When you've finally unleashed the first of your years-in-the-making barrel-aged beers to much praise, where do you go next? In the case of Felons, creating an IPA variant I'm pretty sure I've never seen before. Sure, fruited IPAs aren't new, but one laced with red dragonfruit? Certainly, it's a first at Crafty Towers.
It's also one that presents a welcome opportunity for a beer writer; in recent years with IPAs it's been a case of coming up with ever new ways of describing subtly different shades of yellow-orange haze. Here, you're reaching for descriptors for what is an extremely bright crimson. If you were to pick a Dulux shade to best represent it, I'd go with Dutch Lady Red, but only if given neon treatment. For all the colour impact of the fruit, however, there’s still evidence aplenty of a lighter, leaner, melon/tropical IPA in your glass. Then again, read about red dragonfruit (as I had to do) and you learn they’re slightly sweet with a taste akin to kiwi fruit or watermelon and have an earthy character so… The last of these presumably contributes to the noticeable bitterness, one that’s drying and grounding in equal measure.
It's worth mentioning the label design, as always seems to be the case with Felons' limited releases. Quite the opposite of grounding, here dragonfruit is given the sort of treatment that makes it look like one of those benevolent creatures you encounter in hyperspace who assures you everything's going to be OK. And I, for one, welcome our new dragonfruit overlords.
- Dragonfruit IPA