Armigideon Time

March 5, 2013

Noted Friend of Tilting Suds, Mr. JK, was his usual generous self recently, sending to Texas a package of smokes, charcuterie, and a curious bottle of beer called Armageddon from a Scottish brewer called Brewmeister. Billed as the “World’s Strongest Beer” it clocks in at 65% ABV. Mr. JK described it as a marketing ploy, and to a certain extent he is right. Brewmeister probably got more mileage out of brewing the world’s strongest beer when compared to breweries who win multiple gold medals at brewing competitions. On the other hand, this appeared to be a serious brewer who took the time and care to use quality ingredients in an attempt to make a good beer. Clearly, Brewmeister wanted the notoriety of brewing the “World’s Strongest Beer” but not at the expense of sacrificing their reputation as a brewer of good beers.

A lotta people won't get no supper tonight

A lotta people won’t get no supper tonight


Even though it was only a 12 ounce bottle, I was not going to tackle this myself, so I split it with Bro-In-Law Jeff.  He had been to Scotland recently and had visited one of the BrewDog pubs, so he had some experience with the Scottish propensity for brewing high alcohol beers.  This poured a somewhat cloudy caramel brown, with absolutely no carbonation whatsoever. The first thing I noticed is that there was very little in the way of  alcohol burn. If this beer is truly 65% ABV*, Brewmeister has done a remarkable job of making it a smooth drinking tipple. The other thing I noticed is that while it was different tasting, it still very much tasted like a beer. There was a caramel sweetness to the malts along with some mild hoppy bitterness. I am going to give it a 6.5/10.

*I had some doubts about that claim while I was drinking the beer, but when I stood up and had to immediately sit back down due to being a tad lightheaded after finishing my half glass, I had no further doubts.


Orkney Brewery Dragonhead Stout

February 11, 2010

The Orkney Isles are off the north coast of Scotland.   Whipped by winds and the North Atlantic Sea, they are starkly beautiful.  Isolation from the mainland instills streaks of pride and self sufficiency amongst those who live there, and while they may be Scottish, they are a breed apart.  Not everyone can live there, and those that do are a hardy bunch.

The Dragonhead Stout from the Orkney Brewery is what you would expect from such a place.  According to the label, this beer is a tribute to Viking heritage of the Orkney Isles.  Not being up on my Viking history, I do not know what type of beer Vikings drank, if they drank any at all, but this beer certainly fits nicely in to the popular image of Vikings. It pours a deep black with a creamy head.  You are hit immediately with a rich coffee aroma, and there is a dark chocolate aftertaste, and a creamy mouthfeel.  While the Dragonhead Stout clocks in at 4% ABV, this is not a beer you are gong to knock back, due to the intense rich flavors.  This is a keeper.  I give it a 8/10.


Brew Dog Punk IPA and Hardcore Imperial IPA

February 6, 2010

Brew Dog is a Scottish brewery, located in Aberdeenshire on the North East Coast.  I have seen their beers around New Jersey for a couple of months now, but had never tried them until recently.  The beers come in bomber bottles and the labels are clearly inspired by the cut and paste designs of Bernie Rhodes, Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren, so they get some bonus cool points on that score.

First up was the Punk IPA.   This beer poured with very little head, though I noticed a slight grapefruit aroma as I poured it.  It was pale in color and had a thin mouth feel, but it did have a nice piney and

PUNK IPA - Dig The Groovy Label Design

citrusy hop taste, not too bitter.  It clocked in at 6% ABV.  It definitely improved towards the end of the bottle as it breathed and got closer to room temperature.  Not great, but not bad either, I will give it a 6/10.

The label had a little essay about how they are the alternative to the mainstream, and they do not care if you like the beer, and you should just go back to drinking your “inferior chemical concoction” and how anyone who drinks such beer is just “another pawn in some faceless corporation’s marketing statistics.”  Yeah, I get it, this is a punk rock beer for punk rockers.

Next up was the Hardcore Imperial IPA. Again very little head on the pour.  This had a slightly darker color, and a much maltier aroma.  I noticed a cheddar cheese sharpness to the hop flavors, balanced nicely by the slightly sweet maltiness.  The hop bitterness was not nearly at the level of some of the West Coast Bad Boy IPAs, but was still a level above what you would expect from an average IPA.  At 9% ABV, this is not a beer to knock back on a hot afternoon, but it was nice to savor on a snowy winter night.  This one clocks in at 7.5/10.

The essay on the label was just a description of the hops, malts and yeast that went in to the creation of the beer.  I was half expecting a “Which Side of the Bed Are You On?” diatribe after the Punk IPA essay, but no such luck.


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