Brewdog: Self Assembly Pope (Scotland:Imperial Porter: 7.4% ABV)
Visual: Black. Large creamy brown head.
Nose: Coconut macaroons. Rye bourbon. Very milky coffee. Velvety.
Body: Light roasted nuts. Coconut macaroons. Bitter cocoa. Hazelnuts. Milky chocolate. Slight dry rice. Vanilla.
Finish: Dry coconut and slight rice. Bitter cocoa dust. Slight earthy bitterness. Bitter coffee. Slight soy milk. Rye crackers. Slight bourbon. Vanilla.
Conclusion: Coconut. Lovely, lovely coconut. Good start. Also an amazing amount of what I would call bourbon influence, except this beer hasn’t been barrel aged. So, doubly impressive then. Up front this is definitely a good one – it has so much I like in a porter or stout; Lots of rye like notes, moderate roasted nut character, huge amount of coconut macaroons – backed by a bitter core, smoothed by a lot of vanilla. Well balanced, good range – very good first impressions. Opening aroma through to early body is velvet smooth and spot on.
The second half is, well, different. Much harsher in the flavours – not in off notes or alcohol – just emphasising a very different style. Lots more bitter coffee, bitter chocolate – the rye bourbon notes now mix with a lot of rye cracker flavours, and even a touch of earthy bitterness. Very different and a bit of a shock. Not bad, just not what I would have predicted at the start.
What is a nock against it thought is a slight grittiness of feel that comes in – with also a hint of accompanying flavour of dry rice. It comes in more than the finish than elsewhere, but is hinted at later in the body. It makes the harsher notes more emphasised, and puts a few off notes in there with them.
Still, for the most part a very good beer – was in the running for a favourite for a while as it has so many of my favourite things. It is still good, but those flaws means that it feels like it needs a polish to get those off notes smoothed out.
Overall – very enjoyable up front, an ok end with some flaws. So close to being very good. Hope they do work on this one.
Background:man, Brewdog are putting out a lot of beers at the mo. Anyway, grabbed this from Brewdog Bristol – a porter made with coconut, vanilla and cocoa. Which in retrospect explains roughly half the items in the tasting notes. Love the fun artwork Brewdog have been putting on their small batch cans, and this is no exception. As always I am not an unbiased actor on Brewdog beers. This was drunk while listening to more of Grimes: Visions – it is just an awesome album. Also had been playing some Pony Island – a weird meta as hell game, so was in a generally fun mood.