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Rok IPA, beer review

An enjoyable IPA from Black Wolf Brewery is let down by a nagging blandness, writes Patrick McPartlin

Published: July 27, 2015

Brewery: Black Wolf Brewery
Style: IPA / English Bitter
ABV: 4.0%

Black Wolf has actually been around for longer than you might think - certainly longer than I had realised. They won their first award (Gold in the SIBA National Beer Competition Organic Category) back in 2004, picking up further gongs in 2006, 2007, 2011 and 2012.

Based in Throsk, Stirling, the brewery has made a name for itself with its range of English Bitters such as Lomond Gold, Battle of Bannockburn 1314 and the impressive Glencoe English Stout.

So I was expecting good things from Rok IPA, described as a ‘modern twist on Indian Pale Ale’, and one of Black Wolf’s new breed along with Big Red, Tundra, Florida Black and Gold Digger.

Pours light and golden-straw coloured, with a thin head.

The aroma

Vague citrus hops and a bit malty. Fairly standard fare.

The taste

To be honest, Rok IPA was a bit of a letdown. It’s not a bad beer, and it’s perfectly drinkable, but a nagging blandness drags it down.

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The initial taste is hoppy and a bit malty, but there’s next to no sweetness and a lot of bitterness. Again, it’s not that Rok IPA isn’t a nice beer, but rather that it could be so much more.

Although I largely enjoyed drinking it, nothing stands out over the other aromas or tastes. When you consider the other beers Black Wolf has in its locker, it makes Rok IPA’s lack of character all the more disappointing.

Having sampled beers from Vietnam to Boston, Patrick felt it was time to turn his attention to the growing Scottish craft beer scene. Despite what some would call a Rebus-esque attachment to Deuchars IPA, he has turned his attention to smoked porters, hoppy pilsners and roasty stouts and hasn't looked back since.

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