Brewdog Hopped-Up Brown

Brewdog: Hopped-Up Brown Ale (Scotland: Brown Ale: 6.7% ABV)

Visual: Ruddy red to brown. Brown moderate sized creamy bubbled head. Moderate carbonation.

Nose: Malt loaf. Gooseberry. Very milky coffee. Cherry. Roasted air. Peach.

Body: Roasted and nutty. Malt chocolate. Nutella. Chocolate toffee. Light cherries. Fresh. Vaguely kiwi styling and passion fruit. Peach.

Finish: Nutella. Roasted rough hop character and some bitterness. Nuts. Fresh citrus touched air. Lime yogurt.

Conclusion: The humble brown ale – interpreted here with some sweet smooth chocolate styling in the USA style, instead of the often just slightly sour touched refreshing UK take. As the name states, the base beer is pretty hopped up, giving a rough nutty character that mixes with the chocolate to give a thick Nutella style.

At this point I was ready to call the beer a very solid base to be built from if they chose to take on the prototype; The fresher notes of the aroma didn’t really come through in the body, which disappointed me. it was still solid as hell, mixing thicker chocolate smoothness with rough hops – just enough bitterness and sweetness, but it felt like it could offer more than that with work.

I was wrong to doubt it. As it warmed first a soft kiwi note came out, then fresher peach and other fruit notes; A gentle backing that paid off the promise of the aroma. Together it made for the perfect balance of malt and hop character in bitterness, flavour and mouthfeel. The fruit comes out then recedes back again, refreshing then letting the sweet malt do its job.

I still have a soft spot for the UK more refreshing take, but as a USA style take this is damn near perfect. Give us this as a regular release please, it deserves it.

Background: Ohh, I had missed that they had put some extra details on these bottled. 85 IBU and 1.063 OG. Extra info is always good. As always I am not an unbiased actor on Brewdog, though my views on them tend to be complicated. Drunk while listening to a mix of Akala and Napalm Death. No, I don’t think I could have gone for two more different styles if I tried. Another of this year’s Brewdog prototypes, which have actually been pretty solid so far.