Could this be the Beer of the Year??
Today's brew is from Cloudwater Brewery - one of Manchester's finest and it is the latest entry in the line of Double India Pale Ales.
Cloudwater amongst all of its other fantastic beers is probably best known for it's DIPA's and currently they are churning out a new version of them each month.
You may remember that we reviewed v6 in November and whilst it was a good beer (8/10) it was just a bit on the harsh side of things for me.
Today, we review v9 and this one promises to be a cracker. This is the first of the DIPA series to which Cloudwater have used Simcoe Lupullin in the brewing process.
This is essentially a type of powder made from the lupullin part of the Simcoe hop which should really enhance the beer's aroma and flavour.
Bring it on...
So, in the glass this looks really good. It's fairly clear and doesn't have the usual murkiness that we would associate with a DIPA.
It's colour is a bit like honey when you put light behind it. A very light golden liquid with a frosty white head although, as expected with so many hops, this is quick to retreat back into the beer.
The aroma is mind blowing!! From the moment you crack open the bottle they burst out and get in your face like an angry boxer at a pre fight press conference.
You can pick up the familiar Citra aroma of tropical fruits performing in front of a piney citrus backdrop. This could be quite a complex affair.
First taste and there is only one thing I can say...
What a fantastic beer!
It would seem to me that at version 9, Cloudwater may have actually cracked it.
This is ticking some serious boxes. It has hops in spades and the beautiful juicy pinapple and mango flavours shine throughout.
This is coupled with a bitterness that wakes up the senses and a dank mouthfeel that grips to your tongue and keeps the flavours rype in your mouth until you venture on to the next gulp.
Personally, one on the things that always put me off Double IPA's is the big alcohol content and the harsh burn from your throat to your stomach after you swallow it down.
This has the high ABV (9%) but it simply doesn't have the burn - result!!
Don't get me wrong, this can be dangerous as it's fairly easy drinking but a fantastic feat none the less and the brewers can take a bow for the great balance in this hopped up, magical brew.
I have to give this a rating now and that leaves me in difficulty. I have never given full marks in a review before as I feel that a beer can always be better.
That being said however, if I'm being honest, I can't really find much to improve about this superb example of a DIPA.
I don't know what v10 holds in store but I really don't see how they can better perfection.
This Version 9 is brilliant. In fact, as far as I'm concerned - it's a bloody masterpiece.