Tracy Hensley's picture

Judge's Review: 89 Rating - Challenge Series #11 Double Brut IPA by Bear Republic Brewing Co.

May, 2019
Judges Rating: 
22 / 24
6 / 6
37 / 40
7 / 10
Overall Impression: 
17 / 20

Challenge Series #11 Double Brut IPA by Bear Republic Brewing Co. (evaluated as a 2015 Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) Category 21B Specialty IPA) asks drinkers: “Are you up for the Challenge?” Higher gravity, drinkability, and lack of harsh or unpleasant characteristics should define this category. It should be a drier, crisper, and higher-attenuated beer that balances that dryness with hops, alcohol, and body to produce a drinkable beer. A challenge for any brewery indeed.

The flavor begins as bright mouthwatering lemon oil supported by high warming rubbing alcohol and light fresh milled flour. 2nd smell reveals pineapple and pine resin blended with a rubbing alcohol background. Over time, the aroma evolves into lingering strong lemongrass and pine sap. The beer has a brilliant white creamy head that clings to the sides of the glass and persists on a hazy yellow colored beer with pleasant persistent carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass.

Flavor starts out as high fresh fruit cocktail of cherries, mango, and pineapple with a spritz of lemon zest and pine sap supported by low pita chip malt. Moderate bitterness and a dry finish quickly turn to tart green apple hard candy and a medium hot vodka aftertaste. The mouthfeel has a high mouth-tingling alcoholic mouthwash heat that dominates overtime.

Overall, definitely a brut IPA, but loses out on drinkability by the persistent and dominant harsh alcohol presence. Yet, surprisingly not heavy and rather balanced for rocket fuel.