A life just as ordinary

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Beer – #454 – Ballast Point – Tongue Buckler

I had a couple of very good IPA beers today, New Zealand ones,  and not I digress and continue with this one, a Ballast Point Tongue Buckler Imperial Red Ale

Our Tongue Buckler Imperial Red Ale doesn’t pull any punches. This is a big brew with hops and malt in extreme abundance. The I.B.U.’s (International Bitterness Units) alone test the limits of your palate. Yet while the timid should take warning, Tongue Buckler generously rewards the bold with an exceptional ale experience

Brewed by Ballast Point Brewing Company this of course in the style that would be : American Strong Ale or, Imperial/Double Red Ale, and they are as always based in San DiegoCalifornia USA

Gosh, 107 IBU things, in this a bottle that contains a beer of 10% ABV,  300 calories a serve, and in NZ this would be for the 650ml therein a 5.13 standard drink unit’s worth of beer.

I wave a bottle !

I wave a bottle !

Prepare to walk the plank to an Ale of overwhelming proportions. More hops & more malts than any land lubber can handle.

After this experience…your tongue will be buckled. The I.B.U.’s (International Bitterness Units) are off the scale on this ale.

Be forewarned, those with a timid palate, this is not a wee beer! Handcrafted in small batches for those sailing the seas in search of great ales.

Get in!!!

Sweet hoppy aroma, not bursting though, on opening.  Hissed like a snake, can’t be all bad.

That though is fully loud aroma on the pour, as it does with a lovely large white persistent thick head,  and a dark brown colour.

Ballast Point Tongue BucklerWow that comes with a punch on the tongue bitterness, and it’s really really dry on the finish, but over it all there is a blanket of soft sweet malt. Weird

This is a pretty full flavour, mostly sweet malts in the mouth, and although bitter as a bitter thing, and ending dry as a dry thing, it’s not either totally pleasant or totally undrinkable.

I’m glad that this is at the end of the day of drinking and not the first thing up though, I’m not sure you could start a good conversational few hours with one of these as the centrepiece, but hey it does say on the label, and unless your thick as a whale omelette, you know what you are getting into.

So then. That leaves me in a pickle. ( I wrote ‘us’ but like dur!)

Normally, and alarmingly  I might have started some musics, which I did, chose a beer, or the other way round usually, I’m too lazy to change the sentence around, and then do the research and lookup and then the drinking, which is what can take the 45 minutes or so.

I’m still drinking this after a full double album, sure yes I took a few minutes to check on the food situation.

The food being: Portuguese spiced boned chicken thigh cutlets, roast garlic spiced potato chunks, mint yoghurt, Aioli,, with wraps and some salad things.

But don’t go all ohh ahhh that’s flash trust me it’s me cooking after a couple of beers, it’s staples done with a few other staples, the worst I have to do it pan cook the chicken.

Anyway, back to point, and the point is that I’m making excuses not to drink this beer. Which I just finished pouring (3rd tip) and frowned at the amount left to drink.

It’s not a bad beer, it really is just a really really really loud and in your face and wanting to be all over it and doing the dance and shooter beer. WOOO!!!!!

However.  It’s all that but I don’t know that it could be all that and be a go-to beer. If this was on tap I would probably have the one, two would be a real stretch and I love high hop beer, without admitting to anything (I love Belgium style beers, and oh lets be honest I like all beers mostly).

This just finishes too harsh, and although it has great caramel, it really is all of the IBU and the dry and parched finish really does buckle the tongue.

Happily though it’s a recoverable amount of pleasant unpleasantness and not daunted I’m looking to the next beer to get me back to a more middle ground.

The pdubyah-o-meter rates this as 8 a of its things from the thing.

The double dip review

  1. Am I enjoying it? Yes despite the many song interval from opening to finishing, I was mostly singing and dancing
  2. Would I have another? I just might, what song are we going at?
  3. Would I share with a friend on a porch and set the world to rights? At this point I’d suggest that this is one of those ‘tester’ beers, as in how far does my palate stretch, what’s the edge, for me this is close to the edge. It might also be a ‘dare’ beer, let’s call it what it is and dare people to enjoy it, or dare to try it,  you know that ‘some’ people will love it, some people will want to love it, and some others will try it hate it, and then there are the rest.

I never want to be “the rest”

I’m not sorry that I had one of my top 5 favourite albums on the loud machine – Status Quo – Live, some of the best guitar work, for me, and something that is just base and rings my bell.

the cats went and hid 🙂


Not a style, per se, but the only logical category to incorporate the plethora of strong, stylistically vague beers coming from American micros these days. Some are related to English Strong Ales, but with more hop, while others are ultra-strong variants on the IPA theme. But no matter how varied their origins or characters might be, all are intense, potent, with generous quantities of hops and malt.

Imperial or Double Red Ale (Particular to North American Origin Ales)

Imperial or Double Red Ales have intense hop bitterness, flavor and aroma. Alcohol content is also very high and of notable character. They range from deep amber to dark copper in color and may exhibit a small amount of chill haze at cold temperatures The style may use any variety of hops. Though the hop character is intense it’s balanced with complex alcohol flavors, moderate to high fruity esters and medium to high caramel malt character. Imperial or Double Red Ales have a full body. Diacetyl should not be perceived.

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