Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Buxton Axe Edge Double IPA

My first-ever British Double IPA. In fact my first-ever Double IPA made by anyone other than Americans. I liked Buxton's single IPA, although it seemed more like a regular pale ale to me - would that mean this double is actually a single? I guess we'll find out.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (623) - Albany, New York, USA - FEB 28, 2012
Trying to draw the line as to where a single IPA ends and the double IPA begins is a bit of a nerdy, arbitrary matter. Buxton Axe Edge claims to be a double IPA, but drinks like an American single IPA. Whatever it may be, the fact remains it’s a tasty, drinkable beer.

I received a 500ml bottle from Buxton Brewery (thanks, Mike!). I poured it into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Light orange/dark gold hue. Slight cloudiness but otherwise transparent with some carbonation visible. Forms a large, white, frothy head which retains and laces very well.

Smell: Pretty much all orange, but more like an orange candy than the actual orange fruit. Definite light sweetness of a name brand sucker candy rather than anything resinous or syrupy.

Taste: I have to admit I scoffed a bit at the label for declaring itself a double IPA at only 6.8% ABV, but one swig into Buxton Axe Edge Double IPA and I understood why they classify it as such. Very strong hop bitterness right up front which lasts throughout the entire palate. It’s sharp and dry but not overbearing.

The label indicates this is brewed with hops from Europe, North America and New Zealand but the palate seems fairly direct in its flavor profile of pretty much all orange. Tang, Sweet Tarts candy and orange sherbet ice cream are the prominent flavors found here. It’s a nice light sweetness that is complemented by the dry bitterness quite well. It’s pretty tasty to be sure, definitely satisfying, but nothing mind-blowing.

Drinkability: With a mouthfeel a little thin for the style, but enough raw energy to give it some weight, Buxton Axe Edge Double IPA is an interesting beer to drink. Full-bodied for sure, but nice and crisp instead of being sticky, sappy, or juicy. While this beer is not really refreshing, it does have a smooth finish, but with a noticeably dry (but tolerable) aftertaste. Enough bitterness to act as a palate cleanser and enough taste to enjoy the beer in and of itself it’s certainly versatile.
Grade: 8/10

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