beer reviews

Battle of the Brewdog IPAs

Thee Brew Dog IPAs sitting on a wall
Thee Brew Dog IPAs sitting on a wall

Do we need to say how good Brewdog Punk IPA is? Even the hard-to-please Tandleman is a fan. It’s obviously influenced by hop-bomb American IPAs, but the thinner body makes it seem rawer and fresher

We thought we’d try it again, together with two other Brewdog IPAs.

Storm IPA is 8% and is aged in a whisky cask. It smells just like whisky and tastes like a bonfire. Actually, it’s quite harsh up front, but that does mellow into a nice rounded malt flavour. We couldn’t taste any hops beyond the smoke, so this is a totally different beast to the Punk. Absolutely fascinating, but we’re not sure we’d drink loads of it. Maeib wasn’t a fan either, but some people do like it.

Finally, we tried “Hardcore IPA”, an “explicit imperial ale”. It probably has the same level of bitterness as the Punk, but the malty flavours come through more. It’s 9%, but still tastes like a watered down Goose Island — that is to say, it’s not as special as a 9% beer should be. It’s jolly nice, but there are even nicer beers that do less damage to the liver…

We’ll probably stick to Punk.


Scotland – natural home of tasty lager?

We picked up three great Scottish lagers last week from Utobeer. We were with friends, so we were pretending not to be sad and didn’t take any notes, which means we can’t give you much in the way of detailed descriptions. Nonetheless, they’re all recommended.

First we tried Latitude Pilsner, from the Atlas Brewery. We thought this was fruity and sherbety, and packed a good amount of flavour in for 3.9%. We wonder what the cask verson is like?

Next up was Hop Rocker from BrewDog. This is the first time we’ve had anything from BrewDog, but it certainly won’t be the last. This reminded us quite a lot of Brooklyn lager, although maybe not as intense — a good mixture of sweetness and bitter, nice balanced carbonation. The Beer Nut has recently reviewed it, here.

Finally, an old favourite – Harviestoun’s Schiehallion. We’ve always liked this one for its full flavour and wonderfully dry, perfumy finish.

Perhaps Scotland is the natural place for producing quality UK lagers? It’s a bit cooler than England (not that we’re roasting here at the moment!) and therefore well suited to lagering, and the water’s probably a bit better for it too.


PS — we note that Brew Dog are “in trouble” again — after being picked on by the Portman group for aggressive labelling, they’re now being attacked in the press for launching Tokyo, possibly Britain’s strongest beer at 12%. You can read their side of the story on their blog, here. Are they unlucky, or just shrewd at marketing?

We drank them at a bring-your-own Ethiopian restaurant in Shepherd’s Bush. Blimey, that’s some filling food. We’re still stuffed now.