Sunday, 10 January 2016

Alpha Dawg

Origin: Ireland | Date: 2012 | ABV: 5.9% | On The Beer Nut: April 2012

You don't age hoppy beers: everyone knows that. Which is why I've moved this IPA to the front of the Stash Killer! queue. I'm just not brave enough to leave it any longer.

It was never a particularly bright and zippy sort of IPA, going more for a serious orangey English thing. First time around I noted that the "sharp resinous bitterness" was the main feature, and it was my understanding that when hop-forward beers mature, the hop flavours and aromas die off but the bitterness remains. But this one has managed to lose its bitterness too. What I'm tasting here, almost four years on, is almost all malt: a powdery Ovaltine malt sweetness. What bitterness there is isn't really hop-related, it's more a kind of metallic aspirin tang with maybe the ghost of those jaffa oranges hovering in the background.

The lesson here is that it's true: lighter hoppy beers don't seem to age as well as the strong and dark. I wasn't a massive fan of this on its first appearance, but time has not been kind to it. Don't let your hops grow old.


  1. Never mind the style, you were brave ageing anything in one of those bottles! My Alpha Dawg hadn't survived the few months it took to pick up to begin with :(

    1. Eeep! That doesn't bode well for the Franciscan Well stouts I have, then. Time will tell.