Sunday, 17 May 2015
What: Skull King Double IPA.
Who: Beavertown, London.
Where: An absolutely beautiful can, bought at the brilliant Mother Kelly's. Although, if you haven't got one by now, it's probably too late - at this point it's a one-off and in very short supply.
Why: Because the fermentation profile is clean as a whistle and the bitterness is really well balanced. The alcohol, despite there being a lot of it, is really well integrated. The hop profile has lots of pine sap and over-ripe fruit; tangerines and pineapples if you go looking for them.
Why not: Because the hops taste old; vegetal like damp leaves and cheesy like blue cheese. There's too much malt character and it gets in the way of the hops; it comes through like boiled sweets and caramel. The body is fat, thick and chubby; giving the beer a muddy feel and taking away its elegance.
How could it be improved? (Wow, the arrogance!) I'd love to see it filtered gently, fined or lagered before dry hopping. I'd like less character from the (possibly crystal) malt. I think a thinner body and less malt character would allow the hops to come through in a more pronounced way. I'd like to see it made with fresher hops.