Murray’s Thunderbolt IPA

Total Score: 7.25/10 Lemon1Earth1Grapefruit1Nonicpint1

Murray’s Thunderbolt IPA is their hoppiest IPA yet! So proclaims the label, and just in case it’s true I’m strapping myself in to my seat… yes my seat has a seatbelt (you never know when you’ll need one so discretion is the better part of buckling in to your seat – is what a modern-day Shakespeare would say if he wrote the script to the film Crash). I digress (again!) on a joke (again!)… so what indeed makes this latest Murray’s so hoppy? Could it be a hop bill of: Columbus, Mosaic and Equinox? Perhaps… could it be because of a “significant dry hopping”? Indeed, if we’re talking a US craft brewer that would be the case. Australian brewers? I remain sceptical.

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Sierra Nevada US pint glass.

A: Brown-tinged pea-soup cloudy amber body with a half centimetre cappuccino foam beige head. Doesn’t look nearly as good as the last IPA I looked at (Colonial Australian IPA)… in fact it looks a bit wrong, well: looks aren’t everything [I tell myself that every night before I cry myself to sleep]. 6/10.

S: Piney almost bubblegum aroma with an earthy forest floor note, some sweet pineapple hints as well manage to drown out any sense or semblance of a malt base (this is always a good thing in an American IPA). Hint of lemon in the background as well. Actually one of the better IPA aromas of this year – it’s unashamedly big on hops and West Coast goodness (that piney/bubblegum/forest floor biz). 9/10.

T: Has mellowed a bit… I suspect it’s dropped off dramatically since the brew date – this is not Murray’s hoppiest IPA yet from what I’m tasting now (Fred takes that honour for me). Flavour is upfront with that lemon note (odd for an IPA), followed by earthy/piney characters, hint of grapefruit… not nearly as exciting as the aroma that preceded it. Caramel malt base and a slight herbal hop bitterness with a dry cracker character in the finish. 7/10.

M: Medium bodied with light hop oils present and a thin carbonation. 6/10.

D: Is for “D”isapointed. Was quite looking forward to a tongue-wrestling IPA, what I got was a friendly politician handshake of a brew – soft and yielding. Again I suspect age played a factor – as far as I’m aware this was brewed around April/May… though I’ve had IPAs from the US that haven’t dropped off like this… maybe Murray’s has brainwashed the craft beer media? Sounds like a crazed conspiracy theory – but where there are crazed conspiracy theories there are… crazed conspiracy theorists! … wait, no. 7/10.

Food match: Parmesan pepper coated rack of lamb with roast vegetables.

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