Shipyard Brewing Company ‘[Fuggles] IPA’ – The Review

DSCN1218Here’s another beer that was donated to me by a generous benefactor. If you don’t know me by now, I’m fairly partial to my hoppy beers and, as such, IPAs usually please me. When I saw this bright bottle, proudly displaying a Fuggles hop on its front, I thought I must be onto a winner. It had so much going for it and I was eager to crack it open – would the experience live up to the anticipation? Well, to quote a certain Harry Hill, “there’s only one way to find out…” I’ll end it there, though.

Just on a side note, I’d like to say how much I enjoy the website’s thoroughness. If you click here you can see how much brewing information they give on this, even including a video description. A good website can go a long way! Now on, with the beer…

Vital Stats:

  • Brewed in Portland, Maine
  • 5.8% ABV
  • 49 IBUs
  • Available in 330ml bottles
  • Malts: British Pale Ale, Crystal and Malted Wheat
  • Hop: Fuggles
  • Yeast: Top-fermenting English
  • Awards: LA County Fair Gold: 2007 and 2006, Bronze: 2004

Look It’s a bright bottle, fairly simple yet eye-catching. Love the “Cheers!” on the bottle top – I don’t know whether you can see it in the picture, but it’s the first time I’ve ever seen it.

In the glass it’s an arresting clear, burning brass colour with a wonderful, fizzy bubbleshow. The head retention was also good. 8/10

Aroma There’s not much, to be honest. Just a light malty note. I got some indistinct citrus aroma, but I had to sniff so hard for it, I nearly got a headache. 3/10

Taste I got a sharp hoppiness [nice orange and grapefruit flavours], almost to the point of being metallic, which is obviously disappointing. What’s nice is that, despite the expressive power of the hops, the malt is still persistent, giving it a bit of smoothness in with all the fizz. Good ‘n’ strong, with decent longevity, but not particularly complex. A little too sweet for me, also, especially how bitter you’d expect the hops to make it. 6/10

Value This is available for £1.79 a bottle, which is cheap as bottles go. I’d be tempted to buy this again if it was ridiculously cheap, but as it stands, I’d rather pay the same for something I know I like, or pay more and gamble on liking something new. 5/10

Session In some ways, the hoppiness here reflects the taste in a lot of lagers, and, along with the balanced malty flavours and the light, refreshing feel of the drink, you could have a nice session on this. That depends on whether you like the flavour, though. For me – and I stress the ‘personal taste’ element here – drinking more of this would be like adding insult to injury. In short: one bottle was more than enough. 3/10

To round up, I feel bad about the score I’m giving this, almost to the point of apology. There are people more knowledgeable than I that have reviewed this more positively, from Roger Protz to BeerAdvocate. You’re not reading their thoughts at AllHailtheAle, though… I always have a residual level of optimism reserved for IPAs – this Shipyard IPA has led me to be more cautious in the future. Hope you like it more than I do!

Final score: 50/100

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