24 Oct 2008

Threesome

The idea came from the same person whom I must thank for this beer. Velky Al, from Fuggled, came back from his visit to the Old Country, Scotland, with three samples of BrewDog Punk IPA, one for me, one for Evan Rail, from Beer Culture, and the third one for himself, with the idea that each of us would taste it and then publish our tasting notes in our respective blogs on the same day. From the beginning I thought it was brilliant, and I am really looking forward to read what my friends thought of this beer.

I didn't know what to expect from it. Which is something I actually like a lot. Not having any idea of what I am about to drink makes it easier to evaluate and, if you want, be more objective.

Rergarding the brewery, I had heard and read some good comments. It is Scottish and has a reputation of innovation and top quality products.

Regarding the style. Well, those who know me are aware of what I think about styles. I don't care much about them. If I like a beer, it is absolutely irrelevant to me how true it is to the style written on the label. However, I must admit that styles are somewhat useful when it comes to get a bit of an idea about what I am going to drink. My only experiences with IPA were in the form of two Czech beers, one from Pivovarský Dům and the other from Kocour Vandorf, both outsanding. Of course, I was very aware that, for several reasons, Punk IPA wasn't going to have much in common with those Czech recreations.

Reading the label before drinking I find that it is made using water, hops and barley. I thought it was curious that barley MALT isn't mentioned. Can it be that it is brewed with the unmalted cereal? Things were getting interesting. On the other side there is a rant about how extreme and sophisticated this beer is, which must always be taken with a pinch of salt.
It was time to open the beer.

I was surprised to see it poured almost pale gold, not very different to a Czech kvasničák světlý. I was expecting something darker, as those Czech IPA's had been. Not much of a head, that didn't stay too long and some carbonation completed the picture. I wasn't able to notice much in the nose. Only straining my sense of smell and already halfway down the glass I could feel what could have been honey and/or fruit. It is a pretty bitter beer, of rather light body for its 6%ABV. There are dry herbal notes that turn at times become a little peppery spicy. The finish is long with some sage notes.
I liked it but.... I didn't find it agressive at all, more bitter than the average, yes, but I've tasted many that are even more. To my taste, there was also something missing. Maybe if that fruit that is fleetingly felt at the beginning were more corporeal it would make of Punk IPA a more interesting and complex beer, as is announced on the label. Unfortunately, it is are quickly overwhelmed by the bitterness, which never gets to be as intense as I was expecting.

Still, I see it as a very nice beer for a summer afternoon. It very drinkable and refreshing. Recommended if you can find it (wouldn't go out of my way for it), specially if you don't pay attention to tirade on the label.

But have a look at Fuggled and Beer Culture to see the opinion the other two in this beer threesome.

Na Zdraví!

Choose your preferred Prague hotels and get free transport.

6 comments:

  1. Nice to read your thoughts on this one. I find it interesting that even though we all try to be objective in our reviews, ultimately drinking beer, or anything really, is a purely subjective experience. I will only worry though when we start sounding like wine reviewers who have a wonderful tendency to find all manner of weird and wonderful stuff in a bottle.

    Perhaps we can do more simultaneous postings of beer reviews in the future?

    Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  2. You are right. I think it is also that the description of flavours in a beer (or any other thing) depends a lot on previous experiences and your sensorial memory, which is different in all, specially if you aren't a trained taster.
    Anyway, I thought it was fun and, yes, we should do it again.

    ReplyDelete
  3. By the way - love the title! Racy!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Max. This is Marco. When do you want to pass here for the 700 kr? Regards.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Very good idea to let you 3 go on with this. Please let me supply you with 3 bottles of beer that im absolutely sure you dont have tasted before. A new stout from Norway, called "Sorte Får" - "Black sheep" that is. From a brewery called Berentsens Brygghus, located near my home town.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Gunnar,

    That sounds great! Send me an email, you can find the adress in my profile.
    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete