Raucous Rubus

Brewdog: Durham: Raucous Rubus (England: Fruit Saison: 5% ABV)

Visual: Reddish brown. Very dark. Loose clear bubbles for a head.

Nose: Shredded Wheat. Sour raspberries. Port and Madeira. Milky chocolate. Toffee. Belgian yeast character. Vinous.

Body: Raspberry. Chocolate liquore. Tart backing. Apple cider tart character. Toffee apples.

Finish: Milky chocolate and yeast character. Tart apples. Vanilla.

Conclusion: The new leader in the collaboration brew off! This one is something special. For one it completely defied my expectations on the pour, coming out a very dark reddened brown, so much so that until I took a sip I wasn’t quite sure I had been poured the right beer. I should have trusted the staff.

This thing isn’t content with just mixing the saison character with raspberries for a tart refreshing beer. No, once you have become used to that they double down on the strange alchemy. The dark colour comes with chocolate flavours that back the light acidity of the base beer and create a sweet second front. Then beyond that the acidity is used to bring in a lovely apple tartness that reminds me slightly of Ninkasi in style, though only a backing element. There are so many layers of quality and everything is smooth in bringing the disparate elements together in a delicious whole.

The raspberry is the cornerstone that the rest of the beer builds around, mixing with the chocolate or emphasising the apple tartness. It is unusual but lovely. There is so much going on, with vinous elements and very small spirit like touches that give the impression of barrel ageing where there has been none. There is so much to enjoy and every element integrates. So much so I find it hard to imagine how they did this with a base saison and raspberry.

Very high quality. Try it if you have the chance as it is amazing in what it achieves and a very good beer to boot.

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 eleventh beer of the day. Nearly done. By this point I had been in the bar nearly seven hours. This is a saison made with raspberries. I am slightly biased towards Newcastle, home of this beer, as it was my old stomping grounds in my youth.

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