Beer review: BrewDog IPA is Dead – Challenger, Motueka, Galaxy and HBC

Today is the 2nd annual IPA day, so I thought it would be fitting to review some IPA’s. I have had the IPA is Dead 4-pack from BrewDog sitting in my fridge for a couple of weeks so I thought, what the hell, today is the (IPA) day!

In June last year I reviewed another “IPA is Dead” 4-pack from BrewDog, so I’m anxious to see if this pack is equally interesting.

All the beers in the pack have been brewed with different hops, and they are all at 75 IBU’s, which means they have been brewed with a different amount of hops as well. Some hops are better suited for giving bitterness, and some are better suited for aroma and flavor, so not all hops are equally suitable to simply reach a certain IBU value.

Some days back I asked James and Martin from BrewDog on Twitter if they could give me some type of hint as to the order I should enjoy the beers, but they didn’t bother to answer. Let’s get started!

BrewDog IPA is Dead - ChallengerChallenger

Challenger is an English hop that can impart such aromas and flavors as marmalade, toffee and citrus.

Looks

Hazy golden orange color with a frothy white head.

Aroma

I’m getting a slight grassy aroma with some passion fruit as well as some caramel sweetness.

I find the aroma of this beer pretty unusual for an IPA.

Flavor

The malt dominates the flavor of this beer. There are some hints of citrus from the hops, but I’m not getting much else.

Finish

Very bitter up front, and after a while I’m reminded of fresh cut grass.

Rating

An OK IPA, but I find both the aroma and the flavor weak. Score: 3/5.

BrewDog IPA is Dead - Challenger

BrewDog IPA is Dead - MotuekaMotueka

The Motueka hop is from New Zealand. The hop is primarily used for flavour and aroma and the profile includes lemon, lime and tropical fruit.

Looks

Slightly less hazy than the Challenger variant.

Aroma

Strong hints of grapefruit and mango. An overall very fruity aroma with lots of citrus.

Flavor

The flavor matches the aroma. Mostly grapefruit and lemon along with a nice malty backbone.

Finish

Mostly fruity up front with some bitter notes coming along after some seconds. Hints of mango and other tropical fruits.

Rating

A very tasty and refreshing IPA, and IMHO a lot better than the Challenger version. Score: 3.6/5.

BrewDog IPA is Dead - Motueka

BrewDog IPA is Dead - GalaxyGalaxy

Galaxy is an Australian high alpha, dual purpose hop with aromas such as citrus and passion fruit.

Looks

The color is pretty much like the Motueka version, but with a bigger head.

Aroma

I’m getting honey, citrus and some pine. The aroma of this beer reminds me of some of the more malty Imperial IPA’s I have had. Pretty powerful nose!

Flavor

Again, the flavor is pretty much spot on compared to the aroma. There is a lovely malty backbone with a big amount of hops. I’m getting mostly apricot and pine.

Finish

Long finish which is quite bitter up front, and with lots of tropical fruits towards the end that leaves you wanting more!

Rating

Another very good IPA. This beer is packed full of flavor! Score: 3.9/5.

BrewDog IPA is Dead - Galaxy

BrewDog IPA is Dead - HBCHBC

I can’t seem to find too much information about this hop variety. Feel free to leave a comment if you know more about HBC.

Looks

The clearest of the bunch. The color of the beer and the head is pretty much the same.

Aroma

I’m getting a big amount of grapefruit and pine on the nose.

Flavor

A lovely balance of malty sweetness and hoppy bitterness. I’m getting toffee/caramel sweetness from the malts and grape, pine and some mango from the hops.

Finish

This beer has a long finish which is bitter up front. I’m getting some pine flavors towards the end.

Rating

For me this was the best of the lot. Score: 4.1/5.

BrewDog IPA is Dead - HBC

BrewDog IPA is DeadCocktail

And now for the experimental part of the review. You might have noticed that the glasses in the photos above were not full. I saved an equal amount from all the beers so I could make a blend of them all towards the end of the review, and here is a short review of the blend.

Let’s name it: ChmotuallaxyHBC. Right…

Looks

Hazy dark orange color with a frothy head. The cocktail is naturally more hazy than the other individual beers.

Aroma

The mix has a slightly pungent, funky aroma to it. I’m getting some pine, grapefruit and passion fruit. Overall it’s a good mix of the four different single hop IPA’s.

Flavor

As with the aroma the flavor is a bit funky. There is something slightly “off” but I’m not able to identify it.

I’m getting mostly the same as in the aroma; grapefruit, some pine and passion fruit. There is also some nice sweetness from the malts and an overall fruitiness from the hops. The mix was actually pretty good, but not as good as some of the beers were individually.

Finish

The finish is bitter up front with hints of green grass and pine, and some more tropical fruits towards the end.

Rating

I’m not going to give the mix any rating. I just thought I might be a fun experiment.

I hope you all enjoyed a glass of your favourite IPA for this years IPA Day. Cheers!

BrewDog IPA is Dead - blend

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4 Responses to Beer review: BrewDog IPA is Dead – Challenger, Motueka, Galaxy and HBC

  1. Simon says:

    At the AGM they announced that the http://hopbreedingcompany.com had since chosen a trade name for the ‘HBC’ but my notes and memory fail me.

  2. Davis White says:

    You followed my advice via Facebook RE: order and the cocktail. Good choice.

    I really disliked Challenger. I was unable to finish a half pint of it at the BrewDog bar and ended up drain pouring the bottle.

    But the other three are very pleasant. HBC obviously being the top choice.

    The cocktail was probably ruined by Challenger, the other three would make a lovely bitter fruit bowl.

    Very nice review, as always. Looking forward to your next one.

    • Christer Edvartsen says:

      I thought the cocktail sounded like an interesting experiment, so I went for it. I also think that the Challenger one might be the reason I didn’t really enjoy the blend, as it was the single one of the bunch that had some pretty weird flavors and aromas going on.

      • Davis White says:

        Yeah it was straight up nasty! HBC was spot on, happily had a few of them at the BrewDog AGM 🙂

        At least you can get a decent selection of brews. I’m in Kuala Lumpur at the moment. With one craft beer bar and one super market that sells three Rogue beers…bad times.

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