Saturday, 21 January 2012

Magic Rock Brewing Magic 8 Ball

Good... morning all. Last night was rather eventful for once, with a quick trip to The Rake followed by spoken word from Henry Rollins, so I didn't get much time to properly review the beer I had prior to leaving. I received an order from Magic Rock Brewing which contained, among other things, a few bottles of Magic 8 Ball, their new black IPA. Black IPAs are a very unusual hybrid that seem to be picking up more and more followers, with increasing numbers of breweries opting to produce them. I've had Conqueror 1075 from Windsor & Eton before, and I have a bottle of The Kernel's IPA Black III in the cellar, so I think you could say I've joined the bandwagon! Today is the turn of Magic Rock's offering though, so let's get to the review! If you've read half of my reviews you'll know I'm a big fan of Magic Rock, so I'm expecting great things....

Magic 8 Ball (7.0% ABV) pours a deep black colour with a thick beige head that retains itself well on the surface of the glass. The picture doesn't do it justice, it's truly a marvelous thing to behold! Some sporadic lacing is evident on the glass during the first half of the beer. The aroma is a myriad of grapefruit, citrus hops, some underlying sweetness and a decent quantity of coffee. These might not sound pleasant together, but it somehow works and I'm already left with the impression that this beer is going to be very interesting. The taste is composed of citrus/fruity hops, coffee (plenty of it as well!) and roasted malt with a slightly bitter finish (hop bitterness as opposed to tart/piquant from the malt). The hops seems to become more resinous as the beer is consumed, but this might just be the rich flavours merging together. There is a caramel-like sweetness in the background that compliments the other flavours, creating a more rounded experience. The mouthfeel is thick and quite carbonated, which really works with the flavours, and the beer is very drinkable despite the elevated ABV percentage. This is another fantastic beer from Magic Rock that combines dark, roasted malt flavours with fruity hop bitterness to create a standout black IPA. The noticeable sweetness prevents the flavours from cloying on the palette, and creates a wonderful contrast to the hops and the hefty injection of coffee. Couldn't recommend this enough!

Until next time....

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