Jack hammer

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Another week, another Brewdog beer, Brewdog made their name doing these big bold flavoursome beers. This is a hit and miss strategy for me. Some of their beer are amazing while others fall flat. There doesn’t seem to be a middle ground in this regards, this beer is most definitely on the latter end of the scale falling flat with a rather strange taste.

Vital stats:

 

Look:

This beer claims to be a IPA, i don’t understand what Brewdog’s obsession with them is but every other beer they produce seems to be an IPA, despite this being an IPA this beer was very clear in the glass, not very lively and looked quite flat, not to mention a complete lack of head. very strange considering this is an IPA from Brewdog and normally they pride themselves as being over the top.

5/10

Aroma:

The aroma is where this beer starts to fall apart, naturally i got the bitter hops that the bottle promised but i think they over delivered and added a little too much, the more i smelt this the more the beer started to smell like stinging nettles, not a good quality in my opinion.

4/10

Taste:

so i thought that nettle smell was an anomaly and it turns out it wasn’t, this beer tastes of nettles as well, very bitter nettles, this tastes like something Hugh Fernley Whitingstall would serve to people on his TV show while he stands over them while they fake satisfaction sounds. This just isn’t for me, if thats you cup of tea fine but its not mine.

3/10

Value:

Coupled with the unusual flavour, this beer was expensive, i bought it in my local Brewdog and after drinking it i thought i paid too much.

2/10
Session:

oh the session, that part of the review were we discuss the process of drinking lots of this particular beer, this is not a session beer by any stretch of the imagination. that bitter taste kept coming back over and over again and its not pleasant on the first mouthful let alone the tenth.

1/10

In conclusion this beer fails to deliver for me, on the Brewdog website they claim this is bitter and i agree but there is such a thing as too bitter for me and this is most definitely too bitter, both on the tongue and the nostrils, due to this bitterness i didn’t enjoy drinking this beer and cant recommend it to any one currently.

30/100

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Elvis juice

1456220704unspecified4so i continue my look at Brewdogs ever increasing list of beers, its almost like they opened an off license close to my house or something, i dont know what it is about the great wet and cold of the scotish countryside that makes these guys so obsessed with IPAs but they seem to like them, they seem intent on making every variety of IPA its possible to make and this week they have made a grapefruit infused IPA that is apparently inspired by Elvis.

Vital statisics

  • brewed in scotland
  • Grapefruit infused IPA
  • 6.5% APV
  • comes in 330ml cans and bottles

Looks:

you know that thing were you get an image in your head and any deviation from that image is somehow wrong, well thats what happened with this beer i think, i will admit that unusually for me i actively went out looking for this beer and if im honest when i read grapefruit i got this image in my head that perhaps it would have a little colour to it, i expected it to be pink if im honest and was disappointed with it when it wasn’t, i always enjoy a little drama with my beer, makes it a little bit more special. saying that though what i actually got was a rather bland looking beer, sure is was golden in colour, like a beer should be but there was very little activity in the glass with barely any head, not things ive come to expect from brewdog. this was very middle of the road.

5/10

Aroma:

this beer was very sweet on the nostril, you certainly get the grapefruit but very little else, luckily for them im a fan of grapefruit.

7/10

Taste:

this is a very strange beer on the tongue, somehow its both overpowering and lacklustre simulataneously. you get the grapefruite and the bitterness of the hops but rather than getting a layered nuanced flavour you get both at once, they seem to fight with each other for supremacy so no one flavour comes across, somehow this beer is both sickly sweet and bitter all at once. ultimately not an impressive thing for me, there such a thing as playing a little too much a recipe and think thats what happened here, there were too many cooks in the kitchen as it were.

4/10

Value:

i honestly cant say that this was great value for money, ultimately this catagory is and will always be about how much we enjoyed this beer and ultimately i didnt enjoy it, i wouldnt get a second of these beers and if i never had one again i’d be a happy man.

3/10

Session:

that sickly sweet flavour is the reason this fails as a session beer, when i was drinking this beer and watching wrestling with my housemate, yeah, i know im so cool, my housemate turned to me and asked while i kept making the face i was, that face dear reader was one of disgust, each mouthful was less pleasurable than the last and i was happy when it was over so i could move onto another beer.

2/10

in conclusion this beer started off promising so much, it comes from a brewer known for doing crazy things, a brewer known for its IPAs but ultiately that hope quickly faded into obscurity, it was too flat for what i expect from an IPA, the taste in the mouth couldnt decide weather it wanted to be sweet or bitter and as a result it failed to deliver on both, the one saving grace for this beer though was the aroma which delivered on its grapefruit promise, the only part of this beer that delivered on that promise ultimatley though. a huge disappointment for me.

