I am not afraid of the dark.

Couldn’t resist...

Apparently the IPA craze has caught the attention of the nobility of the beer world and even they feel compelled to get in on the action. So, I put this in the English IPA category 12C. Alcohol 5.3%

Apperance - 3/3 Light brown, caramel color, brilliant clarity with a fine, creamy, persistent head. So far so good.

Aroma 6/12 Despite claim that 5 different hops used, the Cascade was the only one to leave an impression, and it too is woefully understated. Very little malt character as well.

Flavour 10/20 Low creamy malt flavour, slightly sweet, with mild hop bitterness, which lingers briefly.

Mouthfeel 3/5 Very smooth creamy texture, similar to their nitro Stout , low carbonation, dry finish.

Overall 5/10 A pleasant if unremarkable beer. As the BJCP guidelines note, there are two versions of IPA in the British market today. There are craft versions which present a “hoppy, moderately strong, very-well attenuated pale British ale with a dry finish and hoppy aroma and flavour”. And then there is what we have here, something that is indistinguishable from an ordinary bitter. I found this comment on the RateBeer site:

This offering from Guinness has been a bit misunderstood based on some of the reviews here. Its important to understand that the majority of the hops used in this beer are British. No pale or IPA brewed in the UK will taste like the American versions which use American hops giving them the familiar piney, citrusy, hop forward qualities. British hops tend to have a more earthy, floral quality. The nitro gives the beer a nice creamy mouth feel and the taste is familiar to what you would find in a cask IPA from an English pub. This is a nice change of pace but if you are looking for an American IPA like quality stay clear of this beer.

I certainly hope the author is wrong. There probably *are* some strong, hop forward British IPAs out there, but won’t know for sure until I get there, hopefully in about 4 months. Stay tuned...

~ Dean

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