We put a trio of beers from Brewdog – although you wouldn’t know to look at them – through their paces at Imbibe HQ, including two new crowd-sourced bottles, and a massive double IPA back by popular demand.
First up is #MashTag Hibiscus and Yuzu Pale Ale (£2.05/330ml bottle), the latest in a series of beers in which consumers vote on the beer, ‘the twist’ and the artwork of a new release. The process for this 2018 release began in April, with community votes deciding on a 5% abv pale ale with hibiscus and yuzu added – which you wouldn’t necessarily know were there on the restrained, malty nose.
The yuzu makes itself only subtly known, and the hibiscus hardly at all, on the bright and citrus-forward palate, which is brisk and fresh overall, but with a creamy mouthfeel too. A solid pale ale, with a clean finish that would give this some versatility with food.
Beatnik Brewing Collective Raspberry Cheesecake Imperial Stout (£3.90/330ml bottle) is the result of more consultation with Brewdog fans, this time with its Equity Punks, who settled on this big, bold style for this year’s annual Beatnik release.
It’s a combination of an imperial stout and a raspberry sour that pours entirely opaque, with dark chocolate and a touch of coffee on the nose, leading to a palate that’s all about the fizzy, sour, freeze-dried raspberry, not to mention some dark chocolate and some major creaminess. There’s a touch of malty biscuit there too – just enough to fleetingly suggest cheesecake, before the bitter-chocolate finish takes over.
Completing the trio is Restorative Beverage for Invalids and Convalescents Savage Double IPA (£3.05/330ml can), and if you think the name’s a mouthful wait until you try the beer. The nose doesn’t give much away, and the palate takes a second to build up from an initial salty-sweet note, but this soon turns into a hoppy monster – take your pick from those depicted on the can.
If you’re into substantial, mouth-drying, hop-forward and seriously-bitter IPAs, this one ticks all the boxes. The structure’s big, but the fruit is brisk and well-balanced, with some juicy grapefruit. First launched in 2015, Brewdog has brought this one back after a few years away.
Prices are all RRP.