Challenger is very much the quintessential English hop and is a favourite dual-purpose hop for many brewers of traditional Bitters. The beer poured amber with little carbonation and a small off-white head. The aroma was pungent: an earthy hop smell with some pepper and toffee.
The body was light-medium and unmistakably Challenger in taste. There’s a lot of earthy hop bitterness, pepper and tea flavours here. You do get a good blast of bitter aftertaste, but it’s all a bit one-dimensional. It may be a good bittering hop, but let loose like this reveals Challenger’s limitations.
So, they’ve obviously packed a hell of a lot of Challenger into this, but is bigger necessarily better? Not on this evidence; it may handle its isolated exposure better than Galaxy, but it’s no Motueka. And its one-dimensional nature seems overkill at the prescribed strength and would be better suited to something weaker.