42/100

Albino squid assassin

1450369972AlbinoSquidAssassin_1.LEADAnother day another brewdog beer, i’ve not always enjoyed IPA’s, i find the strong Hoppy taste is often overpowering and a little too much for me, too distracting as it were. The acception to this rule is the rye IPA, i discovered these thanks to beavortown, honestly i’ll drink anything they release at this point, i first discovered this variety a little while ago thanks like i said to Beavor town (review), so when ever i see a rye ipa and always pick it up and give it a try.

Vital statisics:

  • 7.2% Apv
  • brewed in scotland
  • small batch
  • Rye IPA
  • comes in 330ml can
  • bought from a brewdog pub

Looks:

I will admit that it was the art that attracted me to this beer, featuring a squid with a knife. i mean given that image why wouldnt i pick it up? when i picked it up and noticed that it was a Rye IPA and its fate was sealed, i was going to review this beer. In the glass the beer was Toffee in colour with a white white head, about 1 and a half fingers in depth. it was also very lively with a high level of head retention, the head lasted right until the end of this beer.

8/10

Aroma:

The aroma eminating from this beer was heaven sent, a fantastic hoppy citrus god send. you got both a huge kick of hops and that citrus kick we’ve all come to expect.

9/10

Taste:

despite the aroma being so pleasing the taste is a strange beast, i honestly cant place it, it isnt hoppy, theres no bitterness and the rye is no where to be found. all three flavours seem to be trying to be the only flavour and as a result they all fail to deliver. the sensation on the tongue is rather nice though, it has a nice tingling from the front to the back of the tongue but ultimately i was disappointed by this beer.

4/10

Value:

cant really say that this is good value for money, its a small batch beer so it wont be a round forever but honestly go for something else, there are much better options available.

3/10

Session:

although i dont consider this to be a good value for money i cant deny its good session beer, mostly because that taste what little there is isnt too offensive.

7/10

in conclusion the looks and the aroma were all spot on with this beer but the taste failed to deliver, something of a strange occurence for brewdog, there known for one thing and that is big flavour and as a result this beer fails to deliver on that premise. due to its failure to deliver on the taste i cant say this is good value for money but due to its subtle flavour though it can be a good session beer.

62/100

Dead pony club

deadpony3So with brewdogs new AGM taking palce up there in the dark wet north i thought i would take a look at some of brew dog latest beers, and by latest i mean a beer that been around for a while but i never got round to reviewing until now. Say what you will about brewdog, there ability to self promote, there often garish marketing methods (a taxidermied squirrel anyone?) they do make great pubs and my fair city just got one. now its not really for me, yes it has a fantastic beer selection but honestly i prefer my pubs with years and years of booze stains from the many great moments that have happen there. despite not really being my type of pub i do like the fact that they let me take away any beer they have on display for use at home, its a nice feature and honestly i think it may start becoming my go to off license. at this point i think i should stop waffling on and get down to the nitty gritty  of actually reviewing this fine beer.

Vital statisics:

  • Brewed in scotland
  • 5% APV
  • Come in 330ml bootle and can
  • American style pale ale

Look:

Dead pony club, like most Brewdog beers comes in both a bootle and a can, they have the standard modern blocky label, perosnally i always prefer the look of the cans because there smaller and cuter. when poured it was Golden brown, cloudy and produced a single finger stark white head. it was a very lively Californioan pale ale and you do indeed feel this in the stomach.

8/10

Aroma:

The Californian pale ale is known for its big bold hoppy flavours, trust the yanks to take a stable of the british drinking scene for generations and take it to its natural heights and do it in a natrually american way. known for their big and bold antics it is only natrual that their beer should follow this model. this beer was hoppy, i dont know why but at this moment i am craving the hops like never before, must be the good weather. this style of beer is also known for combining severel types of hops and when i put it up to my nose i got two distinct types of hops, quite rare for something so bold and bombastic to also hint at the care a delicancy that goes into it.

7/10

Taste:

The subtly shown in the aroma is present here, strange to write thos words in regards to brewdog but they have been releasing these toned down beers recently and i appreciate it. Dead pony club had a slightly hoppy taste on the tongue but it quickly disappeared, it was a very subtle beer but what flavour it does have it goes a long way.

7/10

Session:

Subtly is the key here, and that subtly makes this a wonderful session beer with each beer going down well, a little too well if im honest.

8/10

Value:

A fantastic value if you ask me, i walk past a brew dog pub most days on my way home and i often head in a grab another of these beers. thats all you really need to know really.

7/10

In conclusion this is a fabulous beer from brew dog, it looked spot on, subtly was the key here as the aroma had hoppy subtle undertones that was echoed in the taste profile. This is a great session beer and i consider it great value for money, i might call this Brewdogs best beer and i know thats controversal.

