Total Score: 8.1/10
From the mighty Aotearoa comes the equally mighty Epic Hop Zombie DIPA, which is overall the highest rated NZ brew I could get my tasting mits on. The $12 question is: Will it beat Tuatara’s mighty Double Trouble DIPA? You might(y) find out soon enough! So what is a DIPA you ask? DIPA stands for Double Imperial Pale Ale – a style born in the US of A that is similar to an India Pale Ale (that is a Pale Ale with higher gravity, i.e. alcohol, that was developed in the UK to survive a long sea voyage to the British troops in India), however it generally contains an even bigger hop presence. The “Imperial” is borrowed from Russian Imperial Stouts, which were indeed the drink of choice for Czars, hence DIPA… Confused? You should be.
Poured from a 500ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.
A: Clear (Really?! Filtered craft beer!?) golden bodied with a thin white lace ring. Not the most impressive of starts, you all know my dislike of filtered brews (Yeast is good, let’s leave it alone people!). 6/10.
S: Whoa! Quite a bouquet of tropical fruits (papaya, mango, passionfruit and jackfruit) with pine resin notes on a bed of bread and biscuit malt. Smells like one of the tastiest DIPA’s my nose has ever had the pleasure of inhaling, as they would say in Kiwiland “Choice bro!”. 10/10.
T: And then prepare to be surprised again – it’s almost sugar-bomb sweet with caramel/biscuit/toffee malts all over the place, a bit deceptive as by the aroma you would expect a full-on hop affair. The hops are indeed there (how could they not be?) however they have less a hold on the flavour than the aroma, and it seems there’s less tropical fruit on the table when you finally get to “dig in”. The finish is bitter with notes of the above of pine/tropical hops. 8/10.
M: Medium bodied, oily with hop resin, with a light (almost flat) carbonation. 6/10.
D: Mine’s a dud, or this is how it’s meant to be, either way the hops are all bark (nose) no bite (taste) and I’m struggling to reconcile this with the all-powerful and juicy Tuatara Double Trouble DIPA (which really takes a big smelly [hop smelly] dump all over this brew). I was so hoping this would be better than the Trouble2 as Tuatara’s drop is a limited release and this is a rotating brew… I’ll have to buy as much Tuatara as I can carry. Tuatara = 1 : Epic = 0 so far. 8/10.
Food match: I would have suggested brains if this Hop Zombie had lived up to its eponym, however I am more inclined to suggest not-brains or Italian cuisine.