Saturday, 27 September 2014
DNA New World IPA
“Let’s put these two things in a jar then shake it and make them fight!"
Or maybe make them do The Other Thing. You know what I’m on about.
Yeah you do.
American outfit Dogfish Head and British brewery Wells’ totally did this, but instead of trying to get a couple of cockroaches to fight or bang each other they added a reduction of Dogfish Head’s 60 Minute IPA into the brewing process at Wells’ brewery and this is what came out and made its way to the shelves of a Tesco that I was passing through.
The scent on opening the wonderfully garishly-labelled bottle is rich and sugar sweet with definite lime, almost that lime-in-the-neck scent you get when it’s all gone to the dogs and you’re drinking Sol.
The pour is steady paced, neither too thick or too thin, giving us a glass filled with ruddy, leathery brown; dirty amber with a thin head of the palest tan.
The nose from the glass is slightly hoppy and has a touch of lime about it, nowhere near as powerful as the blast from the neck.
The first taste is bitter sharpness and sizzle, it cloys on the mouth’s internal architecture and on a swill around collapses from its focused taste of lime, breaking down into rival camps of what kind of tastes like lime and what sort of maybe tastes a bit like pineapple.
There’s the requisite IPA florality, especially further down the glass, but this is no pot pourri extravaganza, no tactical citrus nuke. It keeps it simple with a limey and questionably pineappley theme.
It’s a bright, sparky beer. The aftertaste tingles with malty tones and there’s an oily texture to the drink.
The nose fills out somewhat to a crisp smell of grass and tree sap, with a greenhouse scent somewhere between your dad’s tomato crops and your mate’s sweet hydroponic setup and I’ve said too much.
The nose is a little more complex than the taste and comes close to making this one of the few beers your correspondent would rather sniff than drink, if forced to choose between these two things by an incredibly dull and unimpressive supervillain.
Towards the end of the glass the bitterness becomes lip-smackingly satsfying, and the hoppy taste rises to its apex, but as far as introductions go it’s no theatrical, memorable “Dr Livingstone, I presume?” It’s more like an “Oh, hey”, to which the senses respond “Um, yeah. Hey.”
Throwing back the last mouthful leaves the senses with a pleasant pile of hops and green/yellow citrus to mull over and organise. The final aftertaste is very clean, and I do wish I had bought more of this to pair with a white meat and rice dish.
Buying anything with such a vibrant, upfront packaging design is always a gamble and often an exercise in disappointment, for this reporter at least. The vibrant colours often write a cheque the contents of the box or bottle can’t carry, unless we’re talking about the cover art of Beck’s Midnite Vultures album, which is a glorious thing on all the levels.
DNA is no Midnite Vultures; it’s no funk explosion or hurricane of gaeity but it’s memorable and crisp, clean and lime-toned and tasty. Sessionable and crisp, it’s aces as a summer beer, or a light accompaniment to a meal and a prolonged session of shit-talking thereafter. It’s well worth the supermarket pricetag and hey, even if you don’t like the beer the bottle looks absolutely class on your "beers that I have drank" shelf.
Everyone's got one of those, right?