Brewdog: Prototype 17 (Scotland: Fruit Lager: 4.9% ABV)
Visual: Clear mahogany with some carbonation and a loose white bubbled head.
Nose: Syrupy yet tart, with possibly a caramel like element to the syrup. Initially there is a coal dust like element but that rapidly fades. Raspberries and blood orange are predominant. Crab apples sourness and medium wood shavings.
Body: Slightly sour like gooseberries. Malt and charring. Oranges. There is raspberries there but not very evident.
Finish: Gooseberry tart. White wine dryness and charred oak. Quite the alcohol tingle feel. Crab apples again and treacle builds up over time.
Conclusion: Oak ageing is usually saved for the heavier beers, stouts and the like. Usually. Brewdog are, as usual, bucking the trend with this whisky aged lager. Seems a tad odd idea, the fact that it’s the oft fiery grain casks used makes it seem even odder. Yet here it is, let see how it plays.
It really is a beer divided against itself. The lager flavour crumble before the assault that the whisky and raspberry has upon it.
The whisky comes in rough edged, with alcohol tingle and charring, at one point even seeming to lend a coal air touch, which rapidly vanishes as you acclimatise to it. The fruit comes in tart, yet blends with the beer to give the impression of a greater range of fruitiness depending on the exact moment. Mostly however it seems similar to a lambic like gooseberry sharpness.
With all that to contend with you can’t blame the poor lager base for being absent in the flavour. It’s pretty much stuffed if it tries. The beer is then all rough edges but very refreshing.
I’m not sure I would want the beer to go past the prototype stage as is, the base not having enough force means that the centre of the beer seems absent, possibly with a bit more brought to the fore it would be spot on, as the refreshing elements are excellent. Odd, but needs a bit more base.
Background: As always I cannot claim to be an unbiased actor on Brewdog beers, but I do my best. This prototype is part of a small batch released to test reception. Its a Belgium yeast made version of 77 Lager aged in grain whisky casks with raspberries. In some ways similar to the prototype 27 which was similar whisky and raspberry on a IPA base. This is yet another oak and spirit aged beer n a row for this blog.