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Fuggles & Warlock / Dead Frog Hyper Combo Red Rye IPA

This Red Rye IPA is a collaboration brew between the Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks and the Dead Frog Brewery. After contract brewing for three years, F&W are now based out of lower Vancouver and are a brewery focused on “weird beers and geek culture”. Sounds good to me. Dead Frog Brewery are a bit further out of town to the east, in the burbs, and is an older brewery hailing from 2006. This collaboration brew was released in January of this year.

This is a big IPA, holding an 8% ABV, pushing into double territory. It is a rusty crimson, a nice red EBC. Good solid head. The bottle label is lush, adding value and a little something special to the appearance of the beer itself. Unfortunately the hop aroma of my sample was very disappointing – there’s nothing going. The beer advertises itself heavily on its dry hopping regimen, but ironically this beer faintly smelt of vomit. Damn. I could put the absence of aroma down to an old bottle – it’s possible the bottle I enjoyed was up to three months old – but the stale smell that endured, or manifested after the hops stripped away? That’s just a shame.

The beer is definitely bitter with a nice dry rye finish. There was a deluge of caramel over spicy rye, a very smooth alcohol hint and a puckering aftertaste on first sip. An almost medicinal, cleansing quality was present when keeping the beer in the mouth. Clearly this beer is heavy on the crystal malts – so watch out if you’re more of a drier IPA drinker.

Ultimately an interesting beer, but severely let down by its aroma.

I bought this bottled beer at Liquor Depot, Kitsilano and drank it in a house nearby.