Behind all the talk, all the hype, all the facade and all the shit which no one ever wanted in the first place Brewdog do make good beers, when they want to of course... It's a shame really, as beers speak for themselves at the end of the day. If they're good, people will buy them, if not they won't get purchased again. I know for certain that if Brewdog didn't make good beer no one would put up with any of their stunts or attention grabbing games.
Look at their recent AB:11. Let's ignore the whole Abstrakt concept. Let's put aside the fact it's a very expensive beer limited to only 9819 bottles. Let's just look at the fact it's a beer. It's a 12.8% Imperial Black Barley Wine beer at that too. Evaluations of the nose are very intriguing. Ginger biscuits, caramel shortbread, honeycomb and slight liquorice. The flavour is quite something. For a beer made with ginger, black raspberries and chipotle peppers it is unsurprisingly strangely chaotic. All the ingredients shine through very prominently surrounding a very sweet but not cloying body. A little oak and spicy smoke, a little tartness around the edges. Hints of caramel like you find in the little nuggets in caramel flavoured vanilla ice cream sprinkled with ginger crumbs. It's truly a delightful beer. And that's all it need be. No hype, no fuss or pissing about, just good beer...
375ml of sublime black gold. All the rest is just noise.
Now take a beer like Ghost Deer. I'll make no pops about the name here, just about the fact it looks like a bottle of poppers instead of a beer. Truth be told, the small 6cl bottle is a perfect measure size to experience this beer. Yes it might be 28%, but it's still just a beer (people still seem to have no trouble knocking back 15% wines or store brand litre bottles of vodka...) Aromas of this beer are slightly similar to the last; hints of honeycomb and almost fortified caramel. You'd probably expect a beer that's so strong to be a dark one, but like the country that invented strong beer this is a supersonic Belgian style blonde ale. Being the world's strongest fermented beer means nothing if it tastes like terps... happily, it doesn't. For a beer that's 28% it's not as ridiculous as it would seem to be though. Port/sherry-esk, herbal, dark/dried stone fruits, caramelized caramel sweetness and a touch of warming booze like a fine rum. It almost kills me to say this, but it really does push the boundaries of what a beer can be, well over the line.
It's a ridiculous beer... but still a sublime one at the same time.
Forget the so called hype. Don't even conform to the non-conformists. Just drink the bloody beer and enjoy it.