Sunday 27 April 2014

Beer Tasting: Bullfinch Citrageddon

In case you didn't know, black IPA (or cascadian dark ale, if you like) is one of my favourite styles of beer. While there are some people out there who misguidedly deride the style, I happen to think it's great (and I'm not alone). So I'm always thrilled to see London breweries take on this hoppy-cum-roasty hybrid. To date, many of London's best breweries have tried their hands at black IPA; offhand, the most notable successes I can think of have come from The Kernel, Partizan, Brodie's, Weird Beard, London Fields and Howling Hops.

This latest black IPA release from Bullfinch deserves a place among the list of Great London Black IPAs.

I picked up a bottle of the hyperbolically-named Citrageddon directly form the brewery. The beer pours deep black-brown with a thick, mocha cream head. The nose has lots of oily, dark chocolate, decent roast, hints of espresso and burnt earth. The flavor is medium sweet with robust but balanced overarching roasted malt character, prominent chocolate, low bitterness, understated ripening orange and grapefruit. Medium bodied with fine, massaging carbonation and creamy texture. It finishes with some gooey chocolate and resinous, lightly torched pine, a bit of dark bread, minimal bitterness, light charcoal, dark chocolate, slight licorice and raisin. There's some very nice depth here. This black IPA is neither excessively roasty nor hoppy and certainly not overy bitter - which is fine by me. Rather, it’s fairly creamy with lots of roasted malt and chocolate character, along with subtle citrus and dried fruits. It is quite approachable, especially given the strength. Very good work here. I would love to see a Mosaicgeddon or Simcoegeddon in the future. Fugglesgeddon would be fun, too. (Score: 4.0/5.0)