These days I believe we are finally reaching a saturation point in the market for West Coast/Cascadian IPA’s. The inundation in recent years of quadruple hopped, extra hop with hop juice added IPA’s is hopefully going to slow down, as I for one rarely go out of my way to try any new IPA’s. There are a number of excellent IPA’s that I enjoy and return to from time to time, such as Red Racer, Fat Tug, Nasty Habits and Switchback, but when I try a brewery’s fourth different IPA I begin to wonder why I keep drinking all these good beers that don’t stand out in the crowd instead of only drinking the excellent ones. English IPA’s however are another matter, being generally lower on the IBU scale with other flavours concealed within the brew. I happen to be a big fan of Samuel Smith’s India Ale for example, and would recommend it over nearly any local IPA, despite being far less bitter. Of course I am aware that different occasions call for different styles, and that sometimes the grapefruit and pine needle flavours of a Red Racer are going to be far more enjoyed than an English IPA. However for those who find most West Coast IPA’s too bitter, I would recommend an English IPA. Or in this case, an Albertan IPA, from Big Rock.
To copy the above analogy of it being difficult to justify continually trying new IPA’s because they kind of all taste the same, I am going to go ahead and say that nearly every Big Rock beer tastes the same: lots of maltiness. Due to this similarity, I rarely try any new Big Rock beers, and when I do they are usually malty, which isn’t a bad thing, but when the Traditional Ale is available there’s no need to drink a Warthog which is basically the same beer only not quite as good. It really is a shame that they discontinued the Magpie Rye Ale, now that was a beer!
In the case of the Dead Reckoning Royal IPA then, if you are anything like me, you would probably NEVER go out of your way to try this new IPA. However one evening a family friend, Frank, who was over for supper brought a bottle with him and shared it about, and it intrigued me enough to jot down some notes. So try it if you like English IPA’s, or find it odd that this beer is the joining of two analogies which indicate it shouldn’t be tried. If you can’t find it (22oz bottles only) no problem, just pick up a six pack of Big Rock’s IPA, which tastes rather similar and is easier to find.
Appearance: Copper colour.
Nose: Sweet and hoppy.
Palate: Malty and sweet.
Finish: Mild hop taste.
Rating: 3/5 Good
Like an English IPA rather than a Cascadian IPA, but then again Alberta will never be Cascadian no matter how many homes their folk buy out here.