10 Heads High

Brewdog: 10 Heads High (Scotland: Amber Ale: 7.8% ABV)

Visual: Dark cherry red, inch of creamy caramel froth.

Nose: Resinous and bitter. Digestives. Hop tingle. Pineapple in custard. Cherry. Caramel. Almost chewable.

Body: Good bitterness. Malt loaf. Caramel. Creamy. Cherries and fruitcake. Bitter red wine. Citrus hops.

Finish: Hoppy and resinous. Slight milky touch. Digestives. Caramel. Roasted nuts. Slightly citrus hops. Charring. Soap touch.

Conclusion: That’s odd, the finish in this has a slight soap touch. Yet despite that I have no urge to tear the beer apart. I guess there is precedent with the slight washing up aroma in Saint Petersburg, but still it is unusual. How can a beer have that element and yet still be as enjoyable as it is. Huh.

A lovely hoppy and resinous aroma which makes for a feast for the nose. The bitterness is big but this has a very smooth malt backbone. It is easier drinking than the Hops Kill Nazis it is based on because of that big malt. It is creamier and smoother as well. It loses some of that fresh hop variety in return but never loses the all important bitterness.

There still is some citrus hops, but there are less discernable elements within. Instead there is very much fruitcake and caramel notes that seem to keep the hops from roaming too much.

This makes it easier to sip on and the hop punch still kicks. Bracingly bitter, but well matched with the sweetness so not to push an experienced hop fan.

Then finally yes, the element I have been avoiding, the slight soap in the finish. Not a huge element against the bitter hops but it is there in the background. Not my favourite element but it managed to not intrude too much.

So, good, the malt holds the hops in check and soap takes the finish, but it’s a reasonably easy to drink beer that balances easy to drink malt and digestives with bitter kick in a way to make it surprisingly moreish.

Background: Pretty much a remix of the old prototype Hops Kills Nazis (Aka Hops Kill ?). As before it is pretty much a hopped up and raised abv version of 5 AM Saint.  This beer had a mixed buzz about it just after it came out, with a lot of comparisons to that previous beer.  I was thus a tad nervous heading into try this beer. As always I am not an unbiased actor on Brewdog beers.