Human Cannonball, from Magic Rock Brewing Co, is reviewed by Chris Hall.
Magic Rock Brewing Co
I have professed my love of Magic Rock’s beers before in the webpages of this magazine, and their Rapture red ale and Cannonball IPA are amongst the best examples of their respective styles being made in the UK. The brewer’s Double India Pale Ale is Cannonball’s bigger, muscular, maltier, hoppier brother, and is every bit as good as it sounds.
The label, featuring the usual Magic Rock madness but depicted in black, neon green and silver, is reminiscent of the rare ‘shinies’ that you found in the trading cards and stickers in your youth. It’s a great way of telling the consumer they are about to taste something special. Human Cannonball has that beautiful, burnished, brassy IPA glow, and the head is noticeably feisty. ‘Egads!’ you may cry as your nose approaches the glass, for there is much to enjoy here. All the tropical (lychee, mango), spicy (pepper, ginger, marmalade) and piney (pine) aromas from Cannonball have gained a rippling, boozy kick from all the extra malt shovelled into this beauty.
‘Like being fired out of a cannon’ boasts the label, and with good reason. I come across many beers where their high strength is masked by the flavour, but this is not one of them. Human Cannonball is reassuringly punchy, and shoulders its way across the palate with a kind of irresistible-force-like power. Where the original Cannonball (itself a less-than-shy 7.4%) explodes with an interwoven hop and malt explosion, this more muscular version take its time as helpings of mango, pineapple, rum cake and dried apricot are laid heavily on the tongue. The chocolate orange flavour from the original Cannonball appears here as a lingering aftertaste, but is silky rather than sweet. The warm, pleasant booziness is the final note, and before you know it you’re climbing back into the cannon.