Hazemaker by Northern Monk, Verdant & Deya

Friday, 2 June 2017

Beer Name: Hazemaker

Brewer: Northern Monk Brew Co., Leeds, England; Verdant Brewing Co., Falmouth, Cornwall, England; Deya Brewing Company, Cheltenham, England

Date Sampled: 1st June 2017

ABV: 7.4%

Serving Type: Can

Location Sampled: Home

When I heard that Northern Monk, Verdant and Deya were collaborating on an IPA I knew I had to get hold of a can. All three have already produced beers this year that have a good chance of featuring in my top ten of 2017; Northern Monk's Passion Fruit Lassi IPA was bonkers but brilliant; Verdant's Putty was a stonking NE style IPA; Deya's Into the Haze is one of the most crushable beers I've ever had.

So is Hazemaker a knock out?

Well the artwork certainly is! The Northern Monk Patrons Project is becoming renowned for stunning can design and Hazemaker is no different. In fact this vintage style image of two moustachioed boxers by Jon Simmons is one of the best beer labels I've ever seen.

Sadly the beer inside was slightly disappointing.....

It looks great in the glass, not actually as hazy as I was expecting but a lovely light orange colour and a bright white head that laces well.

The aroma is as you would hope; fresh mango, apricot and grapefruit stand out, but there's also a slight yeasty undercurrent that I found a little jarring.

It does have a really smooth body and feels lovely in the mouth.

But it's on tasting that things don't quite live up to expectations; the aroma has you bracing for an uppercut of fruit juice flavours but it's more of a pawing jab... elements of grapefruit and then apricot do follow through from the nose but it's more delicate than I both expected and hoped for. It has a reasonably dry finish and there is very little evidence of the 7.4% ABV.

Don't misunderstand me, Hazemaker is a good IPA and it is incredibly crushable. But when these three breweries got together I was expecting magic....the result for me was somehow less than the sum of all of it's parts. And when you consider the standard of beers being turned out in the UK at the moment, especially but Northern Monk, Verdant and Deya, a beer needs more than a great label to really stand out.

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