Greek Fire by ClubGonzo, India Pale Ale, 6.3 % ABV, 61 IBU.
This single hop beer has a very dark amber colour, unusually dark for an IPA. The body is hazy, and no lumps of yeast or hops can bee seen in my glass: either the Bergen brewers have shaped up recently, or I’ve finally learned how to pour a beer without whirling up the sediments. The head is creamy, light brown and stays as a thick layer until my glass is empty. The before mentioned glass gets covered in lacings by this long-lived head.
The aroma is strong, sweet and very inviting! I get huge amounts of fruits and berries, actually quite much strawberries, that’s a new one! Also sweet tropical fruits, mainly peach and mango and a firm kick of bitter grapefruit. This is really, really nice!
The taste is moderate sweet, that’s quite much sweetness for an IPA. This lovely caramelly malty sweetness is perfectly backed up by a moderate to heavy bitter long-lasting finish, and what a pleasant bitterness it is! Without having brewed any beers myself I get the impression that it’s quite easy to produce a very bitter taste, but it’s much more difficult to make a pleasant bitterness. The flavours are strong, and again I get a quite obvious strawberry feel. The mango is still there and quite definitely the grapefruit. Vague alcohol in the finish, but that’s nowhere near disturbing. Given the quite sweet taste and the sweet strawberry notes, a gentle alcohol bite is very welcome.
The body is medium, it has a nice oily texture and a fitting soft carbonation. When my glass is almost empty I start noticing something far into the aftertaste that isn’t that pleasant, it’s something about that bitterness that doesn’t seem perfect anymore. That might of course be due to the palate fatigue, after all it had to endure violent abuse from the horrible Dandy Lion earlier this evening, but still I need to go all the way down to a 3 for the Palate.
Conclusion: A lovely single hop beer with truck loads of delicious fruits and berries both in the aroma and in the flavours. The bitterness is pronounced and pleasant, and the heightened sweetness level is pleasant, even though it might not be exactly according to style? And who cares about the slightly too dark colour?
Aroma: 8 Apperance: 4 Taste: 8 Palate: 3 Overall: 14 Ratebeer Score: 3.7