Tag Archive: Imperial Mild

How to Disappear Completely

Brewdog: How to Disappear Completely (2013) (Scotland: Imperial Mild: 2.8% ABV)

Visual: Mahogany with a large chocolate dust coloured creamy head. Some suds are left as you drink the beer.

Nose: Kiwi. Toffee. Chocolate dust. Tiny touch of crushed charcoal. Bitter hops. Apricot. Digestives.

Body: Charred bitterness. Kiwi and passion fruit. Prickly. Peach. Malt chocolate. Green apples.

Finish: Bitter hops. Dry. Malt chocolate. Kiwi. Pineapple. Toffee.

Conclusion: Yay. Another entry in the lower abv beer set, though this one is a bit heavier than most, weighing in as it does at a whopping 2.8% abv. I know. Dangerous. However it does use that bit of extra weight to good effect.

The body has a slight chocolate taste to it with a good level of bitterness added. Not IPA level, nor early Nanny State level, but still prickling and vibrant. The hop flavour is interesting though, calling to the black IPA in style if not intensity. The heavier fruit flavours like kiwi and green apples comes through in that BIPA style giving it just a slight tart edge.

I’ve had this on keg and the texture feels slightly thin there, not quite delivering the flavour. Here on the other hand it has more grip which comes with a charring like touch but also much more robust flavour.

The flavour, as mentioned, is like a mini black IPA but not as intense. Bitter but more soothing than punching. Though that could say more about my ongoing immunity to hop bitterness rather than any characteristic of the beer. Very easy to drink despite the bitterness and robust flavour. It doesn’t bring that instant wow like 0.3% Drink In The Sun but holds up very well over time. A great entry into a difficult weight category and very sessionable.

Background: Ok, imperial mild is a very silly term, and basically a bit of a marketing fluff from Brewdog. Those of you who with to be a bit more serious pretend I just listed this as mild. Anyway, while I have been a Brewdog fan for a long time, coming across Punk IPA in their first year of Brewing, it took a bit of time to find their website, and the existence of their small run beer, so I just missed the release of the first edition of this. I loved the idea of a low abv high flavour beer which has been part of my search around “Drink In The Sun” and the like. So, when in 2013 they released a new version of this I grabbed it. As always I am not an unbiased actor on Brewdog beers. This was drunk while listening to a bit of Alanis Morissette. I was a huge fan of “Jagged Little Pill” in my youth, but never rated the second album. Listening to it now I think I really underestimated it, it’s got a lot more weight than I gave it at the time.

Brewdog Nanny State (2010 Version) (Scotland: Imperial Mild: 0.5% ABV)

(Note this is a new recipe as well as lower alcohol than old 2009 Nanny state so I thought it was worth doing a new tasting note)

Visual: Chestnut brown with a decent bubbly head, half an inch of which resides indefinitely.

Nose: Good dose of hops, pineapple and apricot.

Body: Severe bitter at the front, this thing still kicks like a mule. Touch of pineapple now at the back, some charred wood, apricot and a touch of malt. Sharp grapefruit and cherry. Definitely benefits from being room temperature as anything less results in a much less resilient body behind.

Finish: Dry and hoppy as hell, grapefruit, wood and apricot again.

Conclusion: Down to 0.5% and more fruity returns the Nanny State. Much as I still enjoy this on easy going days or during gaming, I will not claim it as a top class beer. What it is, is better than any other low/no alcohol beer I’ve tasted, and at room temperature finally has a bit behind the hops.

The temperature really is the key, as initially tasting was done just below and it seemed like it had no body behind the hops and was reliant on hop bomb and sharpness. The new elements, whilst not resounding, do round it out into something that actually tastes like beer. This version is definitely superior to the 1.1%ABV version and has a much more refined nose.

Not bad, either as a hop attack or as a substitute for no alcohol crap – just don’t expect a contender for beer of the year.

(Note: The eagle eyed of you may notice this has the “My Favourites” tag and wonder why, when it has such a comparatively weak review. Well, I find myself having this beer in my house whenever I can, and partake often when cooking  or gaming or other times I would normally pass on beer.  My favourites does not just include the all night savouring world shakers, but also my favourite session ales, recurring oddities I think everyone should try, and in this case, day off beers – For all times a beer, and a beer for all times)

Brewdog: Nanny State (Scotland: Imperial Mild: 1.1% ABV)

Visual: Pale mahogany brown with a diminishing brown head that clings in clumps to the glass.

Nose: Lots of hops, hint of ginger and turmeric. Crushed orange peel, a fancy restaurants salad vinegar.

Body: Extreme bitter; a dusty back with lots of hops. Crushed grass and rolled sour dough.

Finish: Dry hops that tighten the taste buds. Flour, just a hint of relief with a comparatively mild note of token sweetness.

Conclusion: My first bottle of this was deeply unimpressive, however on considering my second bottle I found it to be superior and thus altered my stance.

This beer if comparatively lacking in complexity, relying instead of a brute force assault of hops and bitterness. It could do with more middle to match its pleasing nose. Strangely its bitterness calls to mind the promised over the top bitterness for Ruination IPA from stone, and manages it at significantly less alcohol.

This beer goes well with fatty meat and burgers, the hops and grease battering their counterparts so each bite and sip starts the experience anew.

Overall this beer was slightly disappointing due to its lack of complexity, but for sheer force at such low alcohol it is to be commended, and I will probably enjoy my remaining beers.

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