IPA is Dead…?

Yet another post that’s been hanging around for over a month. BrewDog’s IPA is Dead was a four pack of singled hopped IPAs featuring the Citra, Bramling Cross, Nelson Sauvin and Sorachi Ace hops. Each of the beers was brewed with the same base recipe, hopped to 75 IBU and “massively dry hopped” with one of the afore mentioned hops. It was a small batch limited edition release that probably wont be repeated, but I know where there is at least one four pack left and I’m quite tempted to go buy it for the weekend…

This post is less about reviewing these beers as it is about trying to understand what each hop imparts on the base beer. It’s in a similar vein to the post I did a while ago, about the Mikkeller single hop beers. So here are my thoughts:

Sorachi Ace
I didn’t think it smelt of much, just a hint of the weird lemony bubble gum flavour. The bitterness was all at the back-end of the mouth and taste. It was very fruity, but bizarre in that the actual taste is almost indescribable. It was a weird lemony bubble gum that was really sweet. I found it to be just odd.

Citra
Masses of thick, pungent tropical fruit with a distinct sharp cat piss undertone. The bitterness seemed to be more in the middle of the mouth, with a massive lingering after taste. The taste was really thick, almost overpowering and too much. It wasn’t a subtle tropical fruitiness, was too thick and muddled for that.

Bramling X
The nose was quite subtle, but there’s a definite freshly cut hedgerow type aroma. The bitterness was quite up front and rolled through the mouth and was quite prickly as it washed through. The after taste was all fruity black hedgerow berries, with touches of woodiness.

Nelson Sauvin
Smelt like a toned down version of the Citra, as it has a similar thick, pungent tropical fruit thing going on, but minus the cat piss edge. Taste wise it was the same, thick and pungent tropical fruit. The bitterness wasn’t as forceful as the others and was quite smooth and subtle, although there is a bit of mouth tickle. The after taste was very juicy with hints of passion fruit.

For me the stand out was the Bramling X, it was really, really nice and I’m going to have to find a recipe that I can show case this hop in. Both the Citra and Nelson Sauvin were a bit of a let down, they were just too pungent and thick for me. I’ve tried better single hop beers with these hops from other brewers, it just might be that, for me at least, 75 IBU is too much for these hops to carry on their own. Finally the Sorachi Ace was just bonkers, I really don’t know how to describe it properly. I’m not sure I’ll find a use for this hop in any of my homebrews, but it was good to get a chance to try it in on its own in a beer.

4 Replies to “IPA is Dead…?”

  1. I would largely agree with your assessment of the beers there, though I preferred the citra to the nelson sauvin. What temperature did you drink them at?

    1. No idea, they came out the fridge and were consumed over about an hour or so, so plenty of time for quite a large temperature variation. I’m just not a big fan of beers that smell and taste of cat wee…

    1. It’s a notable feature of the Citra hop, Nelson Sauvin has it to a lesser degree. Rather than cat wee, imaging massively over ripe, bordering on rotten, mango.

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