You don't need more than a cursory glance at this pair from Blackman's to work out which is the dessert beer of the two. And yet...
Let's start with the obvious: Ice Cream IPA, complete with 80s ice cream tub swirls on the cans, sets out its stall (or should that be van?) clearly enough. Indeed, even if you hadn't seen the cans or checked the ingredient list, it goes about its business clearly enough too; if you've been around beer over the past half decade, you'll pick the vanilla added alongside the lactose for added ice creaminess. Pouring with a solid peach haze, the fruitiness of the hops – Citra, Strata and Bru-1 – is given an added sweetness by that creamy duo, coming across aromatically like a citrusy Mövenpick ice cream. To taste, it’s more a clash of textural citrus and stonefruit hops and vanilla sponge cake sweetness, with the flicker of bitterness the sole reminder you've got a 7 percent ABV beer in your hand.
With Paradise City and its Guns N' Roses stylings, you've got a black IPA promising "a whole bunch of hops" as well as roasty dark malts. It's not the sort of style you'd associate with dessert so much as a punchy early 2010s limited releases. However, the way in which the hops take on a minty character amid those dark malts, combined with the charred edge to the beer's roastiness (and, possibly, memories of Guns N' Roses' peak era) makes the experience a little like tucking into a slice of mint Viennetta straight after downing your last mouthful of burnt crust brisket at a barbie.
Published April 8, 2023 2023-04-08 00:00:00