Brewdog/Three Floyds: Bitch Please (Scotland: Barley Wine: 11.5% ABV)

Visual: A very dark rum red with light islands of brownish bubbles.

Nose: Sweet fudge, peat smoke and salt. Milk chocolate. Digestive biscuits. Almost a whisky tingle. Strawberry. Iodine and glacier cherries.

Body: Massive malt and smoke. Toffee sweet front. Creamy and milky chocolate. Shortbread. Salty. Red cherries. Smooth yet tingling texture.

Finish: Smoke. Charred barrels and bitter chocolate. Very dry.  Burnt newspaper ashes become very evident. Slight orange and strawberry crème. Salty again. Bailies.

Conclusion: Some beers are great, some beers are interesting, and some beers are just fucking mental. Of course it is possible to fit into more than one of those categories as well.

This beer is most definitely fucking mental, so lets check and see if it falls into either or both of the other two categories.

Well the beer feels like a Jura whisky that you can drink like an ale, or a chocolate malted drink with a shot of Laphroaig and toffee in it.  Or possibly what a barley wine made at Islay would taste like.  So with all that in mind it would be pretty hard to deny that it is interesting.

So we have established it is kind of whisky like, in fact often to such a degree that any of the other elements can be hidden below. A pity really as you can occasionally see the special ingredients (or at least flavours closely matching the special ingredients) poking through and adding a nice touch of complexity to it.

This possibly then could have done with less time in the oak, which may have made for a better range on the beer.  On the other hand, it’s basically a whisky beer, that is cool. Does feel like a missed opportunity though.

So to the last category, is it great? Eh, well no. If I had asked is it good, I could have come back with a whole hearted yes, but great? Not quite.  Still a hell of a fun beer, but without that complexity that marks out true greatness.

Very heavy duty, island character and all, not complex, not clever, but it is a hell of a lot of fun, interesting, and yes, fucking mental.

Background: I was a in a good mood when tasting noted this, I had just managed to successfully bring my PC back online after the PSU had blown out, the sort of thing that always helps cheeriness levels.  This collaboration beer is made with laphroaig peated malt, highland shortbread and toffee and aged in a Jura cask, also heavily  hoped with nelson sauvin. Apparently they forgot to include the kitchen sink.  The usual disclaimer, I am not an unbiased actor on Brewdog beers.   The connotations on the phrases “Bitch Please” always gets on my nerves slightly, a fact I tried to not let interfere with my enjoyment of the beer.