Sunday, 22 April 2012

IPA is Dead- BrewDog

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.

My other half, Mr Ticker, thought that a good place to start was BrewDog's IPA is Dead. Each bottle is made with the same ingredients and to same strength and bitterness (according to the gumpf on the pack), but with one different hop variety per bottle. Not a cheap start at nearly fifteen pounds for a 4-pack (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!

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