Brewdog: Interstellar (Scotland: Specialty Grain IPA: 6.5% ABV)

Visual: Bronzed gold. A caramel coloured medium sized head. No visible carbonation to the body.

Nose: Vanilla and pepper. Rye crackers. Hop bitterness. Toffee. Fruitcake. Pineapple.

Body: Spicy. Rye crackers. Cherries. Pepper. Rough feel. Raisins and fruitcake. Bitter. Vanilla.

Finish: Chilli seeds. Crackers. Bitterness. Vanilla. Raisins.

Conclusion: Hmm, I get the feeling this beer has potential, but, at this point I have to say it really doesn’t reach it. The thing is, there are such nice subtle notes of raisins and cherries mid body, mixed with bitter hops and a light pepper spice.

All of which ends up mattering not a jot for the most part of the beer as what you end up getting is a big dose of dry rye crackers flavour that ends up hiding most of the rest of the elements.

I mean, I get it, yes, it is a rye beer, and we should get some spice and rye from that, but when all it seems to do is keep from you the vanilla touched fruitcake that seems to lie below then it seems that the beer is hiding all the elements its should be showcasing. With more delicate rye spice this could be excellent, but for now that is just a beer in my mind, not in the glass.

Now, over time it seems to sooth out, and you start getting the beer that it should be, but even then the finish retains that harsh character that is overly drying and doesn’t reward you with taking your time with the beer. It is more forcing you to take another sip to get rid of the dryness rather than enticing you in.

Possibly the best element is the aroma, here the elements mix most pleasantly and here the beer promises the most. When the beer is on form you get moments that match that promise, balanced sweet toffee and spiced fruit, but even then the rough finish snatches it away from you.

Not a prototype that grabs me as it stands.

Background: Second of this year’s, or by the time I write this, last year’s, prototype beers. This one a red rye IPA. General buzz I had heard before drinking this one was that it was like a ramped up rye 5 Am Saint. As always I am not an unbiased actor on Brewdog beers