Monday, June 3, 2013

(I)PA Challenge 2 - Quarter Finals 3 & 4

Quarter Final 3
Thornbridge Kipling 5.3%  50cl  €3.99 [Molloys]  link
Flying Dog - Snake dog IPA 355ml 7.1% €4.39 [Molloys] link

The Kipling is a relatively new beer to me. I saw it when I was buying the Jaipur and figgered I'd add it to the mix for the (I)PA challenge Part deux. It's less alcoholic (and cheaper) so it's very much the little brother in the relationship. The Snake Dog is the opposite, being the bigger brother to the Doggy Style (5.5%) IPA that was beaten, co-incidentally, by the Jaipur last time out, so it's very much a revenge match, if beers were sentient and in fact, gave a toss about this sort of thing.

Thornbridge Kipling South Pacific Pale Ale
Lager colour in the glass, the first thing to notice here is the tropical fruit, very unusual in a beer. Not a huge amount of hops, I suspect your enjoyment will be determined by how much the tropical fruit work for you. I like it but do I like it enough?

Flying Dog - Snake dog IPA
Beefy and full-on. This is not dissimilar to the American IPAs from Goose Island and ODell that made the final in Series 1. Perhaps it lacks the finesse of its cousins though, there's a ghost of an aftertaste, that I'm not sure I like. This is gonna be a tough one to call.

Winner Flying Dog - Snake dog IPA

Quarter Final 4
Proper Job IPA 50cl 5.5% €2.99 [Tesco] link
Shepherd Neame IPA 50cl 6.1% €4.19 [Baggot St Wines] link

I've had the Proper Job a couple of times and it's been pretty decent so I reckoned it would be good value in this competition. The Shepherd Neame on the other hand I had never seen, before I saw it in Baggot St. I am a big fan of their Bishop's Finger (steady), so a good strong 6.1% IPA seemed like a good bet.
Proper Job IPA
Cloudy straw in the glass, this is...OK. It has some decent citrussy hoppiness but not much else. No malty sweetness to offset it. Not bad by any means but not brilliant.
Shepherd Neame IPA 
A deep  ruby colour, with a fine lingering head (chance would be a fine thing). This is the opposite of the Proper Job (sort of). Not much hops but lots of malty goodness. Totally different to the big hoppy IPAs I have been loving of late, but really tasty nonetheless.

Winner Shepherd Neame IPA

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