Hop Fiction – part of BrewDog’s experimental Prototype series – is an attempt to brew an IPA without dry-hopping. When you’re aiming for a style renowned for its big, bold, brash bitterness, it’s the equivalent of brewing with one hand tied behind your back.
Hop Fiction pours a clear amber with an irregular off-white head which quickly disappears into the body. There’s a nice chunk of lemon and orange on the nose too.
The first taste delivers a hefty bitter bang – they’ve certainly managed to retain a lot of the distinctive hoppy bitterness through extensive wort- and whirlpool-hopping. Behind the bitterness, everything is much more subdued. The orange and lemon notes that were present on the nose are all mostly absent in the taste.
Hop Fiction fades to a soured sweetness and finishes off with a bitterness that lingers at the back of your mouth.
BrewDog’s experiment is certainly nice but it lacks the strong flavours of their other IPAs. A successful experiment maybe, but not one to repeat.