74/100

whats in a name: nanny state

Brewdog is known for two things, being bat shit insane when it come to marketing and high APV beers with huge flavour. We all know about the beer served in a taxidermied Qquirrel, we all know that they have the beer with the largest APV content ever but what may shock you is that they are also very capable of producing very low APV beer.

one of Brewdogs more surprising beers is called nanny state, its a 1.1% lager because if it was any less, it would start to venture into the world of non alcoholic beer, its called nanny state  because the Scottish government was trying to ban one of Brewdogs higher APV beers, Tokyo which clocked in at 18.2%. So nanny state fits perfectly in with Brewdogs idea that they are fighting the man, so its called Nanny state purely because the brewery feels that the government are interfering too much in peoples lives and nannying them and they should be allowed to drink what they want.

when asked about nanny state Richard McLelland, the firm’s sales director, said today: ”We are very responsible retailers. People in the UK want to buy beer based on flavour not on alcohol content and BrewDog creates bold, dramatic, flavoursome beers.

Why we have two budweisers

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Budweiser is everywhere at the moment, i have no doubt its because of that truly awful Super Bowl advert, Myself and Martin wrote very long piece in regards to that (here), so I’m not going to retread old ground here, One of the points i brought up there was the fact that we have two companies with a claim to Budweiser name and that somehow i know the reason for that, so i thought that because I’m desperately avoiding doing any actual work at the moment i would explain that process to you.

So last year Anheuser-busch was awarded the trademark for Bud here in europe (here), i know because i read about it and several other things that day, I also wrote about it because i have no real life, It was quite a controversial claim because despite what budweiser would have you believe they are not the only producers of beer in the world, They were not the first producers of beer and they just plum stole the recipe for Budweiser for the czech republic district of Budvar. A very similar beer to modern day Budweiser has been produced and consumed in this part of the world since 1265, Now for those of you who saw that good damn awful bud advert you no doubt aware that they have been brewing beer since 1879. i’m going to spell this out for lots of people, that means Budvar is several hundred years older than budweiser, yet somehow it ended up being made in America.

The answer to why this is down to a strange quirk in early american copyright laws, i want to get one thing straight, Anheuser-busch did steal the recipe from Budvar by modern day standards, They went to the area (then part of austria-Hungary), They tasted it and took it back to America, Now the people weren’t nessacaryily happy about this but had no real recourse, this is down to copyright or lack there of as the case may be. the distance between the two helps but this stopped being an issue sometime later, the world is a lot smaller than it used it be.

Following the American war of independence there was very little economic or cultural power in america, they naturally hid this lack of anything with an open door immigration policy and successive wars because nothing makes money quite like killing a bunch of people. one of the ways the government tried to speed up cultural growth was through very lax copyright laws, and by lax i off course mean non existent. the way the law was applied was justly, if your product was manufactured in america then it was entitled to full copyright protection, if it was not manufactured there then nothing, this meant that many american companies just plain copied their international forebears, this copying was so prolific that many pieces of china from this time are manufactured in America rather than china, this is something antique dealers are very aware of, if your one of those people that watches Antiques roadshow they references this on a couple of occasions, so Budweiser is a shameless rip off and its not until the 20th century with the advent of the internet that many of us knew, so we have two budweisers, original ok budweiser and the headache in a bottle budweiser that we have all grown to hate and its all thanks to a quirk of copyright.

i’m just going to let that sink in for a moment, the reason america is such a cultural powerhouse is down to them having no copyright, the country most obsessed with copyright only got into the place to bully others about copyright was by ignoring others, so why didn’t we fix it when america started recognising foreign brands, the answer to that is a another simple one, The Soviet Union, when the world was asked to choose between the soviets or the americans most of western europe choose the americans and as a result they favoured american brands over soviet ones. this insured that any claim by Budvar would go largely unnoticed within the European union, fast forward to today and budweisers huge advertising budget has insured that they are the only bud in many peoples eyes and thats a shame for many reason, Money really can grow a brand better than actual handwork i guess.

Brewdog launch yet more beers

There must be something in the water at the Brewdog brewery because after recently launching two new beers they’ve only gone and done it again, this time launching three new beers available exclusively through their online store.

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Brewdog had this to say about the new brews:

Old World IPA:
is an IPA from a bygone era. An era of towering sailing ships, burgeoning empires and world shaping beers. This beer has been handcrafted from British malts and English hops to recreate the epic beers that were shipped on monumental ocean voyages from England to India. A true forefather of the craft beer revolution.

Old World Russian Imperial Stout:
takes us back to the origins of one of our favourite styles. Originally created to honour the Russian royal family, imperial stout was brewed to an ABV of 9.5% to avoid freezing during its journey across the Baltic Sea to snowy Moscow.

yeast

Unleash the Yeast:
showcases the unsung heroes of the revolution. We owe a huge debt to the billions of tiny yeast cells that work tirelessly to ferment sugars into alcohol and CO2.

This series of 4 beers gives the limelight to four totally different yeast strains: Belgian Trappist, Pilsen Lager, American Ale and Bavarian Weizen. All 4 beers have been brewed to the same ABV using a blend of Centennial and Amarillo hops and a backbone of Pale Ale, Munich and Cara Malts.

Brewdog hopes these beers will bring up memories of days gone and they will use this new beers to showcase a local artist.

i look forward to giving them a try