Thursday, 20 November 2008

The BrewDog Prototypes

The prototype BrewDog beers have arrived! It’s so exciting receiving beer in the post – it’s my first time – it’s like a whole new way of me ordering a drink. These are particularly exciting for the following reasons: 1) They are a limited brew of prototypes; 2) They are no longer on sale on the website; 3) They are BrewDog’s, and that carries with it a certain weight of expectation. The task is to drink them and then suggest/vote which one I’d like to see them sell in 2009. Brilliant.

The bottles come naked without labels and the only way to tell them apart is by the differently coloured bottle tops. Here’s what I thought of the three beers:

Bad Pixie 4.7%
Wheat beer brewed with juniper berries and lemon peel. It pours pale and clear, without the usual wheat haze. There is some citrus zing in the nose, a bit like gin and tonic. The malt is gorgeous, creamy and bready. Then there are hints of the juniper and lemon at the end with more gin-like qualities. There is hardly any fizz which makes it glide down and it tastes perfectly clean and crisp. It’s missing the usual qualities of a wheat beer, although that’s not a bad thing as it’s still bloody good.

Zeit Geist 5.1%
Black lager. Pours a deep, dark ruby black with a tan foam. Big burnt smoky aromas with coffee and dark chocolate. It’s all roasted grain in the mouth with plenty of coffee bitterness and an underlying chocolaty sweetness too. It’s well balanced and smooth with just enough hops to even it out at the end. Superb dark lager.

Chaos Theory 7.1%
'Deep copper IPA with insane hops' is the blurb on the internet, and it delivers just that. It’s the colour of toffee with a good head lacing down throughout. The nose is an intoxicating blend of tropical fruit, citrus, flowers, a hint of booze and some malt. There’s loads of caramel in the beginning then a massive wave of tangy hops sweep over and keep on going and going and going. There’s fruit in there with pineapple and grapefruit and the creamy rich malt stays throughout. It’s a powerful beer, one that makes me want more and more. The hops are big, but so is the malt and it’s all balanced out magically. It’s intoxicating and insane, in lots of ways.

Having tasted them all my favourite is the Chaos Theory. It’s a brilliant beer. The only issue is whether they would add another hop-heavy pale ale to their set. I’d kind of like the Zeit Geist to win because it’d be good to see a British black lager (although maybe they could make a black IPA?!), but drinking it I wanted a bit more from it, perhaps something fruity like sweet/sour cherry? And the Bad Pixie wheat beer is an almost perfect summer thirst quencher.

It’s a tough one. Whatever they choose they’ve got three crackers.

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