Supplied without a label and distinguished by its red and white cap, this brew was the winner out of three prototypes that BrewDog put to the public vote to decide which to brew in 2009. No doubt it will soon be available with a label, but in the meantime the absence of a label gives an exclusive feel to the beer. The brewers describe it on their website simply as 'a 7.1 deep copper IPA with insane hops'.
It pours a bright copper-brown colour, with a bubbly, reasonably lasting head. Aroma is of earthy, floral hops with a touch of pink grapefruit, underlain by a sweetish, honeyish note. Although the hop aromas are clearly dominant, they aren't as overpowering as I'd expected them to be from the description. In the mouth there is an initial burst of fruity, juicy malt, quickly followed by the anticipated hop bitterness - a powerful dryness that balances the considerable malt body without overwhelming it. Hop flavours are again grapefruity, with other tropical fruit hints. The mouthfeel has a syrupy, oily texture, which the hops manage to cut right through. Finish is of bitter hop oils, leaving a tinglingly bitter grapefruit and caramel aftertaste.
A fabulously, palate-destroyingly hoppy beer very much in the American mould, but with enough malty body and sweetness to balance the truckloads of hops that have clearly gone into it. Not for the fainthearted though - even hop addicts may find their tongue going numb after the first bottle. Comparable to some of the better-balanced US hop-monsters, but inevitably a little less approachable than the comparatively restrained Punk IPA from the same brewery. In a way it's a little disappointing that BrewDog's public voted for another hoppy IPA given that they already brew two (I'll soon be reviewing the other one, Hardcore IPA), but this is nonetheless a quality offering in its own right.
OBBD reviewer: Sparks
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