Victorias Secret IPA is Dead

Brewdog: IPA Is Dead: Victoria’s Secret (Scotland: IPA: 6.7% ABV)

Visual: Dark reddened amber. Caramel froth head that leaves sud rings.

Nose: Tangerine and blood orange. Pungent passion fruit. Fruit pastilles. Resin and hops. Gooseberry.

Body: Bitter. Shortbread and greenery. Fruit sugars. Milky bread. Gooseberry. Tangerine. Bombay mix. Passion fruit. Toffee malt character. Cake sponge.

Finish: Earthy hops and bitterness. Tangerine. Becomes crisper hops over time. Passion fruit. Dry spices. Greenery and resin. Palma violets.

Conclusion: This years IPA is Dead series seems cursed. After a weak run on brewing hoppy beers earlier in the year Brewdog seem generally back on track, but this, the latest IID, still seems off its game.

It isn’t as badly off as the earlier run of the series though, the aroma, for example, is fantastic. There’s lots of tangerine and orange, some simcoe like elements and good hop character. It is detectable as significant distance and gives the impression of a delicious beer to come.

The body however still seems a tad muted and still has that spicy character that seemed to dog the earlier run. Not as bad as the early editions but that dry spice is still more prominent than the hops which is a bad sign. ( I could be wrong and the hop is intended to be spicy, in which case I apologise, but research after the review indicates that it shouldn’t be)

Any which way it is a little milky, and a bit bland, you can sense the fruity notes the aroma promised but they are secondary, which as a single hop demonstration beer they should never be.

It is drinkable enough, but that is about it, it doesn’t feel like it showcases the hop and doesn’t have anything apart from the aroma which excites. There are a few interesting notes with the fruit, the palma violets and the like but overall it doesn’t stand out as a hop demonstration or a beer. Ah well.

Background: Now, I wasn’t much impressed with this years IPA is dead single hops series for the most part. Then again they were having problems with getting used to the new brewery at the time, resulting in a lot of their hoppy beers being weaker than usual. So, when this came out, a special one off with The Victoria Secret hop (or more correctly Vic Secret, they had to change the name under threat of legal action) from Australia it seemed a good time to give it another chance. As always I am not an unbiased actor on Brewdog beers. After drinking this I also tried a sample of the latest batch of some of the other IIDs and got a very different character, so looks like the beers are showing the hop character more these days, but still generally less impressive than previous years.