Fallen: Brewdog: Big Raspberry Dog Chew (Scotland: Imperial Stout: 10% ABV)
Visual: Black. Thick creamy inch of brown bubbled milkshake froth.
Nose: Soft chocolate. Large fresh raspberries. Some clean alcohol – vodka? Ice cream caramel sauce drizzled down. Slight salt.
Body: Raspberry crème. Bitter cocoa dust. Hot chocolate and caramel drink. Thick. Whipped cream,. Light salted toffee – grows as the beer warms. Lactose.
Finish: Fudge Sundays. Sweet raspberry sauce. Strong salted toffee. Clean alcohol air. Tart raspberries.
Conclusion: You know, I love beers with odd ingredients, and I always feel sad when you get such a beer where the ingredients don’t seem to have an influence, as that means they might as well not have been there. This has the opposite kind of problem,. You know exactly what you are getting from reading the description and ingredient list on the bottle.
The raspberry especially has a lovely influence – a mix of sweet raspberry cream and tart refreshing character. Despite the heavy abv it leaves your mouth fresh enough to sip again instantly. Yeah, dangerous, but tasty.
The milk stout declares the base – chocolate backed by a huge thick creamy character. We are talking whipped cream, trifle custard mouthfeel and sweetness – the baby sweet stout we are used to but all grown up now. Without the raspberry this would be painfully sickly sweet – as is this is a creamy dessert treat.
The final elements starts out the most subtle – the alcohol in the aroma had a slight salt character which turned an otherwise clean alcohol note into a light Islay touched whisky styling. At this point I had forgotten the salted caramel description and sea salt ingredient so it just seemed an odd note. The body is what reminded me – it starts low but quickly grows the salted toffee up until it almost eclipses the other two – only leaving the refreshing character that makes you continue sipping.
So, a wonderful combination with each point complementing the other. The only, and quite minor, point, is that everything is expected, everything is the listed ingredients. I have to admit I would have liked a few surprises from the base beer, as it feels more like a delivery system for the high concept pitch and special ingredients.
It is a very minor point. This is great, genuinely great, and balances everything so to create a beer stronger than each individual element. My wishes are basically the equivalent of wanting a second ponycorn (half pony, half unicorn) when you already have one. That kind of greed. So, can I have one please?
Background: Think this was one of the beers from last years Brewdog Bar collaberationfest. I think, I missed it last year. Anyway, grabbed this from Independent Spirit, and have had it on the shelf for a while. Imperial Stouts never die, they just age. It is a salted caramel raspberry milk stout, though from the special ingredients listed no caramel is used – instead it is made with raspberry juice, sea salt and lactose Drunk while listening to Dope: Life for a retro kick..