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Beer – #850 – ParrotDog – Kowhai

Part of the Flora IPA Series. Formerly Riwaka Secret, which I havn’t had before so I can’t say one way or the other if it’s going to be good or no. Lots of fans this one, and I wonder if I’m going to be one of them at the end, I’m not one to follow a crowd though.

deceivingly strong

This is a 500ml bottle of a beer that is 7.9% ABV and 70 IBU things, something like 240 calories a serve, and this would be – this is 3.1 standard drinks of beer.

Brewed by ParrotDog in the style that is : Imperial IPA and that happens in Wellington, New Zealand

Same beer new name

Same beer new name

A smooth, pale gold malt base lets this ‘mysterious’ trans-Tasman hop combination shine in all its glory.

This double IPA showcases two unique New Zealand and Australian hop varieties.

Riwaka and Victoria Secret, used in both the boil and as dry hops.

A deceivingly strong and intensely hop-driven IPA

So, what could possibly go wrong?

No mistaking that belt of hoppy grass on opening, but it’s also malt sweet, also it’s very distinct aroma, and familiar and also new, I blame those hop combinations.

It’s as orange as the flower on the Kowhai tree in the glass, I don’t think I’ve seen a beer as yellow, and the head is amazing, huge and lovely but in no way noisy (I had a listen).

Aroma is interesting, I thought of liquorice, and lots of dull orange.

Wow, now that’s a mouthful of a beer. It’s immensely bitter, and powerful, and instantly leaves a dry edge around the tongue, dry as.

Did I say bitter too ? It is all of that 70 IBU things.

I don’t find this to be a rounded and smooth drinking beer, I think that some of the things are crashing around, it’s all washing around like a dervish. But it is amazing.

parrotdog-kowhai-copyNowhere near like at the best dIPA I’ve ever had but then again I don’t think I’ve had this hop combination before, and they delivery a lot of really nice things, Like that citrus, and the dryness of the pith at the same time, and its precariously balanced on a malt that is just about keeping up and no more.

Not a beer for the unsuspecting.

That dryness seems to have washed away, it might just have been the surprise

The pdubyah-o-meter rates this as 8 of its things from the thing. It is a thing that needs to be taken at a measured pace with a run up. I didn’t know, despite reading and writing all the words, what was coming up and it was like a slap with a wet fish, I just wasn’t ready.  Honestly as it warms up it becomes somewhat softer and the malt shows up, but it really is bitter and led by that, relentless, and that dryness, that’s still a thing.

The double dip review

  • Where did I get it? Liquorland Forrest Hill but it’s in good places.
  • Am I enjoying it? I am on the fence, It’s an experience that I might be liking I’m not sure.
  • Would I have another? I don’t think this stands out that much to warrant another go.
  • Would I share with a friend on a porch and set the world to rights? For the combination of hops and the flavours this is unusual, but it really is a large beer with a lot of challenges about it. Not a beer for quaffing, and perhaps it might be beer to have with the BBQ and conversation, on it’s own it’s just bound to take over and that’s the kind of guest that you don’t want.

Music for this: ” Flyying Colours” and ” Mindfulness ” on Spotify

From Melbourne in Australia;  Members: Brodie J Brümmer Gemma O’Connor Melanie Barbaro Andy Lloyd Russell


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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