BrewDog don’t normally do ‘old’.
But, after drinking two of their recent releases, maybe they should shun nu-skool more often.
BrewDog Old World India Pale Ale
This old chap comes comes in at 7.5% ABV and is hopped with only (often-seen-to-be-unfashionable) hop varieties. It pours a murky orange with a decent white head. There’s lots of marmalade in the aroma – a nice sweet orange with some added earthy spiciness. Fairly muted in comparison to BD’s usual fare, but not bad at all. The taste is, well, pretty damn tasty: there’s a great balance between the caramel and shortcake malt profile and the earthy, orangey hops on show. Pithy grapefruit comes in towards the finish, adding a pretty dry bitterness. The finish is sweet and fairly herbal, with a bit of orange peel lingering too. An absolutely solid Brit-hopped IPA from BrewDog. Alright, it’s not as excitingly juicy as the lion’s share of their gear, but this would certainly tickle the fancy of even the staunchest anti-keg-ist of CAMRA members. If only this was available on cask, eh?!
BrewDog Old World Russian Imperial Stout
This old maid comes in at 9.5% ABV. Big. It pours black with mahogany head, pretty viscous and oily. Lovely red and dark berries on the nose, with some light roast coffee, dark chocolate, and very light smokiness. Lots of juicy dark berries in the taste, loads of dark chocolate – really rich – decent malt roastiness, very lightly-roasted coffee beans. Juicy dark fruits in the finish, lightly ashy roasted malt and cocoa too. Pretty full bodied and silky. The big booze warmth is there, but well integrated. Chocolate and roasted malt in the aftertaste. Really lovely and warming. Big, viscous, delicious. What more do you want from an Imperial Stout?
Two very decent BrewDog exhibits, which show a lot of brewing nous without having to chuck in a shedload of New World hops (not that I object to that one bit!).
Both of these are available in Ireland now in beautifully-labelled 660ml bottles. The IPA will be around the €7.50 mark while the Imperial Stout comes in at closer to a tenner (both off-sales prices). There are worse beers out there to pimp-out the Christmas stash, believe you me. Good on you, BrewDog, keep it up.