Friday, 30 August 2013

#169: The North Cork North South Hop-Off

As Irish readers will have no doubt heard, 8 Degrees have brewed up two IPAs that they've then hopped with northern and southern hemisphere hops respectively. Cyclone is the southern version, while Hurricane is representing us northern hemispherians. Both pour a hazy shade either side of amber, with Cyclone more yellow in comparison to Hurricane's darker orange. 

On the nose, Cyclone exhibits plenty of tropical(ish) fruit, with mango, passion fruit and even hints of your average hardy strawberry coming through. In the background, there's plenty of candy or bubblegum sweetness to back this up. On the palate there's a more pronounced sweetness with just a tingling of the fruity bitterness from the aroma, although it does introduce pineapple and spice to proceedings adding another layer to the complexity. The afters are all of tropical fruit and biscuity grain, and I have to say that it's delicious. 

Hurricane has an aroma of citrus fruit pulp and peel, with Citra weighing in with it's pine needle notes and the rest made up of juicy blood orange and pungent grapefruit. As time goes on, the candied fruit sweetness of the malt becomes more prominent, as does a tropical fruit bouquet similar to Cyclone. Upon tasting, you are again met with a nice balance, with a more profound fruity and herbal bitterness to the fore and smoother, warmer caramel notes at the back. 

Both of these beers are very enjoyable, and I'd certainly have either again. My pick of the two is Hurricane, though, and it's not just because I'm rooting for the home team. Apart from being slightly more delicious than the Cyclone, I think it does a better job in exhibiting the hops of the hemisphere, whereas the Cyclone (while tasty) lacks a bit of punch.

Either way, great stuff, and well worth picking up the two for a side-by-side.

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