Brewdog/ Stone: Bashah Reserve: Imperial and Tayberry (Scotland: American Strong Ale: 8.7% ABV)

Visual: Very dark brown black, a fizzing brown head as poured but none settles.

Nose: Milk chocolate, sour berries – gooseberry. Light smoky whisky,  Sea breeze. Raspberry, blackberry and chocolate cream.

Body: Sour berries, blackcherry and pips. Bitter with a decent malt run. Gin, smoke and slight woodiness. Milk chocolate. Lots of sour and tart elements.

Finish: Bitter chocolate, gin air and more chocolate in shavings form. Smoke and salt. Sour and slight charring remains.

Conclusion: Another take on the Bashah and this one racks up the sour and smoke.  Whilst it is a powerful as heck beast like its blackberry aged brother, it seems to give a bit more room for the Bashah base beer to come out which I definitely appreciate given that the other reserve was damn near overwhelmed by its ageing elements.

Generally this is the less popular of the two reserves, however I found I enjoyed it more, the massive sourness it brought to play and the interactions with the base Bashah made for a very interesting beer, playing well with the bitter chocolate body.

It doesn’t play well with subtlety, the strong flavours do mask the edges of the taste range from Bashah, but it des retain the bitter edge trail in the finish.  A bold and brash beer, not balanced or subtle but for a massive sour and bitter kick it is very nice

Background: Bashah was initially a double Belgium style black IPA (for all the contradictions that entails) from Brewdog and Stone back in 2009, and was a delicious and very bitter beer.  Small amounts (about 700 to a thousand bottles of each type) were aged with berries in whisky casks.  I have previously tasted and enjoyed standard Bashah and the Highland Park and Black Raspberry and enjoyed both.  Disclaimer: I am not an unbiased actor when it comes to Brewdog beers but aim for objectivity.