Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Tasting - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Putin Chilli Zombie Ale
From left to right - Putin Ale, Chilli Ale and Zombie Ale

I actually tried these three beers a month or so ago but am only now getting around to writing up a review. But don't worry I'm not that far gone that I don't remember what their taste and characteristics.

Hello My Name Is Vlad is a typical Brewdog IPA (if there is such a thing as a typical Brewdog beer) in that it's big, bold and full of flavour. One of their political/current events bottlings this one protests the Putin Regimes anti-gay laws with a label depicting a lipstick wearing Vladimer Putin. In terms of political protest it's more along the lines of  satire such as 'Spitting Image' rather than anything too preachy or overbearing. It's essentially taking the piss out of something that fully deserves to have the piss taken out of it. Their other political/current event releases have included - Never Mind The Anabolics (London 2012 Olympics) - Royal Virility Performance (Marriage of Prince William and Kate Midleton) - Vote Sepp (Scotlands bid to host the UEFA Cup) and technically Nanny State counts as well as it was brewed in response to some pratt from the Scottish Parliament criticising the alcohol percentages in some on Brewdogs beer.
Tastewise I remember this one the best, a full flavoured double IPA with plenty of hop flavour and a nice blood orange/grapefruit afterbite, easy to drink despite being 8.2% I liked it so much that bought it again when the off-licence (the excellent Baggott Street Wines) got it back in stock. Also Brewdog donated 50% of the profits from this beer to charities and groups that specialise in helping oppressed minorities.

Brewdog/Fyne Beers Smoked Chilli Dark Ale is next up, made as collaboration between two Scottish breweries this is a smoked ale with Jalapeno chillies added during the brewing process and I didn't like it. I really didn't, I didn't even finish the bottle and that isn't like me at all.
Now I like hot food and chillies, in fact I make myself a very fine chilli vodka but this ale is something different. It's not spicy or hot in any way, the capiscum heat must be lost in the brewing process. On the first taste there's quite a pleasantly strong ale flavour followed by a lingering aftertaste that hangs on for far longer than it should. The closest thing to this aftertaste that I can think of are these roasted red peppers that come preserved in jars of olive oil. A pepperish but rather oily and clinging flavour, very acceptable in a salad with a bit of feta cheese but really off putting in a beer.
This was a once off limited edition beer so they may never make it again and it wouldn't be any loss if they didn't.

Nice in salad not in beer
Nice in a salad but not in a beer

Last and sadly very much least is the Zombie IPA. What an amazing eye catching original label and what an average so-so beer. There was nothing wrong with it but also nothing particularly great about it either, it was a perfectly fine, drinkable session beer and I wouldn't have been in any way disappointed with it if the label hadn't promised to blow my mind with undead hoppiness.  Still a good drinking beer though. Maybe thats what they should put that on the label - "A damn fine drinking beer". I'd drink that.

But then I'll drink nearly anything ...

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