Following the crushing disappointment of Indie Pale Ale earlier this year, BrewDog are back with a new addition to their Core range (which includes Elvis Juice & Jack Hammer). Native Son is a 8.5% ABV West Coast Double IPA that is now in full production following a successful prototype period last year & here's what BrewDog have to say about it:
"Our latest Amplified beer, Native Son is now in our core range and is now fully available.
The brainchild of our Head of Production Jason Pond, and one of his first two recipes after joining the good ship BrewDog, it is one of the truest representations of a classic American IPA that we’ve brewed to date.
Dry-hopped with Citra, Mosaic, Simcoe and Centennial, it has a superb combination of tropical and citrus fruit, with huge fresh grassy notes, and a big savoury smack of dank hop. Native Son clocks in at double IPA strength, but has effortless drinkability, with crystal malt providing light complexity and a shred of sweetness – no big chewy toffee notes. Bittered with Columbus and Chinook, there’s a driving bassline of pine; both sticky resin and cut wood – a building presence that melds beautifully with the green hop notes."
Indie Pale Ale definitely wasn't for me, however I have a feeling that Native Son could be right up my street. It sounds like an absolute banger! Although is it going to be worthy enough to stand alongside Elvis Juice, Jack Hammer & Cocoa Psycho?
First up the can art is signature Brewdog, this time opting for a royal blue colour scheme. Native Son pours a clear golden amber with a small white head that disperses very quickly - there seems to be little to no carbonation present. Aromas are initially malts, lots of hops & pine before being followed by some citrus/tropical fruits; orange, grapefruit & mango mainly.
On taste, the first thing you notice is the bitterness - it smacks you right in the face. It's backed up by loads of pine & oily resin. I didn't get too much fruit flavours - there was certainly citrus grapefruit in there, but it's the overpowering bitterness that really takes hold of this beer. There is almost no carbonation in the body, and the texture is very oily. While the sheer bitterness of this beer may overpower almost all the other flavours, it's not to say I didn't enjoy it - because I did. I'm a huge fan of DIPA's & while this may not be the best one I've ever had, the flavours did work well together, and it was enjoyable & easy to drink.
Overall, I thought this was a pretty solid beer & whilst it's certainly no Elvis Juice or Hazy Jane, it is a massive improvement on BrewDog's first offering of the year. If you are partial to a DIPA, then I encourage you to give Native Son a go.
Native Son gets 3.5 out of 5 hops from me 🍻
Beavertown x Verdant
After the disappointment of my first beer review of the year from BrewDog, I finally got my hands on a beer that I was genuinely excited about. Shut Up and Play The Hits is a collaboration between brewing giants Beavertown & Verdant Brewing. Shut Up and Play The Hits is a 8.8% ABV DIPA & here's what Beavertown have to say about it:
"Fuelled by pure mango petrol this juicy double IPA is a banger. A sneaky but well meaning bitterness luring in the background, with a pleasant fruity sweetness being the main star on stage. Full, round and thick – You are welcome. DRINK FRESH."
This beer sounds like a dream. Beavertown have made so many of my absolute favourite beers & collaborating with another awesome brewery like Verdant is a guaranteed recipe for success. I know I am going to love this beer, the question is just how much?
Before I get in to the aroma & taste, let's take a minute to appreciate the incredible can art on display. It's the same level that we have come to expect from Beavertown time & time again. There really is no one better when it comes to designing cans.
Cracking open the awesome can & pouring into a glass...wow. I was met with a tropical fruit explosion. This beer smelled like pure JUICE; mango, pineapple & passion fruit with the slightest hint of pine left me eager to take my first sip. Shut Up and Play The Hits pours a hazy golden orange leaving a foamy white head - it is one good looking beer. You should 100% try this beer.
The first taste is every bit as good as I expected. Those juicy tropical fruits hit you right up front; loads of pineapple & mango with a hint of orange are then rounded off with a hint of resinous pine. For being a 8.8% ABV beer, it certainly doesn't taste like it & for one that tastes as good as this - it should definitely be enjoyed in moderation. This beer reminds me of Tropigamma which is a helluva comparison - it was the first world class beer I ever had.
This beer is an absolute BANGER! Beavertown & Verdant really have conjured up something special here (not that I expected anything else) & I'll be highly surprised if this isn't one of my top 10 beers of 2018.
Shut Up and Play The Hits gets 5 out of 5 hops from me 🍻
Big Fish Brewing
Stonehaven's own Big Fish Brewing are back, this time with K3; their take on an American DIPA, coming in at a whopping 8.0% ABV.
Big Fish Brewing have highly impressed me so far, with their Long 14 blonde IPA & 12 Fathoms porter both getting very favourable reviews from me. So naturally, I was interested to experience their take on a DIPA - probably my favourite beer type...
