I've drunk beer before, but never really gave it much thought. As part of this challenge, I want to open my mind (and my taste buds), whilst trying not to become a tankard touting beer bore.
BeerRitz), but not surprising for such a niche product.
Being a geek, I was quite excited to start in this way because it's like a science experiment. If I could taste a difference, I would know that this is due to the different hop varieties. I was pretty worried that they would all taste the same, and as usual leave me opinionless, and pretending to agree with Mr T, piggy-backing onto his descriptions.
Tick Numbers 1-4
1: Challenger, BrewDog, 6.7%
First tick! My initial thought was 'tangy'. Mr T told me this was probably what is commonly described as bitterness. A perfectly palatable beer but not much else to say, enhancing my concerns that the 4 IPAs would taste the same.
2: Moteuka, BrewDog, 6.7%
Phew! Massively different to Challenger, smelt very flowery and had hints of tropical fruit. Check me out, identifying flavours already! I also thought it had a much softer taste. Mr T was adamant that there were green apples floating around somewhere.
3: Galaxy, BrewDog, 6.7%
Not as big a contrast between ticks 1 and 2, but still markedly different, fruity flavours, something tropical, possibly lychee. I thought it was a bit nutty too. Even though I knew it was brewed to have an equal level of bitterness with the other beers, I felt it was more bitter, astringent maybe. Mr T thought it was sharper, zingy and not as rounded at Moteuka.
4: HBC, BrewDog, 6.7%
Mr T had never heard of this hop variety before, he thought it was more subtle and less punchy than the other beers, but not without taste. I agreed it was subtler, still fruity and bitter. We both felt that the bitterness disappeared faster with HBC. Is this what is descibed as a clean finish?
IPA is Dead was an interesting experiment, and I spent a lovely evening with 4 tasty beers and appear to have learnt something! Hops clearly can have a massive effect on a beer. IPA is Dead Medley is rumoured to be released in late May and will contain all 4 hops in one beer. Looking forward to trying this, and dissecting it to see if I can pick out any of the individual hops. Probably not, but will give it a go!
331 beers to go.
Wish me luck!