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Beer – #563 – Panhead – The Vandal – from the taps

Variations on a theme, various music, varying number and various party recollections.

Not only did the Americans invent hot-rodding, they invented hop-rodding too.

This is a fyo bottle of 1000ml,  of an 8.0% ABV beer, which is  6.31 drink units in NZ, it’s around 240 calories a serve size.

The Vandal is Brewed by Panhead Custom Ales in the style of an  India Pale Ale (IPA) and they’re in Upper Hutt, New Zealand

Fresh beer, fresh shave, it's all happening

Fresh beer, fresh shave, it’s all happening

In the late 1960’s a Tauranga teenager called John Reid threw a kiwi hat in to that ring with the the famed “Vandal”, a dazzling green flake 1919 Dodge Bucket.

In his spirit we are rising to the other challenge with a beer named in his honour – a big, bitter APA stuffed with the tropical hit of Nelson Sauvin, Kohatu and Riwaka Hops.

Like any good hotrod, it’s built to attract as much attention as possible.

3rd time to the well with this, what could go wrong?

It really is a lot more pale yellow that it seems n that picture, it’s almost orange juice yellow.

Citrus grass hops srping out as I pop the flip top. They run to peppery in the glass, no deep sniffing it’ll make you splutter and that’ll foam everywhere, it’s that strong.

As is the first of blissful bitterness that follows the quick aroma wave as you take a drink.

Then came the frown, as this, from the tap, it seems isn’t quite a fire-breathing monster that the bottle version are. Seems a lot of difference between the two too, since I was ecstatic the first  time I had this (It’s on the 10 list).

VandalWhat do I put that down to? Might be any number of things, from the shop to here is 20 minutes so It shouldn’t have been badly treated. Might be that my taste that changed, and it got me on a good day way back when.

Parking that bus though, this is still quite a pleasing and pleasant drink.

Bitterness isn’t as high as my rather poor memory recalls, and there seems to be a lot more softness and fullness in the middle, and the finish is rather short almost missing, or another way, it’s not dry on the palate. My memory though plays tricks as this wasn’t dry when I had it before, although it did appear to have more body malts than this does.

Disappointed? Only by my own faulty recollection that lead you down garden path of things not happened. Part of the reason I keep this diary.

A major stop and think moment, as it brings me back to what the diary is about, the beer I’m having now and what it does for me.

Then I burped a hop burp and remember that this really is a good beer despite my recollections, desires and previous thoughts.

Second glass time, and it does grow into itself as some of the sharper and earthier things become obvious, in a good way. There is more lemon type notes, and slightly more earthy hopness. It’s not hard drinking, and I don’t want to keep sipping and pontificating, a sure way to get the wobbles on

Last point then is that it does finish more dry than it did at the start, how good is my England becoming now I had all those sips!

The pdubyah-o-meter rates this as 9 of its things from the thing that is measures. That’s a drop from the giddy heights of ‘the list’, then again it is only a list and it is arbitrary. I can’t help it though this really is just a bit good, with lots of things that made it a ’10’ in the bottle. I might have to get another bottle to settle my own arguments with myself. That’s not weird is it?

The double dip review

  1. Am I enjoying it? I am, it arrives to the mouth with a waft of hops, then a wave of bitters, a fluff of middle and little slap at the back.
  2. Would I have another? Yes, bring me moar beer! I would, if this was on-tap  go to it.
  3. Would I share with a friend on a porch and set the world to rights? I really would, it is a beer that gets better as it warms and doesn’t  go to early  or peak too soon, it’s a very very good IPA in a field of about ‘a lot’ of IPA’s.
Music. Well now there’s a thing, I was twittered and given a link to a couple of songs. an artist by the name of “Ian Munro” has an EP out on the iTunes, “The Sense” It’s on Spotify here  and I found an Acoustic song on the youtubes
Does a cover of “Creep” too
Ian plays at the Fat Monk brew pub on a saturday afternoon, would be worth a look if you were in the area. Weirdly although I’ve seen Fat Monk beer in the stores I’ve never had one! Might have to work on that, and right a wrong.


Imperial IPA, Double IPA or DIPA is a strong, often sweet, intensely hoppy version of the traditional India Pale Ale. Bitterness units range upward of 100 IBUs and alcohol begins at 7.5% but is more commonly in the 8.5-10% range. The flavour profile is intense all-round. Unlike barley wines, the balance is heavily towards the hops, with crystal and other malts providing support.

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