Wednesday, 27 June 2012

BrewDog Dead Pony Club

Good evening all. A sojourn in Nottingham was the reason behind my most recent absence, but after receiving a couple of outstanding BrewDog orders over the last couple of days I knew I had to get back into the swing of things with a recent offering from the Fraserburgh scamps. The subject of this post is Dead Pony Club, a 3.8% ABV American Pale Ale that has been brewed with sack-loads of Simcoe, HBC and Citra hops, making it an unusual departure from the full-bodied, alcoholic beers that BrewDog have become renowned for. Their intention with this offering was to create a session beer that doesn't compromise on flavour, so let's see if they've managed to achieve that. Review after the pic....

Dead Pony Club (3.8% ABV) pours a cloudy orange hue with a thick white head that retains itself well on the surface of the beer. It's sightly darker in comparison to the standard straw-coloured pale ales, but it still looks great. The aroma is more intense than I was expecting, and you can definitely tell there's Citra and Simcoe in there. This was even discernible during the taking of the above photo, when my nose hadn't even come close to the beer! Plenty of citrus fruits, some herbal mustiness, grapes and an underlying malty sweetness reminiscent of honey. At first the fruits come bursting out of the glass with grapefruit and kiwi, but as the nose becomes more accustomed to this the herbal qualities soon take over. The sweetness from the malt is not particularly apparent, but this is understandable when considering the ABV percentage and the quantity of malt used. Tasting the beer seems to do away with any citrus fruits, instead focusing on the earthy, herbal aspects of the hops used. The bitterness from the hops masks any significant flavour during tasting, with the finish revealing grapes, kiwi fruit and some biscuit malt. No cloying or bitterness residing in the finish though, which makes it immensely drinkable. The mouthfeel is moderately thick and the beer is well carbonated, which works well with the lighter hop flavours. Overall, this is an incredibly sessionable beer with a generous hop kick and a smooth, almost bitter-free finish. My first impression of this beer was that it was very citric and more in line with American IPAs, but gradually this perception was eroded and I'm now left with the impression that it tastes an awful lot like the current incarnation of Punk IPA. As most will know, BrewDog's flagship beer has undergone various changes since it was first brewed, but it seems that now it has turned into more of a herbal, floral beer as opposed to the sightly resinous, citrus-filled beer that it used to be when it was first brought out at the new ABV percentage. Personally, I would rather have this beer (Dead Pony Club) remain the same and have a return to the more amplified flavours/aromas that made Punk IPA so great in the first place. Dead Pony Club is certainly an interesting beer and I would happily get it again- although I would rather drink it in the bars than at home- but it's an unfortunate and stark reminder of how much BrewDog have let the beers that built them decrease in quality over a relatively short period of time. Hopefully the new brewery will allow them to continue their experiments whilst maintaining their core range.

Until next time....

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