Brewdog Quantum Hop Kettle Black

Brewdog: Quantum: Hop. Kettle. Black. (England: Black IPA: 4.8% ABV)

Visual: Very dark brown to black. Loose bubbled small brown head.

Nose: Roasted. Hoppy. Lime. Rye crackers and spice. Beef stew. Brown bread. Smoke.

Body: Bitter. Malt chocolate. Roasted character and hoppy. Lime sorbet notes and kiwi. Pepper. Muesli and chocolate.

Finish: Roasted. Mild bitter chocolate and malt drinks. Wheat. Bitter coffee.

Conclusion: Ok, looking for a word. Standard is definitely not the word I am looking for here. This is also not just interesting, though it is that. It is almost the blueprint for a very good beer that is yet to come, while not quite yet being that ale.

That is the conundrum I have here. It is an odd style it defines for itself, but yet, despite being the innovator it feels like it isn’t taking full advantage of the potential it is setting in play. Does that make sense?

It has the wheat character from, well, a wheat beer – the bitterness and hops of a black IPA, and roasted with it, the dark malt characteristics of a dunkel, lots going in. Yet, when combined, if feels like it is only taking the base elements of each style to combine them, not the heights and twists they can bring.

Which brings me back to the word I am looking for, which is not “Standard” – this beer definitely is not standard, but it combines the standard of each of the styles that created it. It is an interesting and enjoyable roasted bitter wheat beer, but doesn’t really shine. It feels like it could be much more. A solid base for others to build upon.

Background: Beer style, is it a black IPA? I will admit I am kind of throwing my hands up in the air and going with rate beer here. Officially it is a Hopfenschwarzweisse (Hoppy Black Wheat Beer). So, erm, yeah I’m not making a category of one for that, and yeah a dark hoppy roasted beer. Kind of BIPA like. Anyway, beer five of COLLABFEST! As mentioned a Brewdog bar event where each bar teamed up with a brewery to make a new beer, and each trying to outdo each other in weirdness. Sixteen new beers. This will hurt.