Breakfast Beer Tasting: RCB Lightless IPA

We’re sticking with the local theme today. But this time RCB are transporting us all the way across the Atlantic for a Ramsbottom take on an American classic. This is a Black IPA-Lightless, geddit? Now you may be thinking, so what-plenty of them around. Even though, that would make it the first locally produced one. But no, this is a very special Black IPA. It’s only 3.9%. Yes, you read that correctly. All the taste, without the alcohol. Well, that’s the theory, but does it work in practice?

It comes in 500ml, bottle-conditioned, form and poured near black with reasonable carbonation and the merest trace of a beige head. The nose was promising: unmistakable dark fruits and, oh yes, those famous “C” hops. The body was light and just avoids being too thin; always a danger at this strength. The good news is that there is plenty of flavour. Citrus tones come through strongly with maybe a little blackberry before a satisfyingly hopped finish.

At this strength, there’s no malt backbone to speak of, so you wouldn’t get the full IPA experience. So maybe it’s more of a (Black) Pale Ale. However, many of the key elements of a good dark IPA are here and, if like me, you enjoy fruity, hop-led beer, you’ll like this.

Tyson says: IPA or not, it’s very tasty. I’ll have another, thanks. 


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