Total Score: 7.35/10
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.