Saturday, 20 April 2013
Beers Of London Series
19. Brodie's - Dalston Black IPA 7.0%
Leyton in the London Borough of Waltham Forest didn't used to be an area of London much visited unless you were going to see the Orient play at Brisbane Road. It was home to the headquarters of Essex County Cricket Club until 1933, and still hosted regular matches until 1977, twelve years after it was absorbed into Greater London as the border of Essex was pushed further eastwards.
Thirty one years after the last match Essex played there, in 2008 Jamie and Lizzie Brodie took over the abandoned Sweet William brewery, right next door to the King William IV Hotel and Bar, and Brodie's Beers was born. It has now spawned over 150 different beers, many experimental and adventurous, and the King William IV regularly has up to 16 on tap, as well as hosting regular beer festivals.
I first encountered the Dalston Black IPA at the Great British Beer Festival in 2012. It had caused quite a stir amongst the beer drinking community and was more than one blogger and tweeters beer of the festival. I had it on cask then and have to say that the hype was well deserved. I picked this particular (bottle-condtioned) bottle up at ales by mail fairly recently, where I believe it's still available, but usually it's found on Key Keg only.
It pours a deep dark dark ruby red, almost a deep dark brown, with a big beige head. The aroma is sweet bitter chocolate, roasted pineapple, whipped mango mousse and pine with coffee grouts in the background. Rippling over the tongue with a prickly bitterness, the flavour up front is all pineapple, grapefruit peel and a drizzle of mango juice. In sweeps some black coffee, strong, dark and bitter, followed swiftly by some fruity dark chocolate, flecked with a touch of black cherry. The finish is dry and rough, sharp and bitter, juicy and sweet, all covered with a decent crack of black pepper.
This is an extra-ordinarily good beer, and one could make a good argument for it being one of the very best black IPA's. It's fitting then that it's this beer that I happen to be reviewing for my 100th blog post. I absolutely love it, a decent way to celebrate my century, apt as this review even includes a cricket reference. Result.