Total Score: 6.85/10
Happy 10th birthday Red Duck! This 10th birthday limited release Double IPA caught my eye with the 10 hops used in the brew, including some personal favourites: Aramis, Amarillo, Bramling Cross, Cascade, Chinook, El Dorado, Legacy, Mandarina, Mosaic, and Simcoe. How many hop varieties in one beer is too many? I suspect I’m about to find out. In the meantime, as I pour my beer, I’m reminded of playing Double Dragon on the Amiga 500 with my uncle… good times.
Poured from a 500ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.
A: Intriguing: Presents a cloudy brown-bottle coloured body with a thin half centimetre tan coloured head that lingers on for a while. Not used to seeing a DIPA this dark and brooding, but hey I’m down with it if it tastes great. 6/10.
S: Aroma is bold with various citric characters: Lemon, candied orange, mandarin – they’re all here along with hints of tropical hops – mango, papaya, some pepper notes as well. This brew is a cacophony of hop fragrances. Make of it what you will. Also noted is a slight charred orange touch – bizarre… at least the aroma isn’t for want of hops. 7/10.
T: Well those 70 IBUs really come out in the tasting… every single one of them. Bitter citric hops (all of the above) with peppery herbal characters, earthy tones, hints of mango/papaya, and a finish that hints at sweetness before snatching it away and dumping bold bitterness all over your tongue. Still I like the flavour of this over-wrought complex hop forward beer for some reason – yes it’s OTT – but you can get a good gauge of what 10 hops tastes like in a beer, in a word: Dissonant. 7/10.
M: Medium bodied with some hop oiliness thrown in for good measure. Carbonation is borderline flat and dense to the point of lacking more fizz. 6/10.
D: This was not the beer I expected, but perhaps it was the beer I had to have (to paraphrase The Honourable Paul Keating), my personal beer journey has been gravitating towards the idea of an ever-increasing variety of hops being better – this brew has indeed set me straight: You can have too many hop flavours in a beer. It’s in my glass right now. Other than this point we have a middling brew here from Red Duck who are decent brewers I’ve had before. I imagine they really had second thoughts about releasing this brew but I’m glad they did – 10 hops is too much. 7/10.
Food match: Make it Thai and make it spicy… Pad Thai or a Som Tam would go well with this.