Brewery: Brew Dog
Type: Brown Ale
Now this is a very interesting beer. It's interesting of course because of the ingredients, an American style brown ale, with new zealand hops, aged on oak and hazelnuts. More so though it is an interesting beer because of the story behind the making of this beer. Brewdog calls it the worlds first "twitter beer". What does that mean? Well they let all their followers on twitter vote on which ingredients to put into the final beer. A cool concept that has been used before in the tech industry, but to my knowledge never beer. A crowd sourced beer recipe is a really cool idea, it really appealed to me at the time, so I voted on most steps of the process. I of course voted for the most ludicrous of hop choices, New Zealand (which won). I mean I of course wanted an IPA or a stout, but that is the beauty of democracy, I got outvoted. I have been looking forward to this beer for a long time, ever since the twitter campaign. So if you want to read more about the story, check Brew Dog's blog. Me, I can't wait to get tasting.
Pours pretty dark, almost totally opaque. Not sure if this is what I would call brown boys, more like light black. Thin light khaki head settles to a nice fluff on top, pretty decent. The smell is very malty, caramel tones, a little bit of cocoa and a small tang of a bit of metal and a slightly bigger bit of hoppiness. I thought those big juicy New Zealand hops might come through a bit more in the nose, but pretty overpowered by the dark malts. The taste is different to say the least. I am usually not a big fan of brown ales, I find them to be, most times extremely boring, or if done improperly they can be just horrifying to drink. My favorite brown ales bring a nice sweet nuttiness to the mix, or a nice hoppiness (hops help everything in my world). This beer has both. Ripe fruit and caramel start the taste off, pretty standard cast of brown ale characters. There is a nice subtle nuttiness, which is nice. Hops are there as a nice citrusy note in the aftertaste, the tropical fruitiness of NZ hops is obliterated in a dark beer, which is a shame, but they still add a nice hop flavor that is different then most American browns. Not a lot of bitterness, hops come in flavor and not punch. More a bitter chocolate then a bitter hop. The ABV sneaks in off and on with a bit of heat, which is a major drawback in my opinion, but it also seems to be only every other sip or so. That bit of metal sneaks in a bit too, but this tends to happen in almost all brown ales, for me anyway. Oak comes through a little in the aftertaste and mouthfeel. Very full mouthfeel but also smooth and silky.
Now I actually really enjoyed this beer. I can't really objectively separate wether it is the idea behind it, or the beer itself. I love Brew Dog, their style, their attitude, everything. I commend them for doing things like this, it's a cool way to get their fans involved. I also commend the follow through. Everything people voted for online, they put in the beer, just to do it! They didn't know how it would come out, just a concept they wanted to try, and you know what…it worked. I like this beer, and I think it is really cool that I was a very very tiny part of brewing it.