I picked up this beer on a rare visit to Home Bargains in Lincoln, and at less than one pound for the can it felt like it would have been rude not to. Dovestone IPA is brewed by Taproom in the Pennines, and no I've never heard of them either, but if this ones any good I'll do some more digging, especially if all their beers are this cheap. It's always nice to find a surprisingly cheap beer, and this day and age anything under £2 let alone £1 has to be considered a bit of a bargain. The only caveat to this is I can't help but wonder if the beer is this cheap what's wrong with it? Well time to find out.
Dovestone IPA comes in a really nice looking 330ml can, usually I moan about 330ml beers as I feel like I'm been ripped off, but for the price you really can't complain at all. There's a reasonably healthy 4.8% alcohol content, so they've not really skimped on the strength to knock the price down, which has to be a good thing. The beer pours a light gold with a reasonable enough head, there's certainly nothing in the appearance to make me think this isn't going to be decent. Maybe I've actually found a really cheap decent ale, now that would be good.
The aroma is a little concerning. It's quite weak, and the only obvious smells coming through are malts, and maybe some grapefruit, they don't seem to mix together very well though, so it smells a bit rough. What this most certainly doesn't smell like is a good IPA, it actually smells like a bad English bitter, like a John Smiths only worse. I'm starting to get a bit of a sinking feeling that as with most things in life you usually end up getting what you've paid for, and ultimately I've paid very little for this can of beer.
The texture is quite grainy and the initial taste manages to be both bland and unpleasant at the same time, which if you think about it is quite an achievement. I'd say there's quite a malty taste, but not a good one, like a biscuit that has been left out too long and gone a bit soggy. Fortunately the more I drink the more my taste buds adjusted. While this didn't make Dovestone IPA pleasant it made it bearable and sure enough I got through the can. I'm going to give Dovestone IPA from Taproom 2.5 out of 10. Firstly the can is quite pretty, and secondly it is dirt cheap so if you just want to drink for the sake of drinking, and don't want to get a cheap pack of something like Carlsberg I guess this is a decent alternative. What I would say though is if this had been in the £1.50-£2 range it would have only scored 1.5.