Very occasionally, something comes along that's so good you can't believe nobody thought of it before. Now, I'm not saying the name of this beer is up there with the invention of the wheel or the whoopee cushion per se, but, boy, it's close. Indeed, when I made such a comment to the man behind it, Van Dieman's founder Will Tatchell responded with: "Oh, I’ve sat on it for a few years waiting to get around to producing a Hazy Boi."
Having finally reached that point, he's not held back either; sure, there are bigger NEIPAs out there, but Vandemonium is very much on the front foot when it comes to its hop load. There's a milky quality to its opacity, partly courtesy of the naked oats and raw wheat in the grain bill, and a grapefruit juice like colour in the glass. Double dry-hopped at 14 grams per litre with Cryo Idaho 7, Mosaic, El Dorado and the Cryo Pop blend, its aromas can fairly be described as jaunty as anything: bright, sweet citrus with a squeezed lemon juice liveliness in their midst. Like, seriously, did Will sneak in and squeeze a few of them into my glass while I was dealing with an injured child last night?
It's much sprightlier on palate than it appears, with those citrus flavours joined by others akin to hops’ stoner cousin (not that we recommend you eat marijuana; unless it’s been turned into something fit for purpose, of course) and a touch of grippy bite more than bitterness finishing things off. Will says it's his "dream IPA", and I suspect many others will share his dream.
Published December 15, 2021 2021-12-15 00:00:00