Mikkeller & Brewdog – I Hardcore You

My buying of almost everything that BrewDog produces is a potential problem. Keeping an eye on their blog and receiving the occasional “as you are a shareholder you may be interested in” email is a dangerous thing as I hear about their more interesting brews before they get a chance to sell out. And sell out they do…

One of the most recent ones of these to appear is their latest collaboration with Danish brewer MikkellerI Hardcore You.

I Hardcore You

Unlike their previous brew, Devine Rebel, this one isn’t a single beer collaboration but instead a blend of a beer from each brewer – BrewDog’s Hardcore IPA and Mikkeller’s I Beat yoU. After they’ve done the blending of the two breweries’ most hoppy ales they then dry hop it to make sure it’s hoppy enough. And then they dry hop it again. As they said on the blog post announcing the beer:

…a beer which has been dry hopped four times, or maybe even six times. We kinda lost count.

It’s a little bit of a cheat as I Beat yoU (with capitalised IBU) is made at BrewDog’s brewery to Mikkeller’s recipe, so they don’t have to ship it all that far before doing the blending. I’ve written about Hardcore IPA before (and still need to try another bottle of it, as my last one seems to have been duff) but I’ve yet to taste I Beat You on its own. From Mikkeller’s website it seems to be a beer with a simple mission – to be a really hoppy IPA. Based on my impression of this beer they seem to have done that.

The blend comes in at 9.5% and for a beer that strong it slips down way too easily – I’ve already seen reports of hangover misery the morning after The Rake had a cask of it on. It pours a nice orangey red and has a head that sticks around for a little bit. It smells of hop pellets and mulchy hops, a bit like being in a damp hop filled cellar (I imagine). I’ve tried two bottles, one cold and one at room temperature, and the flavour was quite different. At room temperature it was very hoppy with an underlying thick maltiness that reminded me of the best bits of the draught Hardcore IPA. When cold more of the maltiness came out than the hops, with it coming across as very sweet and fruity (mangos, pineapples and other tropical fruit, maybe) with a nice long bitter finish, becoming gradually more mulchy and hoppy as it warmed up.

As with all of the BrewDog backed hoppy beers this isn’t one to have if you are not a big fan of bitter hops. Luckily for me I like the taste of chewing on a hop pellet, so the extra flavours that you get from the beer sitting behind the hops all count as bonuses. While this beer may not appear again (although the ease of BrewDog obtaining both Hardcore IPA and I Beat yoU combined with the favourable reviews this beer has got mean that it’s not impossible that it will) it certainly reinforces my need to try Hardcore IPA and kicks the Mikkeller range further up my to find list.

BrewDog and Mikkeller I Beat You
Double dry hopped blended of Hardcore IPA and I Beat yoU, 9.5%. No longer available.

The bottle artwork is by Keith Shore, and very pretty it is too.