Trippin’ on Simcoe DDH Pale Ale – S43 Brewery have recently stormed into the craft beer world with oodles of eyebrow raising fresh releases and they haven’t gone unnoticed. With “Trippin’ on Simcoe” being the latest addition to their “Trippin’ on” series and there being a certain amount of hype surrounding S43 Brewery’s new releases, I had to get my hands on some!
Branding: Immediately, you notice the striking psychedelic design with colours that hark back the times of free love, world peace and hippies. I loved it so much, that I stuck it on my acoustic guitar. In addition to the bright, eye-catching design you are greeted with a detailed section which tells you exactly what types of malts, hops and yeast have been used to craft said beer. 17/20
Aroma: Being a ‘DDH` beer, you go in with the expectation that the aroma is going to be on the stronger side, and boy was I not disappointed. With notes of pineapple, mango and citrus, this beer shouts out ‘loud and proud’ that it is a DDH beer not to be missed! However, with the beer only being released on the 11th of June (10 days prior to me tasting it) it did carry through some of the more savoury elements of the hop variety, albeit only subtly. 13/20
Flavour: The flavour for me is where this beer tasted a tad too fresh. The initial hit is somewhat reminiscent of a DIPA (double IPA), you can really tell they didn’t hold back on the amount of simcoe hops used! Other than the incredibly dank initial hit, you’re left with not that much in terms of palatable flavour. Instead, you are greeted with a rather overpowering amount of hop burn which sends a tingling sensation around your mouth, popping candy comes to mind. Once you get past the initial hop burn, the main underlying flavour is pithy orange juice and deeper blood orange. The bitterness is very prominent and sticks around to remind you, you’re not just drinking orange juice. Overall, a decent flavour, could have probably done with another week to mellow out the hop burn though. 10/20
“Does what it says on the can”: The beer definitely does try to put you into a trance like state with the shear amount of simcoe hop intensity, however, it might just be a tad over the top. The hop burn flavour overpowers the tropical flavours you expect to taste and adds more to the bitterness which personally don’t feel it needs, if S43 were to dial the hop burn flavour back just a little bit this beer would be incredibly balanced and much more drinkable. However, despite my criticisms the beer is by no means bad and I would have no hesitation buying another can or ordering on draft. 13/20
Originality: Initially, S43 were known for being stuck in the ‘Dad drink’ category, solely producing cask ales and nothing else. I feel their approach in diving into the craft beer world headfirst, and not shying away from modern styles popular in the craft beer world, is admirable and it seems paying off for them. For me, they have come out of the blue and impressed hugely and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next. The beer itself isn’t the most balanced and I’ve definitely had better DDH Pale’s, however, having said that, it’s not bad by any stretch. 15/20
Brewery: S43 – Durham
Overall Rating: 68/100