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First Posted: 4/14/2014

Beer: Hardcore IPA

Brewer: BrewDog

Style: American Double/Imperial IPA

ABV: 9.20%

Description: BrewDog’s Hardcore IPA pours a murky amber orange color with slightly off-white head that does not linger too long, but leaves behind a very thick lacing on the glass. The aroma is a perfect balance of hop dominance and sweet malts. The hop aroma is primarily towards the floral end of the spectrum, with subtle citrus notes of grapefruit and orange. The sweet caramel malt aroma makes for an even more inviting beer. The taste follows the nose with hop bitterness attacking up front and aggressively, but very quickly the sweet malts wash over and soothe and relax the palate before the perfect long and dry finish. The surprisingly thick mouthfeel is absolutely perfect to hold the hop bill in check, and the medium carbonation is everything you could want from a DIPA. The 9.2 percent ABV is shockingly absent, so keep it in mind as you drink this world-class beer!

Food pairing: Double IPAs are perfect with spicy foods, and Hardcore IPA is no exception; it would find itself perfectly at home when paired with a variety of Mexican dishes. The spices will bring forth the large amount of hops within the beer, but the sweet and soothing malt bill will cleanse and relax the palate in between bites and leave a perfectly dry finish without any cloying tastes lingering behind. The amazingly sweet malt bill also makes this a great beer to pair with desserts, something that one would not typically think of when discussing IPAs. Nevertheless, pairing Hardcore IPA with creamy desserts such as gelato, ice cream, or crème brûlée are absolute no-brainers when you sit down and enjoy these pairings. The malt bill comes across as an additional topping for the dessert, while the hops add a wonderful layer of depth within. Hardcore IPA is certainly a workhorse beer and can handle a wide variety of dishes, so feel free to experiment with this one!

The final word: BrewDog is a brewery that has gained its reputation on bold beers and bold statements; after all, they produced a beer called Sink the Bismarck! That came in at 41 percent ABV, but that was not enough. They also brewed a beer called The End of History that was packaged in a taxidermy squirrel and had an ABV of 55 percent! Needless to say, BrewDog is not afraid to experiment, which is something you can see firsthand on its Esquire TV show “Brew Dogs” and that you can also directly taste in Hardcore IPA. The lab results for this beer state that Hardcore IPA finishes at 150 IBUs, so this is certainly not one to try if you are new to the IPA style, but hopheads will absolutely love it! Hardcore IPA is another must-try beer for craft beer and IPA devotees!

Rating: W W W W V

Where can I get it? This is a beer that is just coming back into our marketplace. It’s currently at Exit 190 Beer Deli in Dickson City in 12-ounce bottles, but call around to your local craft beer store or bar and request it. You will be glad that you did!

Remember, enjoy responsibly! Cheers!

-Derek Warren is a beer fanatic, avid homebrewer, and beer historian. Derek can be heard weekly on the Beer Geeks Radio Hour on 102.3 FM Saturdays at 10 a.m.