27 July 2016

Out for the count

Derry's Northbound Brewery names most of its beers after their International Bittering Unit levels. I've never been a fan of IBUs as a useful measure of anything you can taste, but I suppose it does give some sort of prior impression of a beer.

70 is the highest they've gone so far and, unsurprisingly, is the name of an IPA, hopped with Magnum, no less. Despite the implied power it's just 5.5% ABV and bottle conditioned so pouring out a hazy orange. The aroma is an alluring mix of sweet orange flesh and herbal bathsalts but it's not quite as interesting to taste. Those 70 IBUs are definitely present: sharp and acidic. The orange zest manifests after a moment or two, an intensely serious citrus spritz, burning the tongue slightly. But the finish is a long and dirty yeast burr, something that doesn't exactly spoil the beer but does put a dampener on the more fun new world hop flavours.

Cleaned up this would be a zesty beaut but it's hard to love in bottle-conditioned form.

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