Total Score: 6.9/10
Canned Canberran beer in Brisbane!? What the what?! We never see Canberran craft up here, there’s something reassuring about seeing hometown beers in another part of the country that is now where you call home. It’s a comforting reminder of another place you once lived. Plus Canberra has a killer craft scene: Wig & Pen, Bentspoke, Transit Bar, and of course my old haunt (also a place I once worked) The Durham. One of the things I’ve noticed with Canberran brewed beers is a predilection towards heavier, malty/earthy Ales – I’m thinking mainly Wig & Pen brews like their fantastic Sequoia American Amber Ale, and similar Bentspoke brews. In any case I’m expecting Capital Brewing Co. Evil Eye Red IPA to carry on that “Canberra beer taste” tradition.
Poured from a 375ml can into a nonic pint.
A: Cloudy mahogany brown body with a tan cappuccino foam head that compacts quickly leaving some decent lace scrawl inside the glass. Pretty brown bodied for a Red IPA, less brown more red would put it in the same league as Modus Former Tenant, however this is OK. 7/10.
S: Interesting malt selection gives the aroma a dusty/earthy character along with milk chocolate hints, and slight citric lemon notes. Very much on the malty side for a Red IPA – again in contrast to Former Tenant (my benchmark Red IPA). That said I’ve definitely had more malt-driven than hop-driven Red IPAs, especially from the States. 7/10.
T: Interestingly sharp citrus tang upfront, following this is a mid-palate earthy/biscuity/chocolatey/caramelly broad malt base, finish is again with a citrus tang (less sharp but ever-present). Aftertaste is a bit moreish – I definitely wanted to keep drinking Evil Eye [perhaps I’ve been hexed?]. 7/10.
M: Mouthfeel is probably the only thing close to disappointing (i.e. there’s nothing inherently wrong with this beer but the texture is the weakest link) – mid to light bodied with a rather prickly carbonation. 6/10.
D: Evil Eye Red IPA reminds me of a beer with a bit of an identity crisis: “should I be bitter? No, I’ll be sweet… wait, no I’ll be bitter then, ahhh f**k it!”, pick a direction and go that way or blend this sweet/bitter dichotomy better Capital Brewing. Other than that the flavour grew on me – it’s essentially an overtly earthy easy-drinking IPA, which I can dig, nothing wrong with that. 7/10.
Food match: Forest and earthy flavours – think mushrooms, truffles, etc…