I’ve really enjoyed the various BrewDog showcase series over the past few years, including IPA is Dead 2013 & 2014, Unleash the Yeast & the Russian Doll series. It’s always a bit of fun to go through the beers in the series and compare each one to see how one different aspect, the hops in this case, of the brewing process affects the taste & character of the final beer.
The 2015 release of IPA is Dead is the 5th of the series, although only the 3rd which I have had the personal pleasure of tasting. Although I enjoyed all four of the beers I preferred Ella, closely followed by Mandarina Bavaria, but all were quite light and easy to drink. All 4 are brewed at 7.2%abv using Extra Pale Malt and US Ale yeast; all are at 70 IBU.
IPA is Dead 2015 | Ella
With lots of pineapple & peach on the nose, this is a really fresh IPA. It pours clear with a light white head which dissipates quickly but not fully. The mouth feel is light & oily. The hop flavours are up front and strong hints of oranges & pineapple; pleasant citrus notes prevail backed up by light malt flavours. Not overly bitter or sweet, just very balanced. This beer has an incredibly smooth finish and is overall the best of the bunch for me.
This beer opens with a huge blast of orange citrus notes on the nose. It pours a hazy light orange with a light, fluffy head. The flavour is sweet, lightly malted honey & oranges with heavy hops on the finish. Very easy to drink and very reminiscent of an orange IPA (Bloody ‘Ell & Marmalade on Rye come to mind). My 2nd favourite of the four beers.
Although this is a 7.2% IPA, there are very light & fresh citrus notes on the nose here with some aromas very reminiscent of a lager or a pilsner. It pours light orange/gold with a fluffy head which dissipates slowly. The lager similarities continue in the taste and it is full of very light and refreshing flavours. Hops are prevalent in the finish and this feels like a session beer to me. A very nice beer; it seems slightly unique for an IPA.
This beer is mostly pine & light lemon/citrusy aromas on the nose. It pours a hazy orange with a clean, white head and has a light mouth feel. A lot of pineapple and hops in the flavour. It is slightly bitter but not oppressive. Pine & nutty flavours on the finish. This one has some flavours reminiscent of a rye IPA to me and although quite nice, this is nothing special and doesn’t really manage to stand on its own.
Overall, the hops used in this series really do make four very different beers, all of which have interesting aspects gained purely from the hops and how they interact with the other base ingredients. I also think the 2015 series is my favourite yet, and I am really looking forward to the 2016 series.