This is my favorite bottle design in years, it's cool, has mass appeal and heritage....hang on, does that say 4.5%?!! But it's a 330ml bottle?! It says IPA?!? I feared for the worse....I opened with an open mind, here goes.
It pours a deeper amber than I expected, the nose far from hoppy, hints of fresh grass which easily drift from memory. No tropical excitement or dry hop power.
The first sip arrives with dreadful silence, no rich caramel, simply drifting like watered down best bitter before providing a very dry almost coffee backbone ( I'm guessing this is the famous Thomas Fawcett Amber malt Dogfish love so dear). After the malt leaves with all the fanfare of a rainy village fete opening, the finish at least gives a stamp of bitterness, but no woven hop flavours or tongue coating sap. One of the thinnest tasting beers I've ever drunk, only really the dry coffee flavours of the Amber malt are noticeable.
I've been lucky enough to drink many beers good and bad, including Dogfish beers regularly in their home state. However this tastes like 1/3 90min IPA, 2/3s Thames water.
Without doubt the most excepting beer of 2014. However I really hope I taste few worse, this year. The disappointment was bad but the cold reality of the end product should haunt those involved for a long while. IPA? 4.5% in a 330ml bottle? It seems the accountants torpedoed a truly exciting product, this could have been wonderful, instead it's embarrassing.
3/10 Thin, empty, misleading, embarrassing. A great beer destroyed by accountants.