12 Hop Pale
Brewdog: 12 Hop Pale Ale (Scotland: Speciality Grain Pale Ale: 5.2% ABV)

Visual: Clear gold. Thin white head.

Nose: Pineapple. Passion fruit. Light resin and nettle like hops. Skittles. Kumquat. Light jam on toast. Lights of bright fruit. Marmalade.

Body: Good bitterness. Frothy. Skittles. Drying feel. Apricot. Moerate hops. Dry malt character. Slight custard sweetness.

Finish: Dry. Passion fruit. Lemon and pineapple. Light resin and fluffy hop feel. Popcorn. Slight spice racks. Skittles. Bubble gum.

Conclusion: As I found with Mikkeller’s massive hop mash up beers, the more types of hops used doesn’t always mean a larger range of flavour. Then again it rarely means dull either. This continues the trend, the flavours often seem to struggle against each other but the end result is interesting.

Here the emphasis is on light bright citrus flavours and dry exotic fruit. A dry beer, and slightly spicy from the rye, it goes from the high bright flavours and grounds down into a very drying and spice touched finish. With the exception of that, it is hard to bring the disparate elements into a coherent narrative for this beer.

Still, you get very good hops and mix of good flavours, with the emphasis on fun rather than polish, which results in odd quirks and flavours popping up when you least expect them. It is a beer that keeps you on your toes with lots of apricot, passion fruit, skittles and other such elements popping up. The texture is maybe a touch too dry but that doesn’t stop it being fun.

Not a fine one for craftsmanship, more in the style of an improve jam session but with hops. I can live with that, just as long as it isn’t the only thing on the set list.

Background: Collab Fest 2013! Every Brewdog bar collaborated with a local brewery to make a beer for the fest, resulting in a grand total of twelve beers released over one weekend. So, what could I do? Normally I limit myself to two of three reviews in a session, but these would only be on for the weekend. So, for you, my readers, I sat in one eight hour stint, drinking thirds, with a glass of water and a chapter of Michael Moorcock’s Elric of Melnibone between each drink to help clear my palette. I suffer so for you. This was the second beer of the day, a rye pale ale made with twelve different hops.

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