Elixir of Invincibility, Hardknott
Added: Tuesday, September 1st 2015
Hardknott Elixir of Invincibility
Dave Bailey, the hard nut from Hardknott, takes a pop at the doomsters with this powerful Double IPA. “It is well-known that, despite the efforts of the Portman Group [the brewing industry’s watchdog] to cover up the fact, hops have many great health benefits,” he says on the back label of the bottle. “This beer uses buckets of hops from New Zealand.”
The beer certainly has a profound hop character from the use of Pacific Jade, Green Bullet, Pacific Gem and Nelson Sauvin varieties. They are blended with Pearl pale malt, Munich and caramalt to produce a pale bronze beer with a complex herbal and spicy nose with delicious fruit notes reminiscent of freshly-picked tangerines and lightly toasted malt. Intensely bitter and spicy hops build in the mouth, with juicy malt and tart fruit. The finish is long, dry, well-balanced by bitter hops, biscuit malt and tangy fruit, with the citrus and vinous note expected from NZ hops.
It’s labelled an IPA but the richness, the complexity and the perfumy notes are also reminiscent of a Belgian Tripel. It’s a glorious drinking experience.
The brewery, launched in 2005 by Dave and Ann Bailey, was first based in the Woolpack Inn in Boot, at the foot of the notorious Hardknott Pass in the Lake District. It moved to Millom and expanded in 2010 with a 16 hectolitre brewhouse.
The 330ml beer can be bought from the Hardknott shop: www.hardknott.com/shop. £2.49 a bottle, £28.29 for 12, £55.29 for 24. also available from Ales by Mail, Black Jack Brewery, Manchester, and Westmorland Farm Shop.
Photo courtesy CAMRGB