Brewdog: Imperial Red Wheat (Scotland: American Strong Ale:11.1% ABV)

Visual:  Cloudy browned red with a thin white dust around the edges for a head.

Nose: Rye. Sprinkled Christmas spice. Red grapes. Wheat crackers. Toffee.

Body: Big. Red cherries and grapes. Salted toffee. Mulled spices. Wheat and bitterness.

Finish: Dry wheat. Red grapes and a touch of sour red wine. Bitter. Salted crackers.

Conclusion: Wow, this is a big beer. At the simplest description it’s like Hops Kill Nazis with a mass of mulled spices. That description would be selling the beer a tad short though.

There is a huge berry based flavour coming out and with the spice it is like wheated mulled red wine. Yes an odd combination I know. It balances that with a toffee malt backbone in that style that Brewdog use quite often. It gives a sweetness that the almost sour sediment wine like flavour needs to have so it has something to work against.

The odd thing I have here is trying to identify what it’s flaws are. It definitely has some as the beer doesn’t feel like a world class beer, but it is a very good beer. I just can’t identify what it is that is keeping it from those top positions.

Possibly it is because the wheat element only gets a minor show. It is an interesting element but doesn’t make enough of that to make it very interesting and different. Maybe it is that the flavours, while good, are similar throughout the beer. For such a heavy beer the fruit flavours stay present and you don’t get much change over time.  You would expect a lot more given the abv.

Any which way those are minor points. This is a very good beer with big fruity and spice flavour to enjoy. A good match of sour wine balanced by wheated beer and bit malt sweetness.

Well worth enjoying.

Background: American Strong Ale for style? Well that’s what ratebeer says. I was going to disagree but I realized I had no idea what to put it under, it doesn’t seem to fit neatly under the Belgium or German interpretation of a wit, and it’s definitely not under wheat ale. So yeah, I guess America Strong Ale. Ok, I’ll go with that. This was drunk at Brewdog Bristol. You may be hearing that a lot in the near future. I am currently mildly obsessed with that place.  As always I am not an unbiased actor on Brewdog beers.