earlier on today I was able to taste a very special beer indeed. Its made with ingredients, including all those that you would expect to see, then put in casks, sent to a public house, and proceeds from there through beer lines using a pump and out into a pint glass.
Luckily, it managed to be a little more interesting than that....
DCLXV1 (nice catchy name lads!) was brewed by Steel City Brewing, beers they brew, here of using hops fame, and Arbor Ales, who are from Bristol and everything. Its 6.66% and 666IBU. Now, I'm no biochemist (or even a brewer) but I am led to believe that the above International Bitterness Units measurement makes this a very very hoppy beer indeed. And as if to reiterate that, I could smell the hops when the pint was put on the bar in front of me. Wow.
By way of comparison, BrewDog Hardcore IPA has an IBU of 150 (but Punk IPA apparently only 40?) so if you ever tried Hardcore and pulled a lime, salt and tequila face you might expect this Steel City beer to kill your tastebuds. Except it doesn't.
Its a Black IPA in style, granted, and they can often have masses of harsh dry bitter hops in the initial taste, and some Black IPA's, regrettably, fail to balance this out with the malts used and the way this leads through that malt to the aftertaste. This beer, on the other hand, achieves that perfect balance (considering the amount of hops such as Sorachi Ace and Simcoe used) of astringent hop, quickly followed by creamy malt and ushers a mixture of both into the finish, with hoppy flavours lingering long in the mouth.
This may be the best beer I have tried from Steel City Brewing. And its perhaps because the level of threatened bitterness, whilst am sure is there, is incorporated so successfully into the overall flavour. One wonders if perhaps it was the collaboration with Arbor that made the beer so much more balanced? Not for a minute wanting to take anything away from Steel City, but weirdly, I found the hoppiness in this beer nicer and easier on the palate than that in both the Black Hops and the Dark Funeral.....
In fact, the most terrifying or perhaps equally the most impressive thing about this beer was its excellent drinkability. Granted I only had one pint (it was 2 in the afternoon, am not mental) but had I been in for a longer session I reckon I could have put away three quite easily.
Finally, its not clear how much of this will be available and for how long so if you fancy a taste I suggest you get down to the Rutland Arms on Brown Street and get some.
Now to wait for the desperately silly Mikkeller 1000IBU beer, which I understand is served in lead lined tankards....