Review: Duclaw Hop Tarts Wild Berry Double IPA

This is something I feel like Kellogg's would send a C&D over but the label states "rules be damned" so, here we are! This is something that popped out immediately while visiting the Quality Beer Store a while back. Duclaw Brewing's Hop Tarts is a Wild Berry Double IPA brewed with blueberry, strawberry, and red raspberry juice. Even if I don't enjoy this beer, I'm glad I tried it just from the label.

From the label: A double IPA with slight berry essence (not heavily fruited!). We add raspberries, blueberries, & strawberries, then ferment them out in the process, leaving a bit of 'wild berry' character. Hops add more fruit-like qualities, including Lotus, Mosaic, Fruit, Punch, Enigma, Chinook & Amarillo. It's a 'berry wild' one! 8% ABV / 16 IBU

Appearance: Full on thicc raspberry juice - it's got a very pinkish-reddish body to it with a good amount of microcarbonation in the body while the head has a nice amount of off-white head that diminishes rather quickly, leaving behind a light amount of head as it warms up.

Aroma: Getting more of the Double IPA out of this beer than the 'Wild Berry' - Heavy amount of caramel malt presence, bitter hops & floral hops, syrupy booziness. I get a hint of raspberries but surprisingly nowhere near as sweet or tart as expected.. I was really expecting a juice bomb.. I'm not getting that at all.

Taste: Pretty much what the aroma was giving off - it's a sweet, malt-forward Double IPA with a good deal of leafy/floral/bitter hop presence to it, caramelly and boozy. I want there to be a sharp tartness from the fruits but I'm just not getting it except a very very faint squirt of blueberry at the end that reminds me of Gushers, remember those?!

Overall Thoughts: Oh wait, looking at my previous sentence, I do get what the beer is supposed to be. It's a Double IPA with a lot of caramel and hop presence. There's a faint fruit presence that takes a LONG time to get but when it does pop up, it reminds me a bit of faux fruit you would see in Gushers.. or in Pop Tarts. No regrats.

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