It seems to have been universally ordained that I taste this Urbanaut Bermuda Triangle Barrel-aged Brut Double IPA (7.9%), despite my initial suspicion. Originally, on spying it through the door of the Punky Brewster chiller, my first thought was ‘what a terrible fate for a perfectly good brut double IPA’. I could think of few styles less appropriate for barrel treatment. Then a good beer buddy recommended it — and still I resisted. Then Urbanaut sent me a can, and I was all out of excuses so I finally had to give this one a look. Ultimately I’m glad I did because there’s a neat IPA here. Not a conventional IPA by any means, but a very intriguing one. The rest in chardonnay barrels has caused the hop character to mellow out and smooth into more subdued floral and white fruit notes that mesh well with the gentle vanilla and spritely oak tannin. Somewhat inexplicably, the bitterness has eased off too, which gives these more subtle flavours time to unfurl rather than being crushed in a typically bitter IPA finish. It’s a weird beer for sure, but taken as something of a beer/wine hybrid to be sipped slowly in the tail end of the summer’s sun, it’s worth coming out of one’s IPA comfort zone to enjoy.

urbanaut bermuda triangle