Brewdog Lumberjack Stout

Brewdog: Lumberjack Breakfast Stout (Scotland: Imperial Stout: 15.2% ABV)

Visual: Black. Still dark caramel rim around the edge but no head. The body turns treacle brown at the edges.

Nose: Treacle toffee. Molasses. Smoke. Stewed black cherry. Slight roasted hazelnuts. Hot porridge. Eccles cakes.

Body: Honey. Flapjacks. Bitter chocolate. Smoked meat. Blue berry. Dry digestives. Light chilli seeds. Raisins.

Finish: Figs. Treacle. Black cherry. Molasses. Dry bitterness lasts out most of the other elements. Raisins. Toffee. Grain whisky,

Conclusion: The long anticipated Lumberjack Stout. I honestly can’t remember how many ingredients are in this one. I’ll google it and add the details to the background before I put this write up online.

This is very big and boozy In a Brooklyn Double Chocolate Stout style, but the smoke means that it is intensely drying as well as nigh sickly sweet and boozy. It comes in big and leaves you desiccated from the alcohol and character. It is meaty and chewable as well, like a meal in a glass.

There is huge range, from sweet fruit to smoked meat, sweet toffee and treacle and finally harsh smoke. This harsher, dryer character is actually quite welcome after a range of recent ultra sweet stouts, and it helps really ground the beer, making the meat and digestive elements more what you remember that the moments of intense sweetness.

In fact because of that, when the forthright sweetness comes through it is much more appreciated. During both the dry and sweet phases the beer prickles your tongue with alcoholic tingle. These elements makes the beer a roller coaster between elements, rising you high, taking you low and shaking you around.

It is a rough edged one, between the booze and the flavours it never really refines any of its edges, and this results in it having an almost grain whisky fire at times. The smoked meat flavours can become a too heavy and salted. Pretty much each element can push to far at times, but you accept that as it is all part of the ride. So a rough roller coaster, but strap in as it is worth it for the fun.

Background: A long time in coming this one, first heard of something like two years ago, when Tim Anderson made the recipe, which included coffee, oatmeal, maple syrup, blueberries, an bacon. Then they aged it for best part of a year in rum, bourbon and whisky barrels. By the time the name came back up on my radar I had completely forgotten about it, looked it up again, and realised I really must try this. When I found out it was keg only there was only one thing to do. Head to Brewdog Bristol and try it. As always I am not an unbiased actor on Brewdog beers.