Brewdog: Prototype: Milk Stout (AKA Jet Black Heart) (Scotland: Sweet Stout: 4.8% ABV)
Visual: Black. Thin tight bubbled brown head.
Nose: Roasted and nutty. Sour dough and chives.
Body: Quite bitter. Nutty. Slightly thin middle. Bubblegum. Sour dough. Quite roasted. Lactose. Milky chocolate.
Finish: Lemongrass. Slight empty area. Roasted. Light bitterness.
Conclusion: So, the winnah, the victorious prototype entry. Before I even had the first drop of this pass my lips it had already been declared the greatest of this year’s prototypes. So, do I agree?
Well at its base it is a fairly standard milk stout. Some milky chocolate, slightly light at times. It is however more roasted than most milk stouts I have encountered, and gives a more bitter character as well – with the sour dough touch it feels closer to a more standard stout and with the higher bitterness it is closer to Brewdog’s standard style.
The main twist seems to come from what I presume to be the Sorachi Ace influence; A slightly bubblegum main body and lemongrass in the finish. Not a huge part, it mainly comes out when the body is thinner, but it does help accentuate the more cloying sour dough moments as well.
It is, well, fairly standard – It doesn’t do much different to the already existing wide range of milk stouts on the market. The little twists don’t really rise it out of the pack and occasional thinner moments do hurt it.
For me it is the weakest of the prototypes this year. As always it seems I have my finger on the pulse of the craft beer community.
Background: This has a new name already. It was declared an early winner of the prototype vote so is now called “Jet Black Heart”. Anyway, the fourth beer of the prototype set, a milk stout made with sorachi ace hops amongst other things. Big fan of Sorachi Ace so this interested me. As always I am not an unbiased actor on Brewdog beers. Drunk while listening to pandemoniumfromamerica by Buckethead, Viggo Mortensen and co. A weird but relaxing set of tunes.