We love to dig deep into what makes beer tick. Our brewers know much more than how to make awesome beer - they love to immerse themselves in the science and understanding of how the smallest changes to a brew can affect the colour, aroma, flavour and mouthfeel of the finished article. For IPA is Dead, we single-hopped the hell out of 18 batches of identical 7.2% IPA, each with a different hop, to appreciate them at their finest. We unleashed the yeast upon four batches of pale ale, to understand just how much impact the yeast strain has on the same base wort. We love to experiment with barrels, to see what they bring to our huge, decadent Paradox imperial stout. And now, we’re taking things in a new direction.
Our Russian Doll is a little different to your standard Matryoshka - ours get stronger with each iteration. The range of flavours and aromas present in Russian Doll come from the same malt bill, the same four hop varieties and identical water and yeast. We’ve adjusted the ratios and volumes of malt and hops to suit specific styles, and these variations are what drive the huge differences in what you taste.
Pale malt provides most of the sugars in all four beers, and the amount used rises in line with the strength. However, the cara and dark crystal malts, used sparingly in the Pale Ale and IPA, are more prevalent in the Double IPA, and pack a huge toffee punch in the Barley Wine - just a small amount of these speciality malts is enough to blow the malt profile through the roof.
The levels of hops vary more throughout the range. We love hops, so all four beers are big, bitter badasses, but by tweaking the amount of each hop used in the whirlpool and during dry-hopping, we can balance the malty backbone with some unexpected flavours. We’ve gone for a North American hop invasion - Simcoe, Centennial, Cascade and Citra.
Simcoe is used in the whirlpool for all four beers, and yet still lends different characters to each, like some sort of shape-shifting uber-hop. From zesty citrus pith in the Pale Ale, tropical orangey overload in the IPA, sweet refreshing stonefruit in the Double IPA, to big resinous jammy notes in the Barley Wine, four of our favourite US hops twist and turn as the ABV builds.