Friday 19 March 2010

IPA challenge first bout: Fuller's Bengal Lancer Vs St Austell Proper Job

The lovely Lisa and I have started a challenge competition to find which IPA we like best. It's a knockout competition where beers will be matched with an opponent to be drunk side by side and the better beer goes through to the next round. 

The first bout is between Fuller's of London Bengal Lancer (5.3% ABV) and St Austell's of Cornwall Proper Job (5.5% ABV). The Cornishman has a slight weight advantage here but the Londoner has been recently revamped and is raring to go. 

Seconds away round one: 

Proper job comes rushing out with a big whoosh of citrussy goodness and lots of hop flavour. There's plenty of  body to back it up and Bengal Lancer has been caught sleeping. The Londoner just has no answer and seems harsh and thin in comparison. The size advantage may seem small but the Cornishman is a much bigger beer all round. Bengal Lancer has been completely overwhelmed and the ref has had to step in for a standing count. Bengal Lancer holds on to the end of the round but there was no going back.

The only hope the Chiswick Griffni had would have been to box clever and fight in the drinkability stakes. If Bengal Lancer could have got on his bicycle the thinner body could have proved an advantage, as I'm not sure how many pints of Proper Job we could have downed. It wasn't an option though as we're only doing a bottle of each at a time so they only get one round. There's no room for fancy tactics, just two beers slugging it out toe to toe until one emerges victorious. 

A win for Proper Job by 10-8


  1. Not sure that Proper Job is an IPA, more a cleverly constructed and deliciously hopped golden ale, but it is a fantastic beer either way. Your final score doesn't match your description of the bout though.

    Seems to me BL got battered.

  2. I'm not going to get into trying to define what is an IPA, that way madness lies. If it's got IPA on the label that will for the purposes of this challenge.

    BL was indeed battered but I'm using the "10-point must system" for scoring so having suffered a knockdown but not been knocked out it gets 8 points and as the winner Proper Job gets 10.

  3. Shame I can't get hold of these beers locally and have only tried Propper Job out of the two. In my opinion the best British style IPA would be Meantime IPA, for American style I would say Pliny the Elder.

  4. Proper Job is a cracking beer, methinks there are many pale ales that would pale (sorry!) into insignificance next to it.

  5. Sandleman sets the standard for generalizing and redefining.

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  7. Surely the whole point of having a beer blog is to mouth off about beer? And if you think someone's wrong then even better, there's nothing like pointing out other people's mistakes!