Thursday, 1 April 2010

The IPA challenge second bout: Jaipur Vs Punk IPA

Two beers from the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, I mean the New Wave of American inspired British Breweries line up for the next bout. Or if NWOBHM's not you thing, the brewing world's Stones and Beatles apparently.

Despite the superficial similarities, both being from similar training camps and in stingy little bottles, at the weigh in it started to look like a potential miss match. The punk was over filled*, not something I'd normally complain about but possibly suggesting a problem with the bottling line at Brewdog. In this game if you haven't prepared properly your weaknesses will be painfully exposed once you step into the ring. 

Punk IPA (6% ABV) steps up to the canvas, looking brash and in your face, any doubts about the bottling clearly not affecting their confidence. Jaipur (5.9% ABV) is looking more subdued, perhaps feeling the pressure. 

Seconds away and caps off the bout is on. Jaipur has a bit more aroma, though surprisingly malty. Punk smelling a bit harsh, reminiscent of a lemon toilet duck.  

They come together for the first sip and and, oh my god, the Jaipur is totally overwhelmed. It's been caught flat footed! Well, not so much flat footed as just plain flat. It just hasn't got the conditioning, and in this game if you don't put in the time on the road work you won't last five seconds in the ring. The Jaipur hops are nowhere to be seen and just a sweet maltiness is present in the taste. Punk may smell a bit rough round the edges but with the wallop of grapefruit it packs into its pale body it knocks the Jaipur out cold.

But what's this? the second, Kipling (5.2% ABV), has popped its top and is climbing into the ring. It must think it's a medieval duel! This is disgraceful, the referee is stepping in but the Punk looks up for it and is squaring up. It could be a rash decision on the part of Kipling, and it's giving away a weight advantage. The Kipling flicks out a tentative aroma but it's putting on a poor show compared to when it was seen on cask only a few months ago. Again we just get flat bland sweetness form the Thornbidge boy which is easy dispatched by the fighter from Fraserburgh. 

It may seemed the Brewdog bottling line could cause problems but it's the in the Thornbridge camp that the questions will be asked tonight. They're really going to have to put some work in to make a come back after this performance. 

A win for Punk IPA by knock out. 

*Embossed on the bottom of bottles is their capacity in ml and the distance from the top the bottle needs to be filled to reach it. Not a lot of people know that.


  1. That was perhaps the most thrilling set of tasting notes I've yet to read :D

    *and I didn't know that!

  2. i think most of the Jaipur knocking about at the moment is getting on a bit. Thornbridge are very close to releasing Jaipur brewed and bottled by them at the new brewery site. i suggest trying it again then.

  3. The only bottle with those details I found in my collection awaiting the trip to the bottle bank was a Wychwood one. All of the others were blank.

  4. Sorry, it's not all bottles, though even 'blank' ones may have a series of brail like dots that can be read by machines.

  5. Jaipur versus Punk is always a fun drink-off. I managed it with the cask versions a couple of months back and am hoping to arrange a similar tasting at a Thornbridge pub later in the year

  6. Ed, from memory I think Martin Dickie of Brew Dog designed both beers as he used to work for Thornbridge. Both Are excellent. Jaipur flamboiant, punk hard nosed no nonsense. My winner would be Jaipur but not by much. Punk IPA is more upfront I admit.

  7. Jaipur did start the favourite, so I'm sure will be looking for a re-match. It will need to get the conditioning sorted though...