20 July 2016

Colder days

I thought I'd missed out on Jack Cody's last-but-one beer completely for this year. There was none to be had at Bloom in the Park, nor any when I visited the brewery back in the spring. It's a neat little operation on the outskirts of Drogheda -- a 10hL system, doing a double brewday twice a week, employing solely whole leaf hops and shipping about 90% of its output in bottles. Thanks to Geoff for showing us around (and giving us a lift back to town).

The bottle I was looking for was Hibernicus IPA, first released last March and I finally captured one in my local SuperValu last month. 5.2% ABV and dry-hopped, boasts the label. It's kind of a dark orange colour and fairly hazy with it. The head dies down quickly after pouring leaving just a skim of bubbles on the top.

I get a heavy sweetness in the aroma, part of which is the malt, some is the fruity hops, but there's a high alcohol acetone element to it also, which doesn't bode well. The texture is surprisingly light, which is a good thing, but the first flavour to jump out is a rubbery note very similar to the one I found in their latest release, the English-style bitter Worcester Sauce, plus a dry papery oxidation twang. Some part of that production process is not doing what it's supposed to.

Peering around the wonky parts, there is a nice IPA in here: a malt/hop balance of the sort typically found in English versions of the style gives a kind of orangeade effect, and there's a cakey marzipan thing that might be more at home in an American amber ale but is quite welcome here. There's just enough bitterness in the finish to make the mouth water pleasantly.

Cleaned up it would be lovely, and I'd be interested in trying it on draught to see if it's the bottling process that's introducing whatever it is that's not sitting right with me here. Did anyone else taste the same thing I did in this?