There’s nowt better than the spirit of collaboration is there? Teaching the world to sing in harmony etc. – aye it’s great.
This spirit is even better in the beer world, however, as Scotland’s BrewDog and New Zealand’s 8 Wired’s new little project firmly demonstrates.
Dog Wired (what else would they call it?!) has just clawed its way onto the Irish market over the past week or so, and it’s as fresh as you’re likely to find anything over here. But, uh-oh, it’s a brew that’s advertised as belonging to potentially my least favourite of all styles: Imperial Pilsner.
A hazy light gold pour with a pretty massive white head awaits you in the bottle. As soon as your nose gets within ten feet of the glass, there’s a huge huge hit of amazingly fresh tropical fruit: seriously ripe mango, passionfruit and tangerine literally assault the nasal passages. This is New Zealand hop goodness at its very finest, I’ve rarely smelt Nelson Sauvin (the primary hop used in the brew) in a more potent, uninhibited form. There’s also a bit of a grainy cereal note in there too. The taste gives more juicy sweet tropical fruitiness, all of the wonderful aromas translate beautifully. There’s a bit of fairly clean biscuity stuff happening in terms of malt body, giving it a little bit of depth. But, hey, there’s something I don’t like: I can’t get round the slightly corny cereal note that seems to characterise many of the modern Imperial Pilsners on the market, regardless of how well-hopped they are. It’s not to my personal taste, it’s a bit rough and seems to make it taste much more boozy than it actually is (6.8% ABV). The finish is crisp and dry, with some nice semi-bitter citrusy and tropical stuff lingering.
Man, those hops are fresh. For that reason, this is being put much closer to the ‘amazing’ rather than the ‘average’ category. Honestly, this hop character is wonderful to behold, but you have to buy it ASAP, as this level of intensity isn’t going to stick around for long. I’m still not a fan of Imperial Pilsners, but I’ll make a Dog-Wired-shaped exception for this tasty little number.