Black Hops Flash Bang White IPA

Total Score: 7.35/10 Peppercorns1HopFlower1Clove1Nonicpint1

It’s yet another Black Hops limited release beer, geez are they ever pumping them out! And I know I’m probably doing this backwards, as I’ve got a can of their last limited release beer sitting in my fridge: Beetlejuice, but who cares – I want to review this one first as I’m more intrigued by White IPAs (having not had many in this style before). So here is Flash Bang White IPA. Brewed with a wheat base and “spice additions of the refreshing Belgian Witbier”. One can safely assume that there’s orange-peel and coriander seed in this brew, as those are classic Witbier additions. How it all comes together with IPA hops will be interesting, that said I’ve often seen Wits and IPAs as beers in a similar vein, so it should all work rather well.

Poured from a 375ml can into a nonic pint.

A: Hazy orange body with a chalky-white 2 centimetre head that slowly drops back leaving some lattice-work lace inside the glass. Not as Wit as most Wits I’ve tried, definitely looking more like a regular American IPA, not that there’s anything wrong with that [not at all!] but I would have liked to see a paler body here. 7/10.

S: Spicy coriander, pepper and a hint of clove mingle with a piney resin and orange/grapefruit citrus hops, yep pretty much as expect – this beer is right on the nose [pun intended] for a White IPA aroma-wise. One minor negative would be that it comes across as a tad dry for my tastes – hopefully those hops are a bit more punchy in the flavour, we’ll see… err, taste, soon. 7/10.

T: All of the above: spicy coriander, pepper, hint of clove, piney resin and orange/grapefruit citrus hops. Add in a light honeyed malt mid-palate which works well with the dry/spicy flavours, and a finish that is piney/earthy. Flavour profile is OK without showing off, and there’s an alright mix of taste sensations, albeit with a deficit of sweet/bitter that works oh-so well in an American IPA. 8/10.

M: Mid to light bodied with a prickly (from those spicy characters) carbonation that is a bit too burpy/gassy. By far the biggest let-down of Flash Bang, and one without an easy solution either (take out the spicy character or have a flat beer?). 6/10.

D: Despite my criticism this is not a bad beer by Black Hops, just a beer that could use a bit more of a direction in either the Belgian side or the American IPA side. As it is it’s straddling both worlds without really having a whole lot to add – it could have been a big Tripel-esque brew with IPA hops, instead it’s dry, spicy and not a great deal else. 7/10.

Food match: A hard cheese & bread platter would work well with this one.

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BrewCult Outta Sight White IPA

Total Score: 7.7/10 HopFlower1 Biscuit1 Orange1 Nonicpint1

What is this new White IPA craze that is popping up around the craft scene in Australia? My craft beer aficionado boss even asked me to describe what a White IPA is… I honestly told him: “An IPA that is lighter than other IPAs”… not convinced by my own answer I looked it up and it is actually an IPA/Weizen/Wit hybrid beer designed for an ale-drinker during long summers, sounds like an ideal beer for Australia – we have loads of summer here.

Poured from tap into 100ml sample cup at the Sip & Savour event in Sydney.

A: Hazy golden yellow body with a thin wispy white head. Bang in White IPA territory then… could do with a bit more “hefe” in the glass though. 8/10.

S: Fruity and floral hops – lots of them. There is a sweet biscuit malt in there as well. Not really detecting any wheat (a characteristic of the White IPA I’m told) but I’m sure it’s in there. 8/10.

T: Ooo, tasty piney/citrus hops upfront at the back and all over, with a hint of a sweet biscuit base in the middle. There are some pleasing floral hop notes as well. The finish is a well-restrained medium bitterness. This is one beer I could get used to in summer, shame it’s a limited release. 8/10.

M: Mid to light bodied with a light carbonation. A bit more density to the carbonation would be ideal, but now we’re nit-picking really. 7/10.

D: So overall we’ve got a nice hoppy White IPA, which is nothing special or outstanding, however it goes down a treat and I would gladly get it again (if I could – I hate you limited release: The bane of my beer-drinking existence). This White IPA could benefit from teensy bit more sweetness, the hops are quite good though. Nice job Hendo! 7/10.

Food match: A batch of battered and fried chilli calamari would be a great pairing for this brew. Do it.

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