Decided to give that bitch a list. Bitches love lists. Here are my five month-end beer recommendations from September.
Siren Craft Brew / To Øl – Ten Toe Discount (Amarillo IPA Aged on Cedar, 7.2%)
IPA? Aged!? Are you out of your fucking gourd?! Drink that shit fresh! That’s what I thought when I saw this series of collabs from Siren and To Øl. Then I figured “Hey, these guys know what they’re doing, right? Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt.”
Consider me converted. This beautiful single hop IPA pours a burnished copper, edging on ESB colour with a finger and a half of white head. I probably started drinking it a little too cold because as it warmed the flavours just got ramped up and up and up! There’s nothing dominating the show here. No over the top citrus or wrecking bitterness, just a really well-rounded earthy, mellow IPA with a touch of sweetness and just the slightest bit of fresh wood chips which is so subtle you pick it up as more of a perfume than a flavour note. Very tasty stuff indeed.
BrewDog Rip Tide (American Double Stout, 8%)
Not a particularly new beer, this. Instead I’ve gone for one that I have no problem telling you is my all time favourite stout. You see your regular UK stout comes in at 4 or 5% and tends to be a little thin and more than a little insipid. Then you get Russian Imperial Stouts. For me, these bad boys tend to be far too big and heavy. Also, BrewDog has this habit of flavouring just about every Imperial Stout they make with coffee or chocolate or chilli or even all of the above. If they’re not doing that, they’re aging it in whiskey barrels for a year and charging £12+ a bottle for it. That’s where Rip Tide comes in all like “Everybody chill. I got this.”
Clocking in at 8% ABV, Rip Tide is a no nonsense stout right in the sweet spot for alcohol content and, despite not being brewed with any of these, carries a beautifully complex character of roasted coffee, bitter high-cocoa chocolate and mellow vanilla. It’s light enough that you can drink it easily yet special enough to be an end-of-the-night beer you’d be more than happy with.
Bonus: If you go half and half with this and Hardcore IPA to create RipCore, you’ll never look at another black and tan again.
Brew By Numbers 05|03 (IPA with Amarillo and Mosaic, 6.2%)
My first ever beer from Brew by Numbers was this bloody outstanding example of the style. It was on keg at BrewDog Nottingham and tasted as fresh as you could possibly hope for. Amarillo and Mosaic are some favourites of mine and the combination here makes for a razor-sharp, citrus-fueled west coast style IPA that any of the big California breweries would be proud of.
Think of BrewDog’s Jack Hammer but with more depth, more complexity and slightly less mouth-destroying bitterness. Not much else to say about it as, by this point in the evening I was more than a little pickled.
Redchurch Great Eastern India Pale Ale (7.4%)
If you know me, you’ll know I love a big, fresh juicy IPA with loads of grapefruit, orange and lemon notes. The Kernel’s Citra single hop IPA has, for a long time been my all time favourite UK brewed IPA, up there with the likes of Magic Rock’s Cannonball. When my local got this in, amongst a few others from Redchurch I had to give it a whirl.
Holy puckering citrus, Batman! This beer packs a juicy flavour punch you won’t forget in a hurry! Masses of Grapefruit, lemon, lychee, mandarin and a little bit of pine bombard your palette and make the beer dangerously drinkable. This is why I think UK brewers do a better job than US ones.
Buxton Brewery Imperial Black (Black IPA, 7.4%)
I’m fairly inexperienced in the world of black IPAs. I’ve only had a couple, something I’m very much trying to change (Beavertown Black Betty is in my cross hairs next). Recently I placed a small order with Eebria for a couple of beers from Buxton; Their bonkers new double IPA Double Axe and a bottle of Imperial Black. It pours jet black with a two finger latte coloured head. It looks just how you’d want a black IPA to look and it’s obvious just by looking at it that this isn’t a porter or a stout.
Flavour wise, this is the best black IPA I’ve ever had. You find buckets of citrus with an earthy, grassy hop character and some background roasted notes from the dark malts. it’s all perfectly balanced, too. A previous favourite of mine was BrewDog’s Libertine Black Ale which is a Simcoe single hop Black IPA of roughly the same strength. Compared to this, though Libertine is one-dimensional and, because of the Simcoe, a little cat pissy.
So that’s all of my month-end beer recommendations. Let me know if you like this format and I’ll keep doing it.