I missed the launch of these little gems a few weeks back, but luckily the lads at BeerRitz swung to the rescue and ensured I had a tasty fourpack hidden away - like they always do, to be honest. So, Saturday's decorating was offset by the fact that I knew I had the beers slightly chillingin the fridge, and let me tell you that it's a comforting thought. So - onwards and upwards. The proof is in the tasting, however, so a pizza was duly ordered, glasses shined and the beers cracked.
First up - Citra. Well, the name says it all really. Citra's making appearances a lot recently, and with Kernel's Citra IPA still remaining the high water mark for me, BrewDog's effort gave a little more Tangerine/Orange edge on the usual Lemon/Lime profile. Simple, yet effective, Citra seems made for IPA's, and I'm sure we haven't seen the last of it.
Nelson Sauvin is probably one of my favourite hops - it's the goodness behind many, many great beers - so again, I sort of knew what to expect. There's the familiar Grapefruit and slight hint of cattiness, rounded off with more Lime pith. You can't go far wrong with it in pale beers, and this one disappeared way quicker than is healthy.
The ace in the pack is Sorachi Ace (pun entirely intended). I'd actually tried this on keg at Foley's during the week, and was left scratching my head. People offered their opinions on what it tasted and smelt of; anywhere between Thai Green Curry to Juicy Fruit Chewing Gum to Green Tea seemed to be the consensus. Having it in front of me at home gave me more time to deal with this arcane hop. I will tie my colours to the mast with this: sticky pine Resin and Mint. Together. With a bit of Strawberry sweetness on top. There's an amazing herbal note that makes the hop massively clean and fresh, but not in a bad way. It's an odd hop, without doubt,and I'd probably need a few more of these before entirely making up my mind about it. I'd say if you pick up one beer from this range, make it this one, just for shits and giggles.
Finally, onto my favourite - Bramling X (or Cross, whatever you like). Some may think it's an odd choice for an IPA but I loved this; a deep, woody Blackberry aroma and full-bodied taste that made it as individual as the Sorachi Ace IPA but in an entirely different way. I could drink this all day, and it's the one I've craved the most since finishing it off. All the beers were obviously sweet enough to balance the hops, but I was quite surprised at how different the Hops made the base beer. The Citra and Nelson Sauvin seemed much drier than the BX or Sorachi - when in reality they probably weren't.
Judging from comments on my previous post, IPAID seemed to have divided people ; or at least generate discussion. One of the biggest themes was lack of originality - Single Hopped beers are actually 'Old Hat' and nothing special. Well, yes, I agree. We know BD are great at marketing, but I don't think wool has been pulled over anyone's eyes at all. These are simply four very good, interesting IPA's with great balance that drink nowhere near their 7.5% abv. That's it. That really is it.
In fact - the main thing I enjoyed about these was the point I alluded at the start of the post - the four pack is a tasting platter in your own home - even if you miss the beers on cask. The cheeky foursome, hanging around menacingly in the fridge like day-glo clad Chavs on a street corner - beg to be shared and compared. I hope they stick around.
For a different slant on tasting this range, check out Ghostie's truly blind tasting. Cracking stuff.