Beer: Magic Rock serves up three brews with plenty of bang in Cannonball range

Human Cannonball from north-of-England brewers Magic Rock
Paul McConville

DEPENDING on your age, or taste I suppose, Cannonball will either summon the name up of Burt Reynolds or Damien Rice.

Well, Cannonball was also the name of a solid and well-received IPA from Magic Rock. It's a sharp, bitter, slightly resinous IPA with nice fruity backbone.

The north-of-England brewers have decided to fire up their Cannonball range with a couple of doubles and a triple.

First up is Human Cannonball, a double IPA which clocks in at 9.2 per cent. The blurb on the 500ml can ask: "Ever wondered what it feels like to be shot out of a cannon? Here's what it tastes like."

Funny enough, I thought it would taste a bit more like gunpowder but I'm going to have to take their word for it.

What I do know is that this is crammed to the brim with hops – in this case Chinook, Centenial, and Cryo Hops, which is some kind of concentrated construction designed to provide even more intense flavours and aroma. It certainly achieves that here as Human Cannonball provides the kind of slap-in-the-face hop hit you won't forget. There's plenty of citrus and piney flavours in their too, with a bit of mango and grapefruit.

Un-Human Cannonball is a triple IPA – it has three times the amount of hops as Human Cannonball – which is another level up again in terms of strength. In true Spinal Tap style, it dials things up to 11 per cent and takes everything else with it.

It's dank, juicy and bitter but there's no escaping the strength. It's a bit of sipper, coming in a 500ml, and once you get past that warming alcohol, it settles down to give flavours of pineapple and grapefruit.

The third in the trilogy is Neo-Human Cannonball – a New England-style take on the whole Cannonball oeuvre. The malt bill feature oats and wheat which give it that trademark New England hazy and creamy smooth mouthfeel. That helps to the hide the strength, which is again north of 9 per cent abv.

There isn't as intense a hop hit with this one with as the other two; the flavour profile is a bit more prolonged and on the sweet end of juiciness.

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