Mash Gang is not a brewer that does thing by halves; whether it’s their imaginative beer recipes (jelly worm Berliner weiss anyone?), their brazen can designs and spiky thrash metal logos, or even the names of their beers. ‘I Am Become Death’, or to give it’s full name ‘I Am Become Death Destroyer of Worlds’, takes J. Robert Oppenheimer famous quote from after the testing of the first atomic bomb and pairs it with can artwork of a mushroom cloud explosion heading our way and decimating all in it’s path. With no subtlety whatsoever, this is Mash Gang’s way of telling you to prepare your tastebuds, and get ready to wave goodbye to them.
‘I Am Become Death’ is an alcohol-free NEIPA which utilises a souped-up version of the popular Citra hop known as Cryo Citra. This is a preparation of Citra that is processed in a nitrogen-rich low temperature environment to extract the lupulin from the hop. Lupulin is a waxy part of the plant that contains aromatic oils and resins that are crucial to the flavours and aromas in beer, especially IPAs and NEIPAs. Treating this cryogenically intensifies the aroma and flavour, greatly improving an already critically-lauded hop, and giving more of those citrus and tropical notes that we hop-heads crave. I was impressed with Mash Gang’s previous beer California Uncommon, though that was a drink where the malt was the star of the show, with minimal hop presence. Now it’s time to see how the Gang fare when let loose with a bucket full of hop pellets.
Pouring the beer from the can we get a cloudy pale straw colour liquid with little visible carbonation. The head is small and frothy and bone-white, and fizzles away like the Jornada del Muerto desert in 1945. On the nose we get light tropical mango and lychee aromas, along with some mandarin citrus and grassy bitterness. My olfactory system is still intact.
The taste follows on pretty closely from the aroma, with light tropical flavours and grassy notes mixing with some lemon citrus and vanilla sweetness. There’s a slight lingering bitterness and some smoky malted grain aromas hanging around in the background too, and once again Mash Gang’s addition of chilli makes itself known about two thirds into the drink, ramping up to a slight tingle on your tongue and throat. Despite its thick and hazy look the body of the beer is on the watery end of things, and the carbonation is soft. We get a long mild bitter finish to the drink.
I can’t help but feel a tad disappointed in ‘I Am Become Death’. I was expecting much more of a hop bomb to come out of such a provocative can, and my senses have not taken the battering I was preparing them for. Perhaps the style is not one I am particularly used to, but after bigging-up all those hops I really expect to taste more of them. It’s refreshing and mild but so are many other AF beers. I’ll still continue to follow Mash Gang’s journey onto bigger and better things, but I probably won’t return to this one.
Buy Mash Gang I Am Become Death
Mash Gang’s beers are sometimes available from BrewDog alcohol-free bars, but are mainly sourced from one of the following online stores:
|Nutritional Information (per 100ml, taken from the side of the can)|
|Water, Rye, Wheat, Hops, Oats, Barley, Maltodextrin, Chilli|
|Country of Production||United Kingdom|
|Brewer||Mash Gang – https://www.mashgang.beer/|
Mash Gang I Am Become Death Nolo NEIPA Review
Promises so much but unfortunately I feel it fails to deliver. Refreshing, with some pleasant flavours but on the whole it’s mild and watery.