IPA is Dead (2015)
by Brewdog (brewery website)
Origin: Ellon, Scotland – Type: IPA – Alcohol: 7.2%
IPA is dead is an annual series by Brewdog which consists of four IPAs, containing all the same malts and yeast but one single hop used in each beer to allow you to isolate and appreciate the individual hops flavour profile and aroma.
Most IPAs (as well as other hopped up beers) are a combination of many hops that are blended together to make a distinctive flavour. As a beer geek, it is fascinating to do the opposite and taste each hop individually. This series really helps you identify how each hops flavour profiles and aromas work within the mix of a great beer.
The aroma gives you a big hit of citrus and tropical flavours. You get a hint of these fruity flavours at the very beginning of the drink but the big bitter and sweeter elements of this hop shine through from middle to a long lingering bitter end. I can see this hop balancing out a huge American citrusy hop nicely in a big IPA and this unfortunately means that Ella by itself, tastes like an IPA almost half complete. However, the flavour itself is great and it is very drinkable. This hop lingers towards the sensible British hop territories of bitterness and spices, rather than the mega citrus punch of many American hops. Just like it’s country of origin (I’ll be waltzing Matilda), it sits tied between two countries of influence and takes a decidedly more British approach in it’s style of hop.
This may be one of the first hops I have tried that has such a different aroma to it’s flavour profile. The aroma of the beer makes you believe that is more citrusy than it actually is and the flavour itself is far more balanced out than the aroma in contrast, giving you tasty citrus and tropical fruit flavours at the beginning but also showcasing a nice well rounded bitter finish. This may just be one of the most balanced American hops I have ever tried. It is not nearly the hoppy monster that Citra and Simcoe are, but it hints towards these powerful flavours in a more eloquent and subtle manner. This is not the American hop I was expecting it to be, but I am pleased with this welcome surprise.
Quite a different hop to the others with no presence of citrus or tropical flavours. This is definitely a British hop used for tasty real ales. The aroma has has a resin spicy character to it. The flavour has a lot of spices, bitterness and some peppery notes. Quite a different beast to the others, but I would be curious to see how this would blend with a super citrusy hop.
I think I may have saved the best until last. The aroma is a strong hit of the potent mandarin and citrus flavours in the hop and the flavour gives you a big dose of citrus and mandarin, with some subtle bitterness to round it off. This mostly showcases the ability to create hugely sweet, fruity flavours in hops and after doing some research, I discovered this is a daughter of the Cascade hop… no surprise there then. More surprisingly though (and you may have guessed by the name) is the fact that this hop comes from the land of the Reinheitsgebot and mostly conservative (but still very tasty) beer land of Germany!
The little extra: This ingenious idea was taken from the amazing Mikkeller, who frequently creates single hopped IPAs and Imperial IPAs with a wide variety of different hops. Mikkel’s idea for this style of beer came from his motivation to educate people about different hops and how their individual characteristics work within a beer.
Where we bought it: Bottledog Kings Cross
Where you can find it