Those fine gentlemen over at BrewDog kindly sent me a mixed box of beer last week, and although I had thought to do a tasting session with my German colleagues, the bottles are too small. That's my excuse and I'm bloody well sticking to it! One of the bottles they sent had no label, so when I asked James what it was, he simply replied "The unmarked bottle is Atlantic IPA". Ah! The one that was matured in oak casks on a fishing trawler for two months during a makerel fishing season to simulate the maturation process an IPA would have received a couple of hundred years ago. Ok, that one. Hmmm... What to do? Drink it of course!
Brewdog Atlantic IPA is a rich, orange-tinted amber with a full, fluffy head, the aroma has a wonderful blend of slightly overdone toast spread with orange marmalade and vanilla. I have to say, on taking a mouthful, the mouthfeel was what first struck me. It's got a lovely soft, full body, feeling almost oily going down. The first flavours fizzle like sorbet, washing the mouth with an orange-ginger-like spiciness, a balanced sweetness and a rounded bitterness that for some reason reminded me of the bitterest Seville orange marmalade on toast. I love that stuff.
This has a warming, earthy finish, with the bitter orange, vanilla and slightly toasty notes lingering a long time, backed by a gentle biscuity sweetness. There's a subtle, tannic, woody undertone, and the whole thing blends into a big, juicy, moreish flavour that begs to be gulped down.
I don't know exactly how strong this is (no label, but some references on the web suggest 8%), but it's disgustingly easy to drink. Why disgusting? I only had one bottle and it disappeared sharpish. I could very happily drink this all night. Loved it.
It's a shame there no label, as it's a wonderful piece of art. But then my wife found the BrewDog labels are impossible to remove (and she's had practice!).
Strangely, it's not the first Atlantic IPA I've ever had, although it's a very different beast to the one from Brewpub København.