22 April 2010

BrewDog Storm

BrewDog Storm (bottle)
Fraserburgh, Scotland
8.0% ABV

I was going to review this last night, but right before I started to open the bottle my girlfriend called to see if I wanted to hang out with some friends for dinner. My social life does occasionally come before my beer geekery. Occasionally.

BrewDog is one of those breweries that wants to be the death metal band of beer. I say this because of the old Mitch Hedberg bit, "I once played in a death-metal band. People either loved us or hated us. Or they thought we were okay." They're a brewery that wants to be either loved or hated, but for me I just tend to shrug my shoulders and say, "Well, that was pretty decent."

Their Storm DIPA gets a C rating over on BA with 50-odd reviews. How will my palate respond?

Pours dingy orange/yellow with a nonexistent head. Hazy, almost cloudy appearance. Smells somehow off, lots of wood from the whiskey barrel but without any of the malt or hops that would balance that. Smells much like... scotch.

Flavor is weird. Tastes woody and astringent at first, bitter and unpleasant, but after drinking for a few minutes this gains some complexity. Still lots of smokey wood, but a nice wallop of hops and smoke on the back of the tongue. Finishes very dry and somewhat astringent. No significant carbonation or hoppiness on the tongue, moderate thickness, slightly chewy.

I feel somewhat underqualified to review this beer, to be honest. I've never had an Islay Scotch, so if this is what they taste like then obviously this is within the brewer's intention for the beverage. If so, I think I'd prefer to get the real thing straight up in Scotch form than masquerading as an IPA. In any case, the casual fan of India Pale Ales looking for a hop fix should shy away from this, as it has few if any of the characteristics they're looking for. Worth a shot, though, if only to put it in the "love it or hate it" category.

My overall BA rating: 3.5/5 (low mostly because of the low scores for appearance and aroma)

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