Total Score: 7.5/10
After being slightly jilted by their Hop Zombie, which purported to be the hop monster it was not, I was hesitant to “make it rain” and lash out another $17 on a bottle of Epic Armageddon IPA. But then that little voice in my head said “Get it Doc, they must have a brewed something big enough to quench your massive hop thirst” and with that I queued the sound of money flushing down a toilet and bought another Epic beer.
Poured from a 500ml bottle into a nonic pint.
A: Presents a hazy amber body with a nice dense-packed 1cm white head. Looks like a very tasty American Pale Ale, a tad lighter than a standard IPA though. 7/10.
S: Damn! Once again Epic have brought a brilliant hop bouquet to the table with a trifecta of pine resin/tropical fruit/floral hop notes blasted over a light toffee base. The tropical fruit represented by this brew are the papaya (with guava) characters that I noted in Hop Zombie, continuation of a great theme IMO. A superlative aroma, easily ten out of ten! 10/10.
T: Again the hop promise is great but the delivery leaves me wanting… too much concentration on aromatic rather than flavour hops perhaps? Regardless there is an obvious imbalance between setup and payoff with mild pine/citric hop flavours and an even-handed toffee malt base. The finish is a medium citric bitterness (your usual American IPA has a much higher bitterness) and there is a slightly citric bitter after taste. Considering the hop aromas noted this IPA falls well short of where it should be but is still an alright brew. 7/10.
M: Medium bodied with a dense but fizzy carbonation. 6/10.
D: Epic need to sort out their hop bill, or their process for hopping their beers if they want to play with the big boys in the US (aka Deschutes, Sierra Nevada, Founder’s, Brooklyn, etc…) as there is a definite disparity between the aroma and flavour of their hops. Disappointing in a way because I want the antipodean brewers to show the world just how great we can be at everything we try our hand at, and we’ve done that with wine (and now whiskey) – let’s do it with beer too! Oh yeah, you need to bring the price of your brews down in Australia Epic [like they even read my blog]. 7/10.
Food match: Thai/Vietnamese is a classic match for a hoppy IPA, this one isn’t overly hoppy but will still match well with those cuisines… had Korean for dinner tonight and that would have matched this to a T.