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Triple IPAs are a clear indicator of the law of diminishing returns in beer hype. Less than a decade ago, double IPAs were exciting and much sought-after. Triple IPAs barely register in hype circles and I've not yet heard anyone name a qudruple IPA that they think is worth trying. Less hype is better. I should be happy about it. It's still odd to see it happening. Anyway, here are two TIPAs from Barcelona's Garage Beer.

Starting on a mild 9.6% ABV we have Game After Game. A bright and hazy orange body is topped with lots of foam. There's decent head retention too, by modern IPA standards. The aroma mixes cloyingly sweet tropical fruit syrup with a harsh allium savoury side. Oh dear. This isn't going to be a gentle one. It's not overly thick, which is a mercy, and there's no yeast bite or gritty fuzz. The alcohol is very prominent, however: a heat that's verging on unpleasant. An initial sweetness helps soften that a little on tasting, the concentrated mango and peach not extreme, but not lasting long either. Half way through it fades, letting a rasping green spring onion and kale effect take the reins. The finish is a sharp edge of pure alcohol, like a shot of high-end vodka. While not difficult, it does suffer from the over-wroughtness typical of triple IPA. I kept wanting to reassure the flavour and ask it to calm down. And with that in mind, I faced into its big sister.

This beer is Obscene. For a start the ABV goes up to 10%. Oo-er. The aroma mixes fruit-flavoured candy with a harder plasticky bitterness for which I'm guessing we have Sabro to thank. It's in the mix here with Citra, Mosaic, Comet and Loral. Happy juicy Mosaic is the most prominent in the flavour, bringing crisp pear and succulent honeydew. The clean-burn alcohol common in triple IPAs is the next thing I noticed, and it very much gets in the way of any subtleties. It may be clean but this is not a beer of nuance. A lime-skin bitterness is the third and final piece of the puzzle. This is a gentler affair than the previous one, less busy and less sweet. It's fine. Another bullet dodged.

I don't really get the attraction of beers like this. I like that they're not simply the next step beyond double IPA: they don't bump up the malt quotient and aren't sticky or harsh as a result. But you don't get extra hop impact from the extra ABV. They're just harder, and hotter. It all stinks a bit of machismo to me.