We told you: The Double IPA is THE beer style of the year. All the big boy brewers have been duking it out in this corner of the beeriodic table. In a previous bit we saw Magic Rock's Human Cannonball triumph over Cloudwater (prolific DIPA dons in 2016) and Buxton Brewery's Kingmaker.
Next match up sees Vocation of Hebden Bridge representing Yorkshire and the North against southern behemoths Beavertown and their heralded and hyped Notorious, Blood Orange DIPA. Both brews were sourced from the ever-reliable Hop Hideout, after a Mikkeller running club meet, but that's a story for another day.....!
Both beers are canned and very stylish. Vocation are distinctive and quietly stylish. We like the clear and descriptive information that tells us this Smash and Grab is `Golden`, `Tropical & Citrus` and tastes of `Hop Juice`, 8.5% hop juice, that`ll be then. All true and helpful pre-purchase as is the price of just under four quid whilst the Notorious is nearly a quid more, ah tell thee! Beavertown are also distinctive and stylish but louder, London style, and price - ?
Both have crisp, citrus, fruity aromas but nothing particularly hefty, maybe you'd expect more.
Appearance after pouring they differ more. Vocation are big on the unfined, unpasteurized and unfiltered process resulting in a cloudy body particularly as you add the dregs of the can. CAMRA marking would probably score this down ironically but for many beer geeks it's fine to be unfined, unless you're big into fish guts!
Meanwhile, Bloody Notorious is bloody full of bloody fizz bit this does disappear quickly in the mouth and fades pretty swiftly in the glass leaving the brew looking more marsala than DIPA after a few minutes bemusingly. Taste-wise the alcohol is prominent (after a brief orange hit) but it is 9.1% afterall. S & G has a different and longer-lasting aftertaste with a diminishing bitterness after a citrussy start. Both good beers undoubtedly but DIPA is the most competitive area of craft at the moment so I'm going:-
Bloody Notorious - 7 / 10
Smash & Grab - 7.5 / 10
A narrow but deserved win for the North. Cheers gents!