Big Red Dog

Brewdog: Hand Drawn Monkey: Jephers the Big Red Dog (England: Specialty Grain Saison: 5% ABV)

Visual: Cherry amber. Nearly no head to be seen.

Nose: Massive ginger. Lemongrass. Clean touch to it. Slight sulphur. Vanilla. Pomegranate.

Body: Ginger and spice racks. Slight blood orange. Quite tart. Light feel to it. Pepper. Musty berries. Vanilla.

Finish: Peppermint. Pepper. Wheat. Light spices. Pomegranate. Slight menthol and resin. Chilli seeds.

Conclusion: Ok, so yes, you put ginger in this. You very definitely put ginger in this. I mean, this is basically alcoholic ginger beer with a few knobs on. So is it worth it?

I would say it is actually slightly disappointing. Yes the ginger is plentiful and great, but the texture is far too light to push any of the other elements, instead giving just a light vanilla backing for the most part. You do get some lemongrass and pepper, but never with any real substance to it. Everything just ends up slightly insubstantial.

If you look for it there is orange there, but doesn’t weigh in half as much as you would hope, a pity as a good dose of that would be pretty much what the beer needs, it could have made it a bigger and far better beer. What else? Well the ginger warmth does mix with the pepper to give a good impression of chilli which gives it extra character if not range.

It still has some elements, a bit of resin and menthol, but it is the texture that lets it down, nothing can define itself as it should. Interesting but not a particularly good beer.

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 eighth beer of the day. The previous two women I was chatting with had left by this point and I had been joined by a group just back from the movies and was discussing accuracy flaws in a recent Tom Hanks film. Anyway, the beer, this was made with rye, orange, fresh ginger and pink peppercorn. On any other day that would seem strange. As always I am not an unbiased actor on Brewdog beers.