BrewDog IPA is Dead 3: The return of the Dead

They’r ba-ack! And not bigger and uglier than before. They’re exactly the same size (6.7% ABV) as before. BrewDog’s third four-pack of single-hop (varietal) IPAs, first returned undead in February 2011. There are a lot of hop varieties in the world, so this franchise could live a while yet. Uglier? Read on.
BrewDog IPA is Dead 3: Goldsings and Dana

IPA is Dead take 3, part 1: Goldings and Dana

Goldings: old and English?

Who’d a thought Goldings in a BrewDog beer? Associated so closely with much ridiculed (supposedly) English ‘boring brown beer’ (TM). So many IPAs must have made with this old, English hop that it had to be done sooner or later by the new, Scottish crafties.

Appropriately, then marmalade of the Old English variety should raise its head here. Only it’s not quite as chunky as that. New Scottish, offers Ron, my tasting companion. Lovely orangey-gold colour. Nice head. (The beer, too.) Quite big chunks, though.

Very quaffable. To continue on the preserve theme, I think it has some apricot.with a peppery aftertaste (white pepper). Sorry Ron and Scottish people at BrewDog, this tastes very English. and nowhere near the reported 6.7% ABV. The aroma is floral and not quite as jammy as I first thought. Makes think of watching cricket.

Summery, thirst-quenching and light, with such a juicy fruity, flavour they might even get sued by Wrigleys. As it warms up, the smooth mouthfeel turns up a notch. Summer thoughts turn to cream soda made with proper lemonade. Still with a peppery aftertaste.

I’m glad it tastes English and not messed-about-with-new-pseudo-American. Definitely not boring.

Dana: Styrian, Germany via Slovenia

Mouldy, damp, mops, straight out of the bottle. There’s some fruit aroma, but it is buried under layers of mustiness. After such a promising start with the Goldings, this comes as something of a disappointment.

The taste is citrus orangey (oil). Malty in the back with the big mouthfeel that the Goldings had, but more residual sweetness, like someone stirred in a spoonful of honey. Cold toddy. Now the bitterness is coming, but it’s lacking, nondescript. The nose is so offputting.

Dana is a Slovenian hop derived partly from German Hallertau. I’m tempted to say something like “This Dana tastes of all kinds of everything. Just not beer,” but that would be rude and a little unfair. The beer is not quite right though, and surely not intentional. I can only think that this is a brewing or fermentation fault. But it’s not this bottle only. Ron reports the same cleaning cupboard mouldy staleness.

I tried it with some nutty/fruity, gruyere-like Swedish cheese. It just emphasised the mouldy fruit and mustiness.

BrewDog IPA is Dead 3: Waimea

The slightly musty and spicy NZ Waimea hop

BrewDog IPA is Dead batch 3: El Dorado

An appropriately golden glass of El Dorado

Two newcomers: Eldorado and Waimea

El Dorado is a newly-developed (2010) American hop. Supposedly, cultivated to have tropical fruit flavours. It gave IPA is Dead very fruity and flowery aromas with a slight tendency to Glade deodorant.

Fortunately, it doesn’t taste like that. There is a very pleasant, high level of hoppy bitterness, However, it never veers into astringency. A keeper.

Waimea from is even newer; 2012. From the name you might think it’s a protest cry at the though of having to visit a certain Swedish furniture emporium on a Saturday afternoon, but in fact, it’s from New Zealand.

New Zealand has its own hop breeding programme, which has produced such in-demand varieties as Nelson Sauvin (bred to emulate the characteristics of the similarly-named grape), Pacific Gem (not descended from lettuces), and Pacific Jade, from which Waimea was derived, if not assembled from a flat pack.

The Waimea IPA is dead is livelier than its 4-pack companions. A lot of spritzy carbonation and slightly cloudier. The differences just go to show these beers are brewed on a small scale, not messed about with, and subject to the natural variations that that implies.

The aroma has a bit of the mould, like Dana, but without the unpleasantness. Chamois leather, says Ron. Slightly spicy. Perhaps powdered nutmeg and cinammon that have been in their jars too long. It reminds me of the Japanese hop Sorachi Ace, but that often has a much more pronounced mouldy satsuma aroma.

The overall winner, from Edition 3, if one must be chosen, is the Goldings. I’ve always liked this hop, and BrewDog have shown it can very much hold it’s own with the punchy New Worlders on both sides of the Pacific.

Info and links
From: Aberdeenshire, Scotland.
Type: Single-hop varietal India Pale Ale, 6.7% ABV, bottle.
Source: BrewDog online shop.

My series of post on IPA is Dead edition 2 starts with another new New Zealander Motueka.
Read my post on the original batch of IPA is Dead, released at the Euston Tap in February 2011.
List of hop varieties on Wikipedia.


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