Tag Archive: Fallen

Fallen First Class Rendezvous
Fallen: First Class Rendezvous (Scotland: Imperial Porter: 8% ABV)

Visual: Black. Still. Moderate beige froth that leaves suds.

Nose: Habanero sauce. Tequila touched. Fresh bread. Slight sour cherries. Muted chocolate.

Body: Warming, becomes tingling heat when it hits the back of the throat. Chilli seeds. Milky chocolate. Mild dates. Cream. Mild sour cherries. Chilli powder. Brown bread. Habanero sauce mixed with brown sauce.

Finish: Chilli powder. Warming and tingling. Charring. Brown sauce.

Conclusion: Ok, I may be the wrong person for doing these notes – as mentioned in the background I prefer my chillies for flavour over heat. Now, this isn’t that hot – it is tingling not burning – but any attempt to hold this on the tongue for any length of time results in the chilli seeds warmth filling the mouth into a chilli powder style, which makes it very hard to differentiate notes. Each sip is a race against time to identify elements before they are lost.

Thankfully, like many things, the human body can adapt, so the chilli becomes numbed over time allowing the base, thick feeling, but not heavy in flavour, chocolate elements to come out. The chocolate really is mild here, in fact there is more of a habanero touched brown sauce element going on. It results in a thick, slightly oily tasting and feeling thing.

I still feel that there is more to this that I am not getting due to the chilli. The reason is that I am using the aroma as a guideline and there I get subtle, slightly tart and sour, cherry hints – If these had been present as anything but light hints in the body then it would have been the welcome break the beer needed. I also occasionally got hints of dates in the body, then again that could be because I knew they were used in making the beer – they don’t really have a huge impact.

Now I am halfway through the beer and the heat feels a tad more balanced – like this we seem to have ended up with an ok but not overly interesting porter than only stands out due to being punched up by chilli which adds heat and simple chilli character but not any real synergy with the Imperial Porter to create new complexities and bring out the best in the beer.

It is okish, but feels simple. The chilli doesn’t add enough to make it work for me. I’d say leave it be, if you are a chilli fan then maybe this will do more for you. I would say there are far better out there.

Background: This was a birthday gift from friends, many thanks! This one is an Imperial Porter made with habanero chilli, cacao nibs and dates. Despite mentioning habanero roughly a million times in the notes at the time I was only aware it had been made with chilli, it was only when looking at the back of the bottle I realised how accurate I had been! For once. I tend to prefer my chilli influence on the mild and flavoursome end of the scale – a far cry from university days when I ate insane heat curries. I prefer a gentler life these days. Drunk while listening to some of the excellent Svalbard!

Fallen Brewdog Big Raspberry Dog Chew

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..

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