It was our usual monthly stock take at Beer Ritz this morning for me and Beth, which generally means counting hundreds upon hundreds of bottles of beer to make sure it's all still there, and that Jeff hasn't stolen it all. After 6 hours of hearing my own voice talking numbers, it was fair to say I was in the mood for a good drink or two. And so, after a trip down to Arcadia for a nice late afternoon pint, I found the ever amazing Hawkshead Cumbrian 5 Hop was just what the Doc ordered for a bit of refreshment.
After that though, I fancied something a little darker, so it was back home to raid the fridges. I wasn't in the mood for anything uber heavy though, just something dark, so 'what's the choice?' I asked myself... Well I had two Imperial/Double Black IPAs which I haven't had before in there, so I thought that they'd do the trick!
First up was Faithless XI from Toby at Red Willow Brewery. A 7.2% Imperial Black IPA, not a bad afternoon drop for a Tuesday! Pitch black with a chalky tan head. Aromas abound of grapefruit, lemons, sweet green apple, sherbet, a little fresh grass and only the tiniest hints of roasted oak coming in right at the back. The initial mouth-feel is a little thin, but that's exactly what I was looking for. It's a really fruity beer, similar to the aromas, but this is a completely different DBIPA than I've had before. You get a bit of roasted bitterness in the body, but the finish turns this into a radically different beast. I'm getting a lot of menthol/spearmint flavours, which eventually die down to reveal a subtle, almost smoky burnt toast flavour. This beer isn't like any of the other ones in this style out there I've tried. That's why you should try it too.
Second up (because one just isn't quite enough) comes from our ever popular Buxton Brewery. Imperial Black, a 7.5% black monster that comes across the nose with waves of grapefruit and heavy pine, some green apple and pear, and with a bit of a swirl I'm also getting subtle hints of whisky too. Thumbs up so far! A lot thicker than the R.W. beer with an initial huge burst of orange pith to slake your bitter lusting. Small hints of caramel malt compliment a complex, but very smooth body, with just a tiny bit of lactic creaminess. While the first bottle was a fine (quick) refresher, this (in a bigger bottle) is more of a beer to relax over and enjoy whilst you watch the sun go down - perfect.
Some out there like to think of BIPA and DBIPAs as a non-style or a bastardised version of things past. I say that we all have our own individual voices which shall be heard, and what might not be something to someone, can be much more to others. I really like BIPAs and DBIPAs when they are well produced, and these two hit that mark spot on.
Well played guys, I really enjoyed these beers.