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To many readers, I’m sure Cloudwater need little introduction. The Manchester based brewery has taken the UK craft beer scene by storm; evidenced by the rave reviews they have received. I must confess that I have not tried many of their beers. I have only tried one of their IPA’s in London one time (sorry – I can’t remember the finer details) and the outstanding DIPA v3 in Cambridge’s Pint Shop earlier this year. Therefore, when Karl and I travelled around East Anglia’s finest bottled beer stores last weekend we were keen to find Cloudwater beers.
Our desire to obtain Cloudwater beers was fulfilled when we visited Brewdog in Norwich. There sitting on the fridge shelf to be sold as a pair were DIPA V4 and 5. They were the last pair left! Before completing the purchase we we were met with some excellent customer service. The Brewdog member of staff informed us that there had recently been a Cloudwater tasting night dedicated to these two beers. He eloquently explained the differences between both beers – making reference to v5’s harsher aroma and bitterness. He also mentioned that on the tasting night, most attendees preferred both beers being mixed together as a blend.
At this point, it is important to explain why the beers have been produced as a pair and sold as a pair. Both beers contain the same ingredients but there is a key difference in the hopping process. V4 is dry hopped during fermentation and V5 after fermentation. The bottle descriptions provide the best information!
Anyhow, here is what we made of them.
V4 – We both thoroughly enjoyed this beer. It poured a beautiful light Amber colour and presented a full body. The tropical fruit aromas were evident with a mango/pineapple scent evident. On the tongue it had a satisfying bitterness which didn’t linger – being balanced by the full body and all round fruitiness. A definite hit for me.
V5 – This was markedly different beer. It poured a deep bronze colour and it seemed to be far more hazy than the first beer. The aroma was an indication of things to come. A harsh but by no means unpleasant bitterness resounded throughout this beer; leaving a slightly spicy flavour on the tongue.
Karl and I were split. I preferred V4 whilst Karl preferred V5. But what about both together? When we were in Brewdog this is what many people apparently enjoyed most.
The blend- We found a blend of both to be dominated more by the flavour profile of V5. There was something very satisfying about this beer – especially with regards to mouthfeel. It was pleasant but we both felt we preferred the beers individually.
It was a pleasure to try these beers and we will continue to hunt more Cloudwater beers in future.
Thanks for reading!