Dog Beers

Posted by on Feb 28, 2014

Like most people, the start of the week is a tough time for me. On a typical Monday I’m out of the door by 8:15 and I’m not back home until 10:30. That being said, I do look forward to Mondays, or at least Monday evenings, because I get very excited about our beer tastings. This was particularly the case on the 24th when Jonny Reid, the Scottish Sales Manager for BrewDog, kindly came to the Dalry shop to give us the lowdown on some stars from BrewDog and Mikkeller.

And by stars I mean ‘Yes, that beer is, in fact, worth the £15 a bottle price tag’.

So, at eight o’clock, with a shop filled to the brim with beer geeks, Ash and I poured the first of six:

1) BrewDog ‘Hardcore IPA’: Displaying boatloads of mango and pine on the nose, this Double IPA has an expected caramel malt sweetness that melds into a subtle, resiny bitterness.

2) BrewDog/Oskar Blues ‘Shipwrecker Circus’: This is a collaboration brew with Oskar Blues brewery out of my home state of Colorado. When it first came out I was told it was a bit fiery, but given time a Barley Wine typically mellows to a degree. Indeed, it was a very drinkable beer for 10.5% and the sweet sherry nose melded in to a fruity middle and finish. It was a bit lighter and cleaner than most Barley Wines I’ve tried, and I liked it all the more because of that.

3) BrewDog ‘Dog B’: This beer is, essentially, a rebrew of AB 04 and is an Imperial Stout celebrating BrewDog’s sixth birthday. Containing cocoa nibs, fresh-roasted coffee, and Naga chilies, this beer does an amazing job of presenting all of its components to just the right degree. More to the point, the chili, coffee, chocolate qualities all meld in beautifully with the rummy, dried fruit qualities of the malt to give a magical blend. This is a seriously good beer.

4) Mikkeller ‘Hip, Hip, Hurrah’: Existing as an oddball, ‘Hip, Hip, Hurrah’ is brewed with gooseberries and fermented with champagne yeast. Indeed, the entirety of the experience is very reminiscent of a wine, with vinous, tart grapefruit notes coming through from start to finish, the latter of which is exceptionally dry. Try putting this in a Mimosa at your next Sunday brunch.

5) Mikkeller ’20 IPA’: Considering this beer is brewed with twenty different hops, it would be incredibly disappointing if your nose was hit by anything less than a fistful of hoppy aroma. It fulfilled that requirement, at least, with blackcurrant and citrus notes. Unfortunately, it was felt by most of the tasters that 20 IPA didn’t follow through on its promises, with a muddled, bitter middle. The light, clean finish didn’t quite make up for it, unfortunately.

6) Mikkeller ‘Cognac Barrel Aged George’: I have never seen anything pour this black short of an oil field. George completely coated the glass. I’ll just directly quote my notes for the rest: ‘Loads of date, liquorice, alcohol, orange. Burnt, oily. Toasted nut on the end. Warming alcohol finish.’ In short, another stunner.

Rolling it all together, the two Russian Imperial Stouts were the crowd favourites for each brewery. The overall vote resulted in a total landslide for ‘George’.