48 Miles Later

Brewdog: Fyne Ales: 48 Miles Later (Scotland: Black IPA: 6% ABV)

Visual: Black. Coffee froth coloured bubbles

Nose: Slightly fluffy hops. Slightly earthy. Pencil shavings. Smoke. Roasted.

Body: Good bitterness. Smoked bacon. Cranberry. Smoke. Meat platter. Tarry feel. Slight sour white grapes. Maple syrup.

Finish: Smoke. Slightly tarry feel on tongue. Gooseberry jam. Dry beef slices. Slight spice feel. Light hops. Doughnuts. Slight pepper warmth,

Conclusion: Huh, I had a beer called Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale a while back, which I bring up as this is kind of smoked bacon maple syrup doughnut black ale. Which is not at all what I expected. It has a present hop character, but not huge for the style, but with it comes lots of smoke, lots of meat platters and a jammy sweetness. Ok, gooseberry jam, but more people make odd doughnuts these days so a gooseberry jam doughnut is not out of the question. The comparison still fits. Honest.

Anyway, strangely for a chilli beer it isn’t that spicy, it seems from the description that the chilli actually is giving more of the smoke and the earthy character that I found. This gives it a lovely rounded feel. The other odd element, the NZ dry hopping, seems very understated on the other hand, I think providing that jammy touch but very delicately.

This not half as big in character as most Black IPAs, but it is very balanced and that smoke to jam mix is delectable. Very grounded, very balanced, but that jam element just makes it.

So a very pleasant and complex BIPA, with a mix of the joyous fun that the Voodoo beer had, but with a much better beer to back it up in the Black IPA style. Not the brashest beer but great fun and great quality. If you compare it to say, Sublimely Self Righteous Ale, it is not going to come off well as it is nowhere near that masterpiece, but it is also a very different beer to that. It is a beer that shows again how to use smoke to back a quirky ale rather than define it.

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 sixth beer of the day, a black IPA made with chipotle chilli and nelson sauvin hops. At this point, due to the bar being busy, I was joined on my table by two drinkers who were sharing a flight of samplers, so we got the chance to discuss our favourite of the beers and compare thoughts. Thanks to them both for helping make the day more pleasurable by their presence. For some reason Rate beer lists this as “Smoked Chilli Dark Ale” rather than by its name, I have no idea why. As always I am not an unbiased actor on Brewdog beers.