With the Cloudwater double IPA monthly release (now at v11) coinciding with the return of the now legendary and award-winning Of Foam and Fury by Galway Bay Brewery, I thought I’d line them up for a head-to-head and throw in a couple of similar others – McGargles Big Bangin IPA and Stone’s Ruination double IPA. Not one of these beasts sit under 7% so it proved to be a rewarding evening!
So, to v11.
At 9% ABV this is a thick and fruity delight, orange pithy but not too sharp as a gentle sweetness pulls it back from the edge. Luscious is a word used on the label and I have to confess I can find no better adjective. Murky, swampy, juicy and citrussy beer goodness.
Galway Bay has re-released their award-winning DIPA, Of Foam and Fury for 2017. It’s much clearer than Cloudwater but still retains a pleasant slight haziness. 8.5% ABV and tastes a lot smoother than the previous incarnations. Good just got better, I certainly welcome that.
My favourite Irish beer of last year was McGargles Francis’ Big Bangin’ IPA. (not a double) Congratulations to them for having a beer title with more apostrophes than is really necessary. Now in 330ml cans instead of 500ml bottles so how does it compare? It’s chewier than Of Foam and Fury and there’s no doubt it’s a touch different from last year. There’s a slight toffee and caramel base mixed with a tang of blood orange sweetness up top and while this 7.1 % abv IPA is still very tasty and one of the best Irish beers out there (it’s definitely McGargles champion by a long way) I can’t help feel it’s not as good as last year.
And so to the final DIPA for the night, Stone’s Ruination. Stone is a well-respected American brewery but has recently set up a European brewing base in Berlin hence you’ll see more Stone brews now in NI than before. The alcohol in Ruination is much more prominent than in the previous beers and you certainly know you’re drinking a higher abv beer – it’s 8.5% For me this was less flavoursome, whether that was due to the actual beer or maybe my taste buds had been shot to pieces by this stage of the night, who knows?
I make no apology for admitting DIPAs are one of my favourite styles. The order of the reviews is the order of preference for me but opinions are like backsides – everyone has them. You may have completely different thoughts and that’s grand. Just go buy them and make up your own mind.