Sunday, 30 November 2014

Sixpoint: Resin (Double/Imperial IPA)

Beer Deluxe, Federation Square (Melbourne)

Does what it says on the tin - literally!

New York’s Sixpoint Brewery need no introduction for those who are already well versed in craft beer and I feel rather late to the party in covering their incredible Resin Double IPA. Nevertheless, I would be criminally remiss if I did not cover it, for what makes beer and hop flowers so special is thrust head first into the limelight.

Its appearance is a lovely shade of orange with a little haze. Resin's mouthfeel is smooth and seductive with medium carbonation. Initially I believed that sugar stickiness lined both the rim of the can and eventually my glass however as it turns out this is hop resin; which is quite adhesive in nature.

Immensely resinous, woody, oleaginous and piny notes do not wait patiently to make their presence known. Like an unruly riot squad this full flavour onslaught enters the scene with authoritarian brute force. This ain't no protest rally though; it is a happy, hoppy occasion. The constabulary quickly realises that there is nothing to see here (but are curious as to the cans labelled "Resin" lying about the place). Beneath the resinous bombardment flows a peaceful stream of tropical orange and mango fruitiness before strangely subtle whispers of floral hop bitterness and lemon pith round out the experience.

Resin really is an experience. This gargantuan DIPA is as complex as it is immense. True hopheads will absolutely love this extraordinarily flavourful yet balanced beer.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Kaiju: Hopped Out Red IPA

Reminiscent of an old favourite.

Beer Deluxe, Fed Square (Melbourne)

Massively hopped American red IPAs have stormed their way into my heart of late with Magic Rock's The Big Top and more recently Deschutes' Inversion IPA being particularly spectacular.  Victorian brewery Kaiju! Has stepped into the ring with an American Red IPA that is not only up there with the aforementioned best, but one that reminds me of an old classic: BrewDog’s Chaos Theory IPA.

American red ales (be they an IPA or not) differ from English and Irish reds in that they are a lot less sweet and malt forward.  Instead they tend to be drier while exploding forward with massive hop bitterness.

Kaiju!'s Hopped Out Red IPA erupts with floral, pine and boozy aroma.  On entry the brew's mouthfeel is typical of the red IPA style: smooth and bold but unquestionably drinkable.  Pineapple and malt sweetness shine through at first however these flavours are swiftly overtaken by intensely resinous, piny hop bitterness.  Grapefruit notes shone through during this intense finish.  As the beer warmed rapidly in Melbourne’s unseasonably warm spring weather, Hopped Out Red IPA revealed its complexity replete with more than a hint of resin. 

Having enjoyed two glasses of Hopped Out Red IPA, what stood out for me was that “arid” flavour sensation that I first encountered upon sampling Chaos Theory by BrewDog.  I might be getting myself confused with pine resin characteristics when stating this tasting note, however I am inclined to believe otherwise.  It is a flavour that transposes the aroma of saltbush to taste.  Indeed, one must travel to inland Australia to experience and understand this almost briny phenomenon.  Whatever the case, if you have been hanging for a re-release of Chaos Theory, Hopped Out Red IPA will not only satisfy but impress as well.

Comparisons aside, Kaiju: Hopped Out Red IPA drinks like driving along Australia's country roads; the beer's domineering, bitey strong finish could very well be likened to be overtaken by a drunken speeding motorist along any of our beautifully scenic rural highways.  Do not be that drunk driver though.  Hopped Out Red IPA is a fine brew that is deserving of savoured, relaxed-pace imbibing.

Writer’s Note:  I sampled Kaiju: Hopped Out Red IPA on tap.  The featured picture is of the beer from the keg sat beside a bottle taken from the fridge for photographic purposes.