Hardknott are one of those breweries that have been on my radar – and my Twitter feed – for ages and yet somehow I’ve utterly failed to try any of their beer up to now.
A recent visit to Borough Market (and therefore Utobeer) resulted in a nice haul of monsters and among them I finally get to see if Hardknott are all they’re cracked up to be.
This is Queboid, their awesomely named 8.0% Belgian style Double IPA. It’s a nice rich amber in the glass, with a thin fine bubbled head that is actually slowly growing as it sits on my desk. I’m not sure I’ve seen a beer do that before.
The first thing you notice on the nose is a big sweet hit of floral hops. Under that is a rich fruitiness very reminiscent of Belgian beers – even before I’ve tasted it the beer is managing to live up to the label.
In the mouth it’s a very serious and fascinating beer. Sticky and syrupy, date fruit sweetness and a nice alcohol warmth and then before it gets all just too sweet and rich the big, deep hop bitterness kicks in and cleans your palate perfectly leaving your mouth with a lingering memory of fruit and a slowly fading bitter hit.
It is, in short, a fantastic monster and I’m even more determined to try the rest of their range now.