Name – Conqueror 1075
Brewer – Windsor & Eton
Classification – Black IPA
Strength – 7.4% ABV
Verdict - At A Glance
On the eye – Dark browns and and dark reds doing their very best not to look like black. And mostly failing.
On the nose – Smoky citrus. A veritable hurricane of licorice and tree fruit. Sort of impossible. Sort of magical.
On the tongue – A brief, sound bite appraisal? Of flavours such as these? Do me a favour!
On the subject – At this point in time, few breweries in Britain are generating so much unbridled excitement within my beer loving soul as Windsor & Eton. Irritatingly, I am by no means alone. Other pesky humanoids have also spotted the specialness, so it won't be very long before the whole world is singing their praises and they're being taking over by BMW or Microsoft. Success can be so wounding!
On the market – Growing rapidly for the brewery as a whole but this newbie bottle might be harder to find, initially at least. But there's little need to exert yourself, just go online at Beer Merchants or Ales By Mail.
On the whole – 9.5/10
On the whole – 9.5/10
However the hell it came about, and regardless of whether its very existence is even possible or not – there's one thing I can safely say about the recently arrived beer style known as Black IPA...
It's utterly marvellous.
It really is.
Today's beer – which is merely one of Windsor & Eton's two renditions of this classification – is nothing less than a mind blowing drink experience.
This is the beer that every lover of dark beer in the known universe should be consuming at their very earliest opportunity. But the truly remarkable thing about these Black IPA's is that this very same recommendation can be given to lovers of beers at the absolute opposite end of the colour/flavour spectrum. If you like light, golden, citrus rich, hop heavy ales – this is your essential beer, too.
Crudely put, this is a vividly hopped, citrus rampant, medium bodied and lavishly malted stout. There's so very much more to it, but that's a pretty decent starting point.
Grapefruit, lime, mango and gooseberry (to name but a few of the huge array of dynamic fruits at play here) swirl and collide with deep swathes of cocoa, licorice, smoked bacon and roasted nuts. It's an astonishing sequence of flavour events, and among the most invigorating taste experiences I've ever known from any source – let alone from a beer.
There are so many elements which make you instinctively disbelieve what your mouth is telling you, but at the same time, the whole thing makes so much sense that you can't understand how these kinds of beers weren't dreamed up sooner.
Quite simply, in terms of the open market, beers like this really didn't exist just a few short years ago, and yet these guys are brewing this one like they've been doing it for aeons.
That's a remarkable achievement.
But then, this is a remarkable brewery. And with all of their usual technical prowess, creative ingenuity and sheer class, they are brewing a remarkable example of a remarkable beer style.
Whatever kind of beer you think you prefer – Black IPA will rapidly replace it.
And be sure to drink a bottle of Conqueror 1075 before you shake your head in disagreement with that statement.
I can guarantee you won't be shaking it after.