Thursday, 30 July 2009

The Light and Dark Sides of BrewDog

No, not the Tokyo* thing again, but two beers from BrewDog that contrast ever so slightly, the Trashy Blonde, "you know you shouldn't", and Rip Tide, their "twisted merciless stout".

Trashy Blonde is, as the name suggests, blonde, and given the reputation that BrewDog have for big beers, this seems relatively small with it's 4.1% ABV. But it's nto so small on the aroma and flavour stakes, where you get pine nuts, grainy malt, herbal notes, a citric twist and an ever-so-slight touch of juicy fruit. The mouthfeel is pleasently oily and the finish is long and herbal with a touch of spice.

Although this sounds very complex from the list of flavours I was picking out, I can't say it's deeply complex. It has a lovely blend of flavours, but they don't run deep, if that makes sense, and after a bottle I was happy enough to move on (though I'd have another if my arm was twisted).

If that was the light, Rip Tide is the dark side. Yes, definitely dark, opaque and just about showing ruby-tinged edges when held to the light. The aroma is sumptuous, chocolate-laden goodness with a suggestion of fruit, reminiscent of fresh raspberries. The mouthfeel is velvety, like liquidised aero bars; very smooth. It has a lovely balance between heavy malt and an alomost citric bitterness that struggles under the roasty, toasty, chocolatey flavours that wash across the palate. The finish is long, with light coffee, dark chocolate and a sustained bite that balances the rich flavours. Very satisfying and moreish, despite the 8% ABV. I particularly liked the serving suggestion on the label: "pour into a glass and enjoy with an air of aristocratic nonchalance". A really lovely beer.

7 comments:

haddonsman said...

Nice bookended drinking. Love the Trashy Blonde; no need for complexity, just gets the job done. Bottle after bottle after bottle.

As for Riptide... I almost prefer it to most of the Paradox versions. Except Islay ones, of course ;-)

Barry (Adeptus) said...

Ahh, I had the pleasure of an Islay Paradox a long time ago. Well, it feels like a long time ago! I still remember it though, even though I was half cut at the time.

I have two bottles of the Arran one, which I plan on drinking with two whisky aficionados I work with, one of whom bought a bottle of whisky from the Arran distillery, just to be sure we got the full experience :D

But yeah, I know what you mean, Rip Tide is shocking drinkable...

Mark said...

Riptide is excellent. I opened my last bottle last weekend and loved it. I've had it from the cask too and that's fantastic. Trashy Blonde I'm a little indifferent towards... doesn't quite push my buttons.

Paradox Arran is one of my favourites, it's excellent (managed to get that cask too and it was a similar in a was to a little brother of Goose Island Bourbon County!). I'd love to try the whisky alongside the beer.

Barry (Adeptus) said...

I'll do a full report, whenever we get our collective fingers out that is...

Velky Al said...

Rip Tide is a fantastic stout, quite simply one of the best imperial stouts I have tried. For me BrewDog is essentially about IPA and Stout, not a bad pair of beers to be known for.

Darren T said...

I agree with all of the previous commenters. RipTide is a truly fantastic stout, as are pretty much all the Paradoxes (although Smokehead takes a bit of getting used to and the Rake Raspberry was a bit of a challenge - still extremely drinakable though). Got another three on the way in a delivery I'm picking up from the post office shortly, along with some spare Tokyo*s - it's going to be a good Bank Holiday weekend :)

BarryM (Adeptus) said...

Darren, When I got home today after a few days away my BrewDog order was waiting, including 3 Rakes and 3 Paradox Smokeheads. Can't wait to try them now! :)

Couldn't resist a 6-pack of Tokyo* either, although I'm clearly behind the times here :D