06 April 2016

Get up!

Beers from Crew Republic have come and gone from Irish shelves over the years and I've never taken the time to get to know any of them. They're a self-consciously "craft" label from Munich, their bottles 33cl and their styles largely American. This bottle of 7:45 Escalation double IPA was one of the leftovers from Alltech's  2016 Dublin Craft Beer Cup, at which it secured one of the rare gold medals.

8.3% is the ABV, so it's a bit of a whopper, pouring a dense dark orange, almost brown, and quite murky. The glass was sitting across the table from me while I wrote the opening paragraph of this post and, even from a metre away, I could smell its tantalising tangerine vapours beckoning, siren-like. The aroma is gorgeously juicy with only the faintest trace of sticky malt beneath. Surprisingly, however, the malt takes the lead on tasting with an almost porridgey cereal foretaste. The texture is thick but there's no booze heat: it's all very clean and the flavours neat and precise. The hops need a moment to assert themselves but gradually take over the palate, spreading sweet marmalade, spicy jasmine and more of those juicy tangerines. Too heavy to drink at speed, it rewards slow mellow sipping and never gets difficult, or even particularly bitter, which I like.

This isn't a hard-rocking, rip-your-face-off, adolescent double IPA. It's pure balanced, nuanced, quality. Crafted, you might say.

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