Back in 2012 Scottish craft beer dudes BrewDog were gettin’ ready to celebrate their 5th anniversary with all the usual party type things, y’know, cake, streamers, apple bobbing, a Livestreamed hot sauce circle jerk, but they just felt a certain summat was missin’. “Crikey fried fuck gizzards” they cried in unison, “We should probs make some beer or some shit, eh?”. And so they did. Based on the by now legendary AB:04, a teensy weensy batch of a chocolate, coffee, and chilli imperial stout for their boutique Abstrakt brand, the resulting Dog A was a chuffing great horny beast of a beer, and so were its 6th and 7th anniversary siblings, the entirely appropriately alphabetically named Dog B, and Doc C. I’d been meaning to do a vertical tasting of these wonders (minus this year’s Dog D, ‘cause barrel aged innit)
for a while but ‘twasn’t ‘til Christmas gone that I got ‘round to it. Aww yus!
‘Kay so I’ve said it before and I’ll continue to say it ‘til everyone’s sick of me then I’ll say it again. BrewDog, though better known for their hoppy pales, really shine with their stouts. Every damn one they make is magnificent and their best are a match for any I’ve ever had. This expression joins the original Black Eyed King Imp as my favourite of all their stouts. A 15%+ abv brew loaded with pure cacao and coffee and with naga chilli’s in a killer cameo role. So, Dog A then, and just the sight of that glorious sump oil-like liquid tumbling languidly into my glass caused goosebumps. ‘Tis a sublime brew erupting with mouth coating, rich, sweet, and complex flavours of dark chocolate, fine coffee, vanilla beans, stewed prunes, dates, figs, joy and magic. Add half a hedgerow’s worth of earthy, spicy, hops for added flavourama awesomness and a building bitterness towards the long, medium dry, and nicely warming finish, the cause of which can be shared by the smooth alcohol warmth and the perfectly judged naga chilli’s, and you’ve got it. *deep breath*
The other two are as you’d expect, just as deliriously flavoursome but with a slightly increasing intensity from their more mature and chilled out big brother. I think. I was in no fit state to make accurate notes or well, stand up, after these three. But whadda way to get wonky. P’r’aps my most favouritist of the like seventeen or so (loose estimate) beers I’ve tried to date, and revisiting them confirms that for me, barrel ageing 2015′s Dog D was entirely unnecessary, especially when BrewDog already have their exceptional Paradox series of barrel aged imperial stouts and the (hopefully!) now annual Black Eyed King Imp. Anyhoo, I’m off to see if I can get any more of these before they finally disappear for good, see y’all soon.