Dark Pale Of The Seven cs

Brewdog: Buxton: The Black Pale of the 7 ‘C’s (England: Black IPA: 4% ABV)

Visual: Black. Ash coloured thin head with browned touches.

Nose: Good hops. Passion fruit and kumquat. Lime touch. Quite wheaty.

Body: Solid hops and a creamy texture. Popcorn feel to the hops. Kumquat. Light charring and burnt malt. Passion fruit.

Finish: Charring. Good hops. Light lime and kiwi. Pepper. Spice racks.

Conclusion: I’m not quite sure on this one, I’m listing it as black IPA just because I’m not sure if black pale is actually a style. If not it should be. As a black pale ale it is solid, but as a black IPA it doesn’t compare to the range of giants against it. It has a solid bitterness and nice vegetable hop effects that puts out a BIPA like bitterness level at a pale ale abv which is work done well. There is a very nice punch of flavour to weight of abv ratio and so I am impressed with that.

I think the problem is that I can’t help but compare it to those higher abv beers, as this doesn’t bring nearly the range of flavour that the big guns do, nor the sheer excellence of texture. It is more a surprisingly sessionable bitter beer, the flavour is big but not excessive to put you off a few pints.

So I wonder, is what I am calling its flaw actually its strength? It manages to call to mind the black IPA flavour a much lower strength. Surely I should be complementing it on that rather that contemplating how it looks weak in comparison. I mean its getting compared to the big guns at 4%, bloody hell that aint bad.

So, I would say a solid beer with a good chunk of flavour and one you can enjoy a few of. Not the best by far, but hey, they do a lot with what they have.

Background: Collab Fest 2013! Every Brewdog bar collaborated with a local brewery to make a beer for the fest, resulting in a grand total of twelve beers released over one weekend. So, what could I do? Normally I limit myself to two of three reviews in a session, but these would only be on for the weekend. So, for you, my readers, I sat in one eight hour stint, drinking thirds, with a glass of water and a chapter of Michael Moorcock’s Elric of Melnibone between each drink to help clear my palette. I suffer so for you. This was the tenth beer of the day. It is made with Challenger and Citrus on bittering, Citra, Centennial and Cascade for aroma and Columbus and Chinook on dry hopping. So the seven ‘c’s. Bad puns make my head hurt. It was getting quite dark by this point in the day, and half way through the drink they announced “Raucus Rubus” was now on tap, finally meaning I had access to the last of the twelve beers.