Review: BrewDog Hardcore IPA

It’s been a productive evening thus far (dinner, workout, laundry) and I figured I’d round it out with a beer review. I mean after all I obviously deserve it.

I happened to be down in Bellevue the other day and swung through Party Source to see if they had anything different. I found myself purchasing a bottle of BrewDog’s Hardcore IPA. I’ve heard wonderful things about BrewDog’s offerings but this will be my first sampling.

You can tell the grain bill is big just from smelling this beer. Sweet malty fig, some citrus and caramel. More estery than you expect in a big IPA.

Aroma: 2

Yellowish-orange with a slight red tint. It’s a lot lighter in color than I expected for this style. Nice frothy head with good lacing on the glass.

Appearance: 2

It sort of starts off like a nice malty Belgian Tripel and then the hop bitterness starts building. Much more of an earthy hop flavor than you find in most  American Imperial IPAs. It’s well balanced but not hopped like you find in some extreme American double IPAs.

Hop Malt Balance: 3

Smooth and easy to drink. It hides the 9% abv well. Carbonation is good but a bit higher than expected.

Mouthfeel: 3

Failed to meet my idea of “Hardcore” in this category. It exhibits an earthy bitterness with toasted flavors. I think this is largely based on the difference between European and American beer styles and the local hop selections.

Aftertaste: 2

A good beer but not terribly complex or “Hardcore”. It really didn’t embody what I think a Double IPA should be and never hit that Hop high note I was hoping for. Perhaps what is “Hardcore IPA” in Europe is still just lagging behind the amazing beer scene we are privileged to here. Despite not living up to expectations I’ll be tapping back into the BrewDog well soon.

Overall Impression: 3

BrewDog Hardcore IPA: B-

-Jared Whalen