hops which in my case I got but after a short while you will soon start getting some of the flavours, this is slightly reminiscent of a Belgian triple in most cases. For me there was a smooth toffee and caramel start with some lemon peel, lots of floral notes coming from the Amarillo and Centennial hops with a smooth finish of pine and sticky juice.
I will definitely be getting my hands on some more BrewDog beers very soon and maybe will be filling up my growler also!
Food pairing time, for this beer with the intensity of the hops this beer, can be best paired with salmon, lamb and if you are around at friends having a barbeque then definitely grab a few bottles of Hardcore IPA. This would also be a nice accompaniment with some sharp cheeses from blue to an extra mature cheddar to some of your more softer, buttery cheeses such as brie, ricotta and swiss. So get creative and get your palate working.
Let me know what beers you have been trying for the first time!