Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Henry's IPA (Wadworth)

Here's the lowish strength standard IPA offering from Wadworth, HQ brewery of favourite Bunker Station 2 local The Goat and Tricycle.

The prospect is quite interesting, as mostly IPAs arrive in the 4%+ and upwards strength, but this is a modest 3.6%. Can it cut the India-bound odyssey mustard?

It pours cleanly with a pale gold colour and a tempting wooshy hint of flowery hops in the scent.

First sip is a touch sour, a vaguely biscuity malt opening gambit tending to bitter but not overly so. Wadworth are well known for their biscuity pints, 6x being almost a liquid hob nob, but here it's an echo.

The mid note is thin and it drifts pretty hurriedly to a sort of sourish fug that isn't really very appealing in contrast to some of the awesome IPAs on the market.

The IPA marque has become quite synonymous with rich, varied hoppy taste and power, and with Henry's Wadworth doesn't appear to have stepped forward into that clique, much like Greene King.

I think perhaps this would be a reasonably marketed pale or best, but with IPA on the label the punter will expect more, something along the lines of St Austell's classic Proper Job, Brewdog's formidable Hardcore or the flawless Meantime IPA . IPA in 2011 is about a hop wonder experience, with so much choice available to the buyer.

That said, this is a decent draft session beer which I've ordered in the pub a few times, but unfortunately nothing special in the bottle.

4/10 - Fairly two dimensional, neither powerful nor appealing enough for today's bottled IPA market.

- The Broadside


  1. So, another one which fails to translate properly into the bottle.

    It's still a bit of a mystery why some beers do that much better than others...

  2. The general rule of thumb for me (with obvious inconsistencies) is that the stronger alcohol beers tend to make the switch better, this was borne out after a chat with a brewer at Ludlow Food Festival who says he approaches bottling weaker beers with trepidation.

    In general, the best bottled beers are those designed for the bottle, so Admiral's Ale for example. I don't think I've yet had a beer which tastes exactly the same in both incarnations, I guess not surprising as the storage and delivery factors are so different.