Good evening all. Tonight's beer is Catherine's Pony, an imperial smoked porter collaboration between BrewDog (Fraserburgh, Scotland) and Beavertown Brewery (London, UK). It's been over a month since my last review and I was intending to make the introduction to my first post of 2013 witty and engrossing; however, after a few failed attempts I've decided to give up and jump straight into the proceedings. I reviewed this beer with my good friend Jamie "Bidds" Bidwell (who you may remember from the video reviews I've posted in the past), so I've compiled our thoughts and presented them in the trusty capsule review format for maximum coherency. Enjoy, and I'll make sure my next review comes along sooner! Review after the pic....
Jet black with a ruby hue, thick light brown head that settles to a thin film over the surface of the beer.
Elliott: Dark fruits (blackcurrant), lactose sugar, coffee, cocoa powder, roasted malt. Smokiness not intense, milk stout quality, fruitiness adds nice tartness to mix, toasty notes.
Bidds: Rich fruits, light smokiness, faint coffee, dark malt
Elliott: Smoked malt, aftertaste of coffee (piquant, toasty), smokiness has tartness along sides of the mouth. Flavours linger on in the finish but begin to cloy after a while, alcohol not noticeable. Some burnt sugar, light fruits now and again (raisins, blackcurrant), yeast extract, licorice.
Bidds: Smokiness, not as rich as expecting, coffee present as roasted quality (prior to being brewed), long finish, aftertaste of coffee (more powerful than during drinking), quite an intense experience.
Elliott: Slightly thick, moderate carbonation, not immensely drinkable due to smokiness but combination does suit flavour profile.
Bidds: Harshness, light alcoholic burn, similarity to Merlot
Elliott: Decent beer; slightly one-dimensional with regards to the piquant smokiness, which becomes overpowering on a couple of occasions, but still an interesting offering despite this. Could do with some more balance to let the subdued porter flavours dilute the smoked malt power. Interested in seeing how this develops and mellows over time. Worth trying once, but I'd choose something like Mikkeller's Beer Geek Bacon or De Molen's Bloed, Zweet & Tranen over this as I personally feel the smoked malt needs the sort of powerful counterbalance you'd find in an imperial stout as opposed to a porter.
Jamie: Would drink again, but not number one choice. Depends on context; good if you want a beer with a strong kick to it.
Until next time....