My BrewDog selection box contained a bottle of their 77 Lager, and having read nothing about it, other than seeing the guys' VBlog on it (the one with them playing golf with bottles of Becks and the like) I reckoned that a blind tasting would be in order, just to see.
I lined up a choice of beers and asked my wife to choose two to go with the BrewDog 77, with her pouring it in secrecy and labelling the glasses A, B and C. For those of you who have tasted it already, you probably know where this is going, and I know you're shaking your head right now, but bear with me, for the sake of appearances at least!
Beer A (leftmost in the picture) was a honey-gold with medium carbonation leaving a thin head that didn't last long. The aroma was slightly resinous, with apple, bread and a touch of pineapple cubes about it. The body was a bit thin (being the first noticable thing when hitting the mouth) and the primary initial flavour was resinous. There's a sorbet-like tingle and a slightly sugary sweetness. Quite bitter, but in the resinous territory that least appeals to me. It's one that could grow on me, but the thinness was off-putting.
Beer B (center) was a rich straw gold with lazy carbonation making it look thick. Excellent retention of a thick, creamy head. The aroma is hard to find, possibly because of the head keep it all locked away, but there are slight, pleasant barnyardy aromas with a himt of lemon. The mouthfeel is soft and the flavour yields fresh bread. The bitterness is low, but it's there in a crisp, herb-like way. Really quite nice, although a resinous edge creeps in towards the finish.
Beer C (rightmost) is a light amber. Ok, one clue already. It looks like low carbonation, and the head is pretty thin. The aroma? Well, what the bloody hell was I thinking? If I had known there was Amarillo in there I wouldn't have started this bloody charade. Still, let's go thhrough the paces. Masses of orangey grapefruit. Bah! Lovely! The flavour actually reminded me of my beloved Galway Hooker in many ways, this, however, has a richer malt profile. While the hops definitely dominate with that wonderful dry grapefruit splash accross the tongue, leaving a persistant pithy bitterness in its wake, it's balanced by a vanilla toffe base, and although I would have preferred more carbonation to lift things up a bit, the flavours worked very well for me. Right up my alley.
So, the beers? A was Monchshoff Original Pils, B was Rothaus Pils from the Badische Staatsbrauerei and C was, of course, the BrewDog 77 Lager, just in case you hadn't noticed. Definitely not your average lager, and far from any pilsener I've ever had.
Velky Al over at Fuggled.com has a synchronised comparison with Czech lagers, with similar results. 'tis a fine lager, English, but 'tis not a pilsener. Then again, styles are made to be broken.
I was proud that I identified the two German beers my wife chose, but I have to admit, I thought A was Rothaus and B Mönchshof (hence the wrong order in the photo above). The softness of B made me think it was Bavarian. I'll have to write a letter of apology to Rothaus...