Reviews, Commentary and Opinions on Midwest Craft Beer and Microbreweries


Beer Reviews

Hardcore IPA

Other reviews for this beer:
Nigel Tanner one beerone beerone beerone beerone beer read it ›
United Kingdom

Style: Imperial/Double IPA
ABV: 9.0%

Eddie’s Rating:
one beerone beerone beerone beerone beer   (Recommended)

Pair With:
Normally we don’t write reviews in response to or as an argument against others’ reviews—instead each of our reviews is a short (relatively) essay on a given beer and what we thought of it given our perspectives, knowledge, and tastes.

The reason I’m bringing this up is because, as it turned out, both Nigel and I bought a bomber of BrewDog Hardcore IPA in anticipation of this year’s International Month. Nigel’s, however, was quite old, as it was over a year seven months past the bottle’s “best by” date (a feature I really wished all breweries would adopt) and was, as far as he could tell, batch number 2. Mine, on the other hand, was still within it’s “best by” date and was batch number 287. Apparently, BrewDog significantly changed the recipe, as the original was conceived during the hop shortage of 2008.

I’ll let you read what Nigel thought of his bottle. Here’s what I thought of mine:

Hardcore pours a muddy orange with a short-lived, clingy head. Huge citrus grapefruit notes blast out of the top of the glass, screaming “Northwest hops!”

The front of the sip is big, sugary malt, mixed with citrusy hop flavor. A sharp fusel alcohol pang abruptly interjects, drowning everything out, before bitter, dirt-like hops tear and rip, bringing the alcoholic bite under control. The finish is long and harshly bitter.

Although certainly hardcore, this brew’s fusel alcohols and raw harshness at the end are a little unpleasant. The best imperial IPAs have complex interplays between the beer’s loads of maltiness and bitterness, but Hardcore seems a little one-dimensional in comparison, maybe even a little green. While not a bad double IPA to have in the fridge, there are bigger, badder (by which I mean gooder, er, better), and hardercorer imperial IPAs right here in the States.

Reviewed by Eddie Glick on February 24, 2010.
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