Saturday 1 August 2009

BrewDog Tokyo* Yeah

All the commentary has been done on this beer and so now we just need to know what the damn thing tastes like, so here it is, a straight-up tasting note post and nothing else (except this fine piece of cinema). I decided to shoot a video of it for the whole world to see, but I’ll write about it too if you can’t face seeing me sniff, swirl and sip a beer and then struggling to describe it more eloquently than it’s good.

It’s 18.2% but everyone knows that by now, it’s brewed with jasmine and cranberries, aged over French oak chips for a month, dry-hopped to hell and fermented with a champagne yeast. It’s a thick black pour with a surprisingly bubbly head which soon laces sexily. Holding it up to the light shows the faintest glimmer of red which is really quite handsome. The aroma is big, but not as big as I expected. It’s fruity pretty much all the way with cherries and those cranberries, beneath that there’s a nuttiness and beneath that it’s a box of fancy chocolates and some vanilla-laced wood.

Take a mouthful and it’s big. But then 18.2% is pretty massive. It’s sweet first then into darkest dark chocolate and more fruit but then it flips over and gets floral and hoppy bitter. The cherry sweetness is excellent leading it into the darker flavours and the booze. It’s fascinating and intoxicating. The finish is long and it lingers all around; not just on the tongue but around the whole mouth and in the air and it calls you back in for another go. Then there’s a hotness to it, a freshness that develops as the beer warms, but this isn’t bad and if you put the bottle away for a few years (the best before date is 2019!) then this’ll mellow out.

It’s a remarkable beer. I was drinking it for well over an hour and enjoyed each sip. Now I’m going to buy some more and put it away. And if you go to the website then type TOKYO in as the discount code to get 20% off. This means if you get six bottles you essentially get free postage and each beer costs less than £6. That’s a bargain. Binge away people.
Here’s the old and new* Tokyos. I considered a side-by-side but then thought again… The 12% Tokyo is one of the best beers I’ve had this year and I’ve got a couple left in the cupboard so maybe I’ll get round to a comparison one day, perhaps opening a Mikkeller Black too or a World wide Stout if I can snag a bottle from somewhere! Oh, and one more thing... this beer probably contains about 400 calories per 330ml bottle. Does that bother anyone?!


  1. I like Brewdog. Don't think I'd bother with this. I'd rather drink a single malt.

  2. Just got in. The beer bar I was drinking at in Redondo Beach had Dogma. Apparently Brewdog couldn't call it Speedball in the US. I was on the Drakes 1500 Pale Ale that was on Proper Nitro Keg. Amazing!

  3. I understand the whisky thing, but this is a fun after-dinner, sip-and-share kind of thing, very enjoyable. As for Dogma, it's called that over here now too, they had to rename for the smae drug-related reasons. Did you try the Dogma? It's better draught than bottle.

  4. I didn't try the Dogma, maybe I should have. I'm not really into the super exotics. The pints of Drakes 1500 Pale Ale were amazing. I could have easily drank another 3-4 pints of it.

  5. If you were drinking amazing pale ale then you probably did right to stick to that! Dogma might have been a bit sweet and heavy to fit inbetween the hops.

    GBBF on Tuesday. Have you seen the US beer list? Any recommendations? I've ticked off a few, including: draught Deschutes Inversion IPA, draught Stone IPA and Sierra Nevada Torpedo, draught Hopdevil/Hopwallop, bottled Ballast Point IPA, bottles Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA, bottled Lagunitas IPA. What do you think?

  6. I just viewed the list. Are they in Proper Real Keg form or cask?

    You can't go wrong with Hop Devil, Ballast Point IPA, Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA is awesome, all the Sierra Nevada stuff, Stone. Shame that AleSmith isn't there. I can't stand Deschutes Inversion IPA. The malt character reminds of Arrogant Bastard. Can't stand the stuff. Give it a go and see. Not a problem if you're drinking thirds.

  7. Nice one, cheers. And I'm not sure about how it is served. I would guess a mixture (or is that a ludicris idea for a CAMRA fest?!) but I don't know for sure.

    The Inversion isn't one of my must-haves so that's okay. If I get to it then I get to it, there's more than enough to keep me going and I will be doing in thirds - fuck, stoic british machismo, I can't do pints of that stuff or I'll be on the floor by 3pm!!

  8. Tandleman, that's the best thing you've ever posted as a comment on this blog :D

  9. Was drinking the two tokyos the other night, in Tokyo. The importer is looking into importing the stuff, but is hesitant, as he thinks it's too hoppy!
    These two aren't bad though. I preferred the stronger one myself.
    I expect it will arrive here in Japan in october.
    I and many of my beer friends don't care much for Brewdog's marketing strategy. We also don't like that fact that it seems to be working and everyone is swallowing the hype. some of their beers are horrible expensive crap but some are interesting, I'll give them that. I'm honestly not sure how well they'll sell over here. Perhaps in the luxury hotels?
    I'm sure they will sell fast at first, as the curious beer lovers will snap up all the bottles in the first import. Nice blog.

  10. Chuwy, cheers for the comment and cool that you managed to get Tokyo in Tokyo! I enjoy a lot of the BrewDog beers and many are really excellent from the cask. As for the marketing... some love it, some hate it - I love it because I like what they stand for and what they are trying to achieve. I'd love to know more about Japanese beer, I've heard fairly good things...