But the thing is, this beer was brewed with absolutely no bittering hops added whatsoever. All of the hop character in the beer was achieved by adding what I can only assume was an absolute truck load of late aroma and dry hops.
This Zero beer is the antithesis to the Dutch brewer Mikkeller's 1000 IBU IPA, a beer which had so many bittering hops added that it's theoretical IBU is, you guessed it, one thousand. But of course the theoretical IBU of a beer is very different to its actual IBU, meaning Mikkeller's beer will have an actual IBU much, much lower than that - and despite the fact this beer has no bittering hops it still ends up with a fairly high actual bitterness of 87 IBU.
I've read many times that the human palate can only react to bitterness changes up until around 100 IBU, and in other places that 100 is the maximum IBU that can be achieved, making anything above that somewhat futile. But I've also seen this disputed elsewhere, and seen the reaction of anybody who drinks Mikkeller's beer as "Holy Crap, that is BITTER", so who knows.
Certainly despite it's lowly theoretical IBU this beer has a big complex fresh hop aroma with highlights of tangerine, light pine resin, and lemon sherbet. The mouthfeel is fairly light, with nice soft bottle conditioned carbonation, and a slightly foamy quality in the mouth.
The hop flavour is much more resinous and piney than you would imagine. Alongside that it's got a really big orange pith flavour, very bitter grapefruit, plus loads more of that resinous pine in the finish. For a zero IBU beer this is really very bitter.
The layers of hops build up on your palate throughout the bottle and make this a very tough but rewarding beer. After a while a slightly skunky hop flavour starts to creep in which is a little odd, but doesnt completely ruin the party.
All in all a nice beer, and one I'm very glad I got a chance to try. I'll be looking out for more beers from this brewery.