Brewdog Tempest False Provenance

Brewdog: Tempest: False Provenance (Scotland: Stout: 6.8% ABV)

Visual: Black. Thin dash of greyed head around the edge of the glass only.

Nose: Quite smooth. Treacle and chocolate liquore.

Body: Treacle. Light hop bitterness. Light chalk. Chocolate liquore. Bready. Chocolate malt drinks. Light cinnamon spice

Finish: Bready and bitter. Charred oak. Bitter chocolate.

Conclusion: This seems oddly simple, especially for a dark beer of not slight abv weight. Which is a pity. The main flavours are treacle and chocolate, and is backed by a hop bitterness which comes quite forceful and somewhat rough. The individual flavours in the main body are well defined, but since there are so few they come in without much contrast, so the sweetness is kind of sickly, even on the third I was having. Then in the finish it is full on harsh with a roasted bitter character with little holding it back.

Each individual elements is ok, but just pushed a bit too far, to create an unbalanced beer that I can’t get into. It needs to bring some contrast or compromise, but no, when it is sweet it is sickly, when it is bitter it is rough, with no half way point. Sometimes I can get behind the intense experiences, but they need to be very carefully crafted, maybe some people will get into this one, but for me it just felt rough and didn’t give me any grip to get a handle on it.

Odd, as it calls itself a Belgian Black, and for all the rough edges Belgian beers can have they tend to be incredibly complex and with a smoothness of base that make those rough edges work. This really doesn’t seem to be channelling those elements, either in the native Belgian rough edged gem style, or the craft beer intensely smooth interpretation.

Probably the weakest of the collabfest 2014 beers and from a style that promises so much.

Background: Day one of Colabfest ends for me. Ten beers, and I realised it was time to call it a night. The description calls it a “Borders Belgian black” I’m not quite sure what the “Boarders” part refers to – if anyone knows, let me know in the comments. It seemed a bit more porter or stout style to me, so that is what I am going with. As always I am not an unbiased actor on Brewdog beers. With being the last beer of the day I may have been not at my best, but a discussion with more recently arrived friends came to similar conclusions.