Brewdog: Scotch Ale (Scotland:  Scotch Ale: 7.5% ABV)

Visual: A very dark brown with reddened hue and a bubbly beige head. Above average carbonation.

Nose: Raisins. Treacle and liquorice. Thick honey. Glacier cherries and heap of malt.

Body:  Bitter. Lots of liquorice. Treacle and walnuts. Honey. Black cherry and malt loaf.

Finish: Walnuts and liquorice.  Dry. Malt loaf. Quite bitter.

Conclusion:  I’ve had a few bottles of this now and I keep swinging back and forth on it opinion wise.

Its solid and thick, lots of liquorice that comes in dry, yet with a nigh sickly honey and treacle counterbalance.  It’s all forthright and forward. You don’t get any hidden surprises in this beer.  Depending on how you are feeling the flavour seems either endearingly exuberant or sickly and single minded.   It doesn’t help that the scotch ale style can be hit and miss with me, but this one seems to be able to vary within a single beer.

Nothing is subtle, everything is thick and heavy. The liquorice dries your tongue, and the counterbalancing sweetness actual manages to make it feel drier. This does result in a barren mouth after a full bottles tasting.

On balance I’d say I’m just slightly leaning away from it. The flavours are good, but they wear out their welcome before the end. The honey that is its special ingredient is both its best asset at the introduction and its worse asset at the end as it gets sickly.  The thing is, up front it leaves quite an impression. If only they could keep it from getting overbearing there is something good under there.

It’s a beer that has its moments and when the flavours integrate just right it can be distinctly enjoyable. A sign of promise but slightly rough as a beer.

Background: One of four prototype beers released just before Christmas, with the intent that maybe one of them will become part of Brewdog main line. This is the last that I had to review, and I had had a few bottles of it before doing this review.  This beer was made with 8 different malts and honey is added.  Normally I’m not a huge scotch ale fan, though there are exceptions. I am not an unbiased actor on Brewdog beers.