Craft Beer: Whiplash show how going low can sometimes get you top billing

Body Riddle, Rollover and Northern Lights from Dublin brewers Whiplash (
Paul McConville

GIVEN that I am on record as saying that Irish craft brewing is one of the most innovative industries on this island, it's no surprise to see how many have quickly adapted to everything that 2020 has so far thrown at it.

One such brewer is Dublin-based Whiplash who have recently launched a webshop to fire out their wares to thirsty drinkers. As well as enticing specials, they are hawking slabs of their ridiculously drinkable core range and were kind enough to throw a few cans my way to try out.

One thing you notice is that although many of the main cast are low in strength, there has been no cutting the corners flavour-wise.

Body Riddle clocks in a relatively robust 4.5 per cent pale ale and pours a bright amber colour in the glass. They've poured a lot of different hops into this one – Simcoe, Ekuanot, Galaxy and Lemondrop – and the result is a fresh and citrus taste. There's a hint of lemon and some tropical flavours in there too like pineapple and passion fruit. The malt base contains oat and wheat, which contributes to a hazy smoothness.

Rollover is a session IPA, with the 3.8 per cent abv begging you to tuck a few away of an evening in the dying embers of this Indian summer. The pale malt is accompanied by Vienna malt, which is present in many lagers. This gives it a nice crispness, allowing subtle flavours of mango and orange to flood the palate.

Northern Lights is a micro IPA, which refers to its ultra-low abv of 2.8 per cent, rather than how much of it you get. In fact, it comes in a generous 440ml can. Even for such a low strength, they've packed a lot into this one. The malt bill contains Vienna malt, oats and wheat. That all combines to give a smooth and crisp mouthfeel and a hazy look in the glass.

It is a light amber colour with sweet and juicy aromas which carry through into the taste. There are flavours of peach and melon and although this is a fairly light beer, it has a very crushable quality to it. It may not be a sticky and dank juice bomb in the mould of a double IPA, but if there were a party for IPAs over 5 per cent, it could make a convincing case to the guys at the door to let it in.

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