I’m going to chime in again on something I hear a lot these days that really annoys me: IPAs must be drunk fresh. That’s simply not true folks, and while some people may prefer to drink them that way, that doesn’t mean you have to drink them that way. Go back and read about the origins of the style, perhaps a good book by Pete Brown or the Beer Hunter himself, Michael Jackson. Then come see me.
Anyway, I’m thinking of this because I’m drinking a bottle of Brew Dog Hardcore IPA I’ve been hiding in the beer fridge for, I don’t know, a year or so I think. It has a best by date of 11-09-13, which could either be November 9th of 2013 or September 11th of 2013. Those crazy Europeans reckon time in a much different fashion than we do after all.
I know I cracked a bottle of this beer as soon as I bought the 4-pack at Sherlock’s in Kennesaw, GA and was amazed by its hop aroma and flavor. Sadly, I failed to take notes then, so one of these days I’ll pick up a fresh bottle and compare notes with what I have below on this one that has had its first birthday.
On the label, Brew Dog says this bottle of beer I hold in my hand was made in a collaborative effort involving 2,204 malted Maris Otter Grains…4 hop cones…. 9,900,000,000 yeast cells…2 humans and 1 canine companion. Pretty nifty, that.
Brew Dog beers are made in Fraserburgh, Scotland. They are (at least this 4-pack was) imported by Anchor Brewing Company. I paid $10.98 for a 4-pack of 11.2 ounce bottles, which is high. My bottle is from batch 289. Brew Dog Hardcore IPA has an alcohol content of 9.2% by volume and a whopping 150 IBUs.
Brew Dog Hardcore IPA pours to a brilliant orange color with a rather moderate head formation and a bright hoppy nose of citrus orange and herbs. Taking a sip, the beer has a thick, chewy caramel maltiness up front-delightfully so for me. All that thick sticky malt is followed up quickly by the hops: a little citric, even more resiny, and very, very bitter at the last. I think the hop aroma has faded a bit from the first bottle of this I drank, but not by much. This really is amazing in its maltiness and resiny, grassy herbal hop aroma and colossal bitterness. Still hoppy after all these years, it might be even better now than when I first drank it.
All those IBUs should be good for something, after all. To be realistic, the ability of the human palate to discern differing levels of bitterness tops out somewhere around 100 or so. Still, you need more alpha acids to get more bitterness units, and those are a preservative. Experiment a little folks. Sock a bottle of this one a way for a while. See what happens. The results may well surprise you.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.