Single-hop beers have always had appeal to me. Not only are they a great way to get to know different hops, but I also enjoy their minimalistic range of flavors. Without too much going on, you can focus on the individual flavors more easily.
Having seen these Lupulus X-series bad boys, advertised as ”super fresh”, in Buxton Brewery’s webshop, I had no choice but to order one of each available. Though the folks at Buxton first mixed up my order with a French guy’s (so that I got his beers and he probably got mine), their customer service was spectacular and they quickly sent out the missing beers and some extra ones for compensation for me to enjoy.
Finally having my hands on these beauties, it’s time to review the first one of them.
The beer pours into the glass from a 440ml can with an easy-going, dense, and silky-smooth, white head of about one to two fingers. The head fades away slowly, lasting several minutes before all that is left is the narrow lacing on the edges of the glass.
The liquid itself is light-amber or golden colored, hazy, yet slightly translucent.
In the aroma exotic, tropical fruits can be detected – so exotic in fact, that I most likely haven’t tasted them, as I can’t figure out what they are. At least mango, kiwi, pineapple, and coconut are detected in the aroma, which is light, but fresh and pleasant.
Just smelling this beer takes me to under the palm trees of a faraway tropical island, away from the cold and grim Finland in November.
On the first sip, the beer gently slides between the lips, caressing them with its incredibly smooth, even slightly oily, body. Only the gentle carbonation tickles the lips as the beer slides onto the palate and the hops start to kick in.
Fresh tropical fruits, similar to those in the aroma, and citrusy flavors seem to fill your mouth , spreading hand in hand with the bitterness. After swallowing, a pleasant fruity taste, and a slightly oily layer are left on the tongue, and the medium bitterness can be felt at the back of the tongue and cheeks. Quite a bit of hop burn is present, as it is canned less than four weeks ago. In the aftertaste, the mouth is still recovering from the distinct, but strong, kick of the hops and a sweet, estery fruitiness is left to be enjoyed for a long time after the beer has gone down the throat for my brave liver to process.
Final Thoughts and Rating
The brewery that had the honor to steal my craft beer virginity, or at least to get me into the sport, has done amazing job once again, this time with a single-hop IPA instead of an Imperial Stout. This beauty of a beer from Buxton’s Lupulux X-series showcases Sabro well and is an enjoyable experience to drink. The body is smooth and as thick as you’d expect from a cutting-edge IPA, the flavour is full and the aftertaste long.