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Beer – #605 – Panhead – Vandal (Fresh Hopped) keg

2015 and it’s that time again, Fresh Hopped beers abound, and this is an old favourite in a current version. so Hop grassy beer, SuperGrass, Super numbers and all-in on party time.

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

This is a 1 litre FYO bottle of an 8.0% ABV beer, and 90 IBU things which is  6.3 drink units in NZ,  This about  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

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.

Fresh, unlike me at the end of the day

Fresh, unlike me at the end of the day

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.

So what could possibly go wrong?

Absolutely immense aroma of wet cut grass, sugars and a hint of a citrus.

Pour is pale, but you could tell, and a giant head forms, mostly on purpose because, hey, I can. Aroma in the glass is lovely.

Panhead  - Vandal (FH)Initial taste then. I thought this was slightly sour other than bitter, and there is lovely malt sugar thing there that offsets a little that thought, and I don’t think this is particularly bitter bitter.

It is very green to drink, raw and insistent hop on the front end, and a finish that is slightly to the dry, the middle is fleeting but carries well.

Grapefruit. That’s the one, it’s quite tart and insistent.

For a beer that I thought I wasn’t enjoying I appear to have sipped my way thought quite a bit of it. But I’m not totally engaged with it, for me this really is too ‘green’, just a bit raw and unfinished. It is nice to drink, but it isn’t as polite or rounded or complete as other big IPA beers that I have had and enjoyed, I don’t think it’s as good as the time when I gave this a 10 that time I drank it. Seems such a long time ago.

This stands well in the great IPA category, and has, I think enough difference about to be near the front.  I could if pushed name 4 or 5 more rounded and even IPA beers, but this is as it says it is a vandal of immensnessness.

The pdubyah-o-meter rates this as 8 of its things from the thing.  I don’t seem to be enjoying this as a beer as much as I wanted to, and I think that appears to be the case in that the first time was the best and each other time has just fallen short of that strange memory thing where you think you literally had an epiphany.

The double dip review

  1. Am I enjoying it? I am, and I think I’ve been clouded by the first experience that you can never have again. Unlike when your wife walks into the room and that’s just awesome every time.
  2. Would I have another? I would, this is and remains a go-to beer.
  3. Would I share with a friend on a porch and set the world to rights? I’d hesitate with this version but I’d take it anyway just because it is what it says it is, and I’m all-in on that.

Music. Well it was time to get the old ‘in the day’ thing going, and so it is time for ‘Supergrass’, the album  ‘In it for the money’ – listen here on Spotify

Supergrass were an English alternative rock band from Oxford.England.


India Pale Ale gets its name and unique style from British brewers who were making beer for export to India. This style has an intense hop flavor which was used to preserve the beer for the long voyage. India Pale Ale has a golden to copper color with a medium maltiness and body. The aroma is moderate to very strong. IPAs work especially well at cutting the heat of chili, vindaloo or Sichuan cuisine.

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6 comments on “Beer – #605 – Panhead – Vandal (Fresh Hopped) keg

  1. simonbroderick
    May 21, 2015

    Ah Supergrass, saw them supporting Blur in Dublin back in ’95!


    • Philip Walter
      May 21, 2015

      And there I was thinking no one got to the music part. I enjoyed that album, can’t say I ever saw them, or Blur, although I have been to Dublin, but it was long time ago and in a different life.

      Liked by 1 person

      • simonbroderick
        May 21, 2015

        Well that’s all of twenty years ago, the height of ‘Britpop’, I always like the music bits, if I can’t get the beer I can listen to the tunes!


      • Philip Walter
        May 21, 2015

        I’m always up for music suggestions to, don’t hold back.

        Liked by 1 person

      • simonbroderick
        May 21, 2015

        Do you like The Replacements?


  2. Philip Walter
    May 22, 2015

    I have them up on the music player thing now, and will crack a beer and give them a good listening to.


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