Brewdog: Prototype: Stereo Wolf Stout (Scotland: Stout: 5.2% ABV)
Visual: Black. Still. Inch of chocolate coloured froth that leaves suds.
Nose: Roasted. Milky chocolate. Lots of bitter coffee. Vanilla. Brown bread.
Body: Roasted and bitter. Thin when cold. Nutty. Walnuts. More roasted than thick as it warms. Bitter chocolate.
Finish: Roasted nuts. Bitter hops. Chalk. Rounded bitter coffee. Bitter chocolate. Lightly earthy. Very bitter.
Conclusion: So, about three months after the rest of the prototypes arrived, this finally deems us worthy of actually turning up – shuffling its feet and pretending it had always been there. So, was it worth the wait?
Actually it is pretty solid – though it needs a bit of warmth to it, it doesn’t play well when cold. I had chilled it down a bit too far initially and it felt quite thin – however given time and heat it rose back to become a robustly bitter stout.
It is very roasted like that, with lots of nut character backed by a nicely rounded bitter coffee character – especially in the finish. The depth they put in the coffee is probably my favourite element, they do use it very well, especially considering no actually coffee beans were used in making it.
It is never remarkable, but it is definitely the best Brewdog prototype of 2014 – there is the growling hop bitterness in the finish and a more roasted bitterness throughout that makes it different to most stout interpretations in Brewdog’s existing range.
As well as being different from what they already do, it is also good quality – nothing too unexpected – bitter coffee and chocolate – everything bitter, and very little in the sweet range. Pretty standard flavours, just done in a way the Brewdog tend not to emphasise. The texture is never massively thick, I’m guessing that is deliberate as thicker stout texture can interact badly with the more hopped beers. This way, and at the abv, you can drink several without too much bother, and the roasted character covers for the lower thickness.
Not bad, nothing stand out, but a solid hopped stout.
Background: The final of the Brewdog Prototype beers from 2014, this is a hopped stout. Now, Rate beer lists this as a Black IPA, and I can see why, with the hopped character – however I decided to go with stout, as it is the aimed for style and it does seem to match it despite the hop levels. I don’t often get along with highly hopped stouts – the thickness of character tends to make the hop levels stick around too long so they start getting leaden, but there are exceptions. As always I am not an unbiased actor on Brewdog beers.