Saturday, 12 March 2011
Breakfast Beer Tasting: Infra Red
Having tried the cask version this week, it occurred to me that it might be a good idea to compare it to the bottled version. Hence today’s breakfast beer. As it turns out, they’re very similar, so I’m treating this as a straight bottle review.
The basics: This is a 500ml 6.5% ruby red “oxymoronic IPA”. Which means it isn’t really an IPA. Just as a “Black IPA” isn’t an IPA. These brewers will have their little jokes. But am I bovered? Nope. As long as it tastes ok, they can call them what the hell they like.
It poured a ruby red (no surprise) with light carbonation and a large head that soon evaporated. The aroma was hoppy (no surprise) but also some sweet fruit balancing it out a little.
Taste: The Cascade and Centennial hops certainly come out in the first blast, but there’s also something else there. This might be the Crystal Malt which, some have suggested, is overly represented. I didn’t find that and thought it quite well balanced. It did seem a quite heavy beer-more like a Double IPA-with a chewy hop texture.
Finish: Pleasing. Not overtly long, but the hop bitterness gradually fades rather than a sudden disappearance.
Conclusion: Whether you want to call this an IPA or an experimental red ale, it’s a bit of quality, particularly from such a small brewery. One for your friend who thinks Greene King IPA is an authentic IPA.