K3 pours a hazy dark amber, leaving a foamy beige head at the top of your glass. Huge ginger aromas are backed by subtle citrus grapefruit & orange.
After the first sip POW...this beers smacks you right in the face with a booze fueled hop bomb. That is no understatement, this is one boozy beer. Huge hoppy bitterness is at the forefront followed by more bitterness from the grapefruit before being rounded off by some slight warming spice from the ginger. All the flavours come together perfectly. It's quite worrying how drinkable this beer is for its ABV; sink a couple of these & you will be fast asleep in no time!
Overall, I REALLY enjoyed this beer. It is easily the best I have had yet from these guys & a worthy addition to stand alongside some of my favourite DIPAs such as Humuloid & King Slayer.
If you haven't already checked out Big Fish Brewing, then what are you waiting for? Do it. You won't regret it. It is the perfect time of year to crack open a bottle of 12 Fathoms .
4 out of 5 hops from me 🍻
For my latest review, I am going to review two of the latest beers by Wylam Brewery from Newcastle, England. The beers in question are Open To Persuasion; a 8% ABV DIPA collaboration with Track Brewing & Attracting Humans; a 5.5% ABV DDH Pale.
I'd seen & heard a lot about Wylam Brewery lately without ever having tried any of their beers. So when Westhill Service Station got these two in last week...I grabbed them both.
Here's what Wylam have to say about both beers;
"DIPA... Using the art of force and persuasion we provided ourselves with a valuable short cut through the complicated nature of modern existence to furnish you with a TDH DIPA displaying the manipulative power of Cascade, Loral, Ekuanot, Citra and Mosaic. 'Like always I persuade you... persuasion.'"
"DDH Pale... A beguiling double dry hopped pale designed to entice, lure, entrance, seduce and woo the sub tribe hominina into it's plethora of oats, wheat and dextrin. Seductive volumes of DDH Citra and Mosaic swallow up the hordes into fresh pink grapefruit, tropical juiced our foreverness."
Both of these beers sound awesome, can they live up to the hype?
First up is Open To Persuasion DIPA...
Open To Persuasion pours a murky golden colour with a creamy beige head. Aromas are similar of a NE IPA, huge amounts of ripe fruits; pineapple, mango & passion fruit, along with some more traditional citrus aromas and a slight piney backbone. Taste is absolutely fantastic - the big juicy fruit flavours are at the forefront; peach, pineapple & mango along with some grapefruit work wonderfully with the hoppy bitterness that rounds it all off. This beer is insanely drinkable, and the alcohol isn't hidden by the fruits either - this is one BOOZY juicebomb and I love it.
5 out of 5 hops from me.
Up next is Attracting Humans DDH...
Attracting Humans pours a golden yellow with a foamy white head. Aromas are sweet, malty & fruity with a floral backbone. Flavours are quite similar to the aromas; lots of sweetness up front with some citrus fruit, followed by malts and an earthiness. For me, these flavours didn't quite work out and something tasted slightly off. It was still an OK beer to drink, absolutely full of interesting flavours, however they just didn't come together as i'd hoped.
2.5 out of 5 hops from me.
So...if I had to choose a winner then Open To Persuasion would be crowned champion - it was an incredible beer that I highly recommend you try while you can. Attracting Humans was fine, however for me it just wasn't great. Overall, for my first venture into Wylam beers, I have been very impressed 🍻
A new Cloudwater DIPA is always something to get excited about, so when I stumbled upon NW DIPA Citra Amarillo at a recent visit to Westhill Service Station - I threw it straight in my basket!
NW DIPA Citra Amarillo is a 8.5% ABV DIPA, and here's what Cloudwater have to say about it:
"Our third NW DIPA features the 4820th generation of our local JW Lees yeast. We added Huell Melon and Amarillo to the whirlpool, with Citra, Amarillo, Loral, and Huell Melon in the dry hop. The NW DIPA style showcases yeast from some of Manchester’s oldest family brewers and fresh harvest hops."
One of the previous iterations of this beer; NW DIPA Citra was a 5 out of 5 beer for me, so it's safe to say that I had extremely high expectations for this one.
It pours a murky golden orange, with a thin foamy white head that disperses quickly. Aromas are sweet, juicy tropical fruits; mango, pineapple and some citrus orange with a hint of pine - lovely!
Taste is again sweet, juicy and chewy from the bold tropical flavours. Finish is fresh, with a small amount of bitterness; overall the alcohol is hidden extremely well behind the flavours. Pure juice this stuff!
I loved this beer. I knew that I would from the minute I opened it. Cloudwater continue to outdo themselves with their DIPAs and this is yet again another outstanding beer. I feel like a broken record when it comes to these Cloudwater DIPAs - but it can't be helped, they are just that good.
4.75 out of 5 hops from me 🍻