For months I’ve been biting my tongue as I seen countless British bloggers, twitterers, podcasters & Youtubers sample & marvel at CloudWater Brew‘s Double IPAs. And it’s pissed me right off, because I couldn’t get them here & they were in incredibly short supply in the UK as it was. And now, thanks to ProAddition their beers are available in Ireland on draught in Galway Bay Bars, & in bottle. I finally got to get my tastebuds around their DIPA series in Alfie Byrnes in Dublin. On Draught.
There I was on Friday afternoon. Dublin city was unusually sunny & warm as hell without a cloud in the sky. Alfie Byrnes is a short meander from my office, & I knew exactly what I was going to wrap my chops around at lunch & where. Alfie Byrnes under the Conrad Hotel in Dublin is not your typical Galway Bay bar, but it is a really nice spot with an outdoor area. Perfect on a day like this.
CloudWater DIPA v6 was on tap. €9 for a third of a pint – ouch! Pretty insane pricing for this beer, & honestly not sure how in the name of god this price is justified other than people will pay it. Considering a bottle of the CloudWater v6 DIPA in stores is approx €6 inc VAT for a 330ml bottle, which is approx. €9.10 for a pint, yet in the bar a pint (if they’d serve it) would be €27. It’s bullshit pub economics to be frank.
But that aside (as it’s a discussion/blog for another day), this beer poured into a glass on draught is straight up murk. ‘Straight Outta Murk’. 8 Murk Mile. Murkz In Tha Hood. And just like on a good cut of steak or a damn good burger where fat is flavour, murk is flavour‘. For some folk, they’ll get uppity unless their beer is as clear as the Dalai Lama’s conscience. For this guy, I’m completely okay with my craft beer not being clear once the flavours are there.
Even as the glass was being passed to me, the aroma on this one is a fighter. If it were an MMA fighter, it’d be Nate Diaz. Looks laid back, works like crazy, when it comes to landing them killer blows, god damn it hits hard & the ground game is tight. This beer stockton-slaps the heck out of you on aroma with sweet sweet peaches. And I’m not talking your DelMonte canned crap. I’m talking freshly cut juicy organic white peaches..
This beer is fermented with Vermont Ale Yeast which is notoriously tricky for most brewers, & this is what is helping impart the distinct aroma along with the super heavy handed hopping – 20% dry hops added towards the end of fermentation, 40% 3 days into conditioning, & 40% 3 days before crash cooling. Sweet baby jeebus
The first mouthful of this is just intensely fruity. Pineapple, peaches & sweet citrus. The carbonation on this wasn’t heavy which was great as it really just allowed all the flavours of the beer to be experienced without heavy handed carbonation wrecking the experience. Some double IPA’s are about seeing how far they can knock your senses silly with IBU overload, or how strong they can present themselves as. Very few actually are about exposing so many sensory nuances alongside technical prowess for a purely relaxed, laid back enjoyment experience.
And my god, what an experience. Without being able to compare the previous versions, or the recently released v7 to it, I can understand the hype surrounding this beer. It is completely justified. It is an incredible achievement of a beer. The one thing about beers like this in Ireland is that a €27 pint is ballbustingly scary & a turn-off, which is in my mind a pure disservice to CloudWater, who sure as hell aren’t seeing that price back to them.