Given the opportunity to try a pack of Brew Dogs this week, I couldn't resist. Hate their branding as I do, you can't deny that they make some weird beers, do strange things and make a big noise about it. One of my colleagues put together a range of forty beers from this company, and I selected a few of the more interesting ones to try.Brew Dog Sunk Punk
A 7.1% IPA that was fermented at the bottom of the North Sea.
Light, ginger coming off with a some sweet malt. A bit of bitterness at the front, some tobacco and a bit too much hops. OK, but just a gimmick. 79pts
A 2009 release of an IPA that had been strapped to the front of a fishing boat that went around the North Atlantic.
Sweet aromas, very floral and with a little freshness. The palate has a saltiness, some drier, woodier elements almost. A bit like charcoal. Some herb on the finish that is quite nice. 80pts
An incredibly hoppy IPA described as 'an extreme beer rollercoaster for freaks, gypsies and international chess superstars.'
Very sweet, some golden syrup and then bitter fruit. The palate is viscous, quite sweet with a tobacco, ash tray like flavour and lots of bitter hops. A little short on the finish, not well balanced at all, but I guess that is the point. 78pts
A blend of Hardcore IPA and Mikkeller's I Beat You, with more hops added.
Sweet aroma, but with a lightness coming off. Quite pretty and with a lovely light aroma of ginger and, strangely, bacon. The palate is full of herbs, rosemary and sweet light, fresh malt. Nice. 85pts
A 2012 release that is a triple dry hopped triple IPA....triple
Sweet, big and gloopy aroma. Hints of chocolate and peach coming off the nose. The palate is REALLY sweet and alcoholic but in a really fun, fruity way. Spicy on the finish. Really fun. 90pts
Brew Dog Old World Russian Imperial Stout
An American release of a Russian Imperial Stout.
Dark, chocolate and tobacco with a big gutsy rich aroma of dark roasted malt. The palate is very approachable, again with the chocolate and tobacco. A big, beer but not overpowering with sweetness on the end. Really drinkable and balanced - strange for Brew Dog! A session stout. 89pts
A Barley Wine made with peated malt from Islay, shortbread, toffee, hops and then aged in whisky casks.
Very peaty, smoky and with a lot of smoky characters. Sweet coming out with some woody elements on the nose and Islay whisky coming through. The palate is smoky, almost as if someone has dumped an Islay whisky into a beer. Does taste a bit like a medicine cabinet with a chain smoker in it. 81pts
Freeze distilled 32% stout that once held the title of 'World's Strongest Beer'.
Really sweet aroma of tobacco and Benylin but then coming out with a sweet toffee aroma. Big, spirity, yet the weight balances out quite well with the alcohol. Has a very boozy finish with a bundle of cigarette ash, leather and pepper. 86pts
42% freeze distilled quadruple IPA that once held the title of 'World's Strongest Beer'.
Sweet, ginger and lots of lovely sweet chocolatey malt. Again, boozy, but with a menthol coffee element. Very very sweet, lots of insane sweet tobacco, toffee, coffee and leather. Really quite drinkable (relatively), with integrated alcohol and an almost orangey finish. 89pts
Characterful these beers are, drinkable some of them are not, but I think that is almost the point of them. You wouldn't say that the Sex Pistols are good music, but they fitted their time and place and are remembered as such. Products like the Penguin and Bitch Please do that too, standing out from the crowd, shouting loudest and will possibly be remembered for a long time. There are a few of this selection that I tried today that were, surprisingly, well balanced, drinkable beers that are fun.