Dark Matter

Brewdog: Beavertown: Dark Matter (England: Sour Ale: 3.8% ABV)

Visual: Black. Caramel touched head that doesn’t last very long.

Nose: Bitter chocolate dust. Sour back. Brown bread. Coffee granules. Mash tun.

Body: Tangy. Sour cherries. Sour black cherry. Bitter chocolate. Sour white grapes. Fruit centred chocolates and chocolate liquore. Slight vinegar taste.

Finish: Sour fruit and bitter chocolate. Chocolate cake sponge. Belgium chocolate. Ok, so chocolate then. White wine. Apricot (sour-natch).

Conclusion: Wow, what the hell is this? It’s called a Berliner stout, but feels more like chocolate liquore that has been poured into a Rodenbach Grand Cru. There is that vinegar like element that I associate with that beer, and like that beer it is somehow not a flaw but a positive element, then there is massive sour black and red cherry, just as if you were sucking the fruit straight from the stone but backed by a rich stream of chocolate pouring through it.

There is so much going in, that almost holographic flavour that you get with the acidic sour beers, yet here it is delivered silky smooth. It is initially a mouth shocker, but you soon acclimatise and then you can really begin to enjoy it. Oddly the aroma barely hints at the sourness to come, instead calling to a very bare standard stout in style, everything you get is working underneath the surface of the liquid, ready to shake you with the first sip.

Even better, at 3.8%, and with that sourness offsetting the sweetness, you can drink this pretty easily. Ok, the level of flavour means it isn’t for a very long session, but the tartness works very well at keeping it drinkable much longer than you would think and doesn’t get boring quick (I will admit I am extrapolating from my experience here, so don’t take this part as gospel).Still, it seems like it will do pretty well as a session stout, I always find it odd writing those words.

So great flavour, great drinkability, low abv, I am loving this thing’s style. I highly encourage you to try it, for the experience, for the oddity, for the flavour and for the class.

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 fourth beer of the day, a Berliner sour stout. Seriously I am loving the odd beer styles here. By this point in the day I was deciding to have a longer than usual break after this, less for the abv, but more to give time for the taste buds to clear up again.

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