Magic Stone Dog

Stone: Magic Rock: Brewdog: Magic Stone Dog (Scotland: Belgian Ale: 5% ABV)

Visual: Banana to gold. Small white bubbled dash of a head. Some carbonation. Hazier with the last of the bottle’s pour.

Nose: Orange peel. Light funky yeast. Soft lemon. Gingerbread. Passion fruit late on.

Body: Light prickle. Slightly sour grapes. Cheesy puffs yeastiness. Spritzy. Slight greenery hints. Dry passion fruit. Kiwi.

Finish: Cheese puffs. Spritzy first, then dry later. Coriander. Clean alcohol touch. White wine. Passion fruit. Turmeric.

Conclusion: I am 64% sure this should have a white wine barrel aged variant. Ok, admittedly that is barely above average certainty, but both white wine barrel ageing, and light beer barrel ageing can be a bit of a shot in the dark. For example Everyday Anarchy did not feel like it benefited much from the wood. However, here, this beer not only distinctly calls to its two inspirational elements, that of a rustic saison and a hoppy pale ale, but it also has distinct white wine like characteristics. I would just be intrigued to see what adding to that would do.

It is an interesting mix already, especially considering that my favorite saisons tend towards the hoppy end of the spectrum anyway. Here however it uses the hops differently, giving more soft fruit from the American hops, though often in a drier style than usual. The saison funkyness is gentle, the spice similarly so. It all gives just a gentle spice warmth and a slight earthiness, along with very small greenery notes.

The wine I mentioned before shows in a spritzy clean white wine like feel, and slight sour grapes mid body, fruity but tangy.

It’s odd, all the elements are eclectic, but blended together it feels very easy to drink, and yes is very gentle. It is hard to pin down exactly – it feels very fresh up front, very dried fruit on the tongue, but finishes earthy and spiced.

For what seems to be the craft beer definition of session (because I refuse to accept any beer over 4% abv comes under an actual definition of session beer) it is a lovely session saison style beer, the flavour just never gets old because of that progression it takes.

It doesn’t win my heart in the way that Dupont or Fantome‘s Saisons have, but its twists means it is its own distinctive thing. It feels like you can have it on its own, to complement food, it is an anytime beer. Which should not be taken literally. Don’t drink and drive for one REALLY OBVIOUS EXAMPLE! But generally it is a beer you can enjoy any time you have a beer, and that is a good thing to be.

Background: Belgian Ale is such a generic beer description. This is an attempt at a mix between a saison and a Pale Ale. The guy at the bar was absolutely raving about it just before I picked this up, so I had to work hard to manage expectations. Anyway, is it just me or is the label on this very restrained for a Brewdog beer? I think it may be part of their maturing image as of late. I guess it had to come, they are the big dog of the British craft scene these days, and the rebel look doesn’t quite fit as well when you are the big dog. Still, if it is the way they are going I will miss the insane over the top labels. As always I am not an unbiased actor on Brewdog beers. This was drunk at Brewdog Bristol whilst waiting for mates to turn up.

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