Hello My Name Is Vladimir

Brewdog: Hello my name is Vladimir (Scotland: IIPA: 8.2% ABV)

Visual: Clear apricot. Slightly toffee touched half inch of head. Low carbonation.

Nose: Lemon. White grapes. Moderate hop character. Pink grapefruit. Pineapple. Orange zest.

Body: Shortbread. Tart. Gooseberry. Lemon sherbet and jiff lemon mix. Light resin. Solid bitterness.

Finish: Tart gooseberry. Light dry malt back. Lemon curd. Bitter hops rise over time.

Conclusion: So, another “Hello my name is” and this time a topical “Fuck You” to old Vlad Putin. I’m tempted to say the beer is great just for that.

But no! I must be an unbiased beer writer (Or at least vaguely unbiased for me – I do try you know) This tart number reminds me of Hello My Name Is Mette Marit with its very sharp character. However the influence of the berries don’t seem quite as out there as that one, so they merely challenge and refresh rather than overwhelm, which overall results in a superior beer.

There is still a good chunk of fruit in here, calling to strange mix of gooseberries and lemon curd. Maybe that’s what limmonik berries taste like, I couldn’t tell you. It all gives a tart, slightly lambic freshness to the beer , but over time the base hop bitterness rises slowly to contrast and establish its IIPA roots.

These beers are all about the hop to fruit balance and that is where they live and die. This tips back and forth between the two over its life cycle, refreshing tastebuds with tartness and waking them, then soothing with malt before bringing out that moderate hop prickle.

It is a challenging beer, but rewarding in equal measure and sense awakening. Near the end the berries do become too prevalent, so that, even more than the abv means it is not a beer for sessioning. On the whole though it is a very enjoyable and wide ranging beer.

Oh and fuck you Putin.

Background: I wasn’t entirely sure on this thing’s ad campaign initially. For those who don’t know, this thing has been poking fun at Vladimir Putin’s anti gay legislation. Now I’m cool with that, but the mockery included jokingly using the NotForGays hashtag. Which I feared might end up with what I call Al Murray syndrome, that of something mocking a mindset becoming celebrated unironically by the people it mocks and ending up perpetuating that worldview. Then I realised that this meant that anyone non ironically using this hashtag would run headfirst into a bunch of homoerotic writing lampooning their bigoted bullshit. So I’m on board now. The fact 50% of profits are donated to LGBT causes didn’t exactly hurt either. Anyway, this is a beer in the “Hello my name is series” this one made with limmonik berries. I have no idea what those are. Berries I would guess. A quick google search indicates that it is a Russian berry. This was drunk in Brewdog Bristol while reading “A Clash Of Kings” As always I am not an unbiased actor on Brewdog beers.