BrewDog 5 A.M. Saint Hoppy Red Ale

[German below]

After nearly a week on the Emerald Isle I felt like an Ale today… well, like drinking one 🙂

When I opened our fridge, the 5 A.M. Saint Hoppy Red Ale by BrewDog caught my eyes immidiately… The 5 A.M. Saint is a beer from BrewDog’s Headliner Series, which they describe as the “Holy Grail” of Red Ales on their website.IMG_7158

BrewDog… the crazy brewery from Scotland who make atypical British-style beers and this Red Ale, if you can call it that, is no exception! It is more like a red ale which was nuked by hops and lives up to it’s “iconoclastic” title!

The ale pours in a nice red –  my choice of glass this time fell on a regular pint glass – with a full, tan head and I instantly smelled the hop cocktail. The 5 A.M Saint was brewed with five different hops, Nelson Sauvin, Simcoe, Cascade, Centennial and Ahtanum to be exact, which ere either added late in the brewing process or were used by dry hopping. Both lead to intense hop flavors.

It’s aroma is of citrus and grapefruit with some sweet caramel, but also a little earthy and resinous – it reminds me walking through the woods on a mushroom foray as a child 🙂

The taste is – unexpectedly – very refreshing with a slight hint of caramel. After a few more sips the earthy and floral notes come to the fore… not quite as spectacular as the aroma and a little watery!

Despite the five malts they used – Maris Otter, Caramalt, Munich malt, Crystal and Crystal dark – the hop bitterness helps to balance the flavor and makes the ale not too sweet. The carbonation also helps to compensate for the slight watery and rather thin body

Conclusion:

For me, it’s not really “The Holy Grail” of Red Ales but overall a good beer for this style!


Nach knapp einer Woche auf der grĂĽnen Insel war mir heute nach einem Ale. Beim Ă–ffnen des KĂĽhlschranks sticht mir sofort das 5 A.M. Saint Red Ale von BrewDog ins Auge…

Das 5 A.M. Saint ist ein Bier aus BrewDog’s Headliner Serie, die auf ihrer Website als “Heiligen Gral” der Red Ales beschrieben wird.

BrewDog… die verrückte Brauerei aus Schottland mit dem etwas anderen untypischen britischen Bier! Dieses Red Ale, wenn man es so nennen kann, ist da keine Ausnahme. Es ist eher ein Red Ale das vom Hopfen überrollt wurde und macht seinem “ikonoklastischem” Titel alle Ehre!

Meine Glaswahl fällt dieses Mal auf ein normales Pint-Glas. Das Ale gießt sich in einem schönem Rot mit einer vollen, hellbraunen Schaumkrone und einer heftigen Hopfennote.

Das Ale wurde mit 5 verschiedenen Hopfensorten gebraut, Nelson Sauvin, Simcoe, Cascade, Centennial und Ahtanum um genau zu sein, die spät während des Brauprozesses zugegeben wurden und mit denen das Bier gestopft wurde. Beides führt zu intensiven Hopfenaromen.

Es riecht nach Zitrus und Grapefruit mit sĂĽĂźen Karamellmalzen, aber auch etwas erdig und harzig – es erinnert mich wie ich als Kind in den Wald zum Pilzesammeln gegangen bin 🙂

Der Geschmack ist – unerwartet – sehr erfrischend mit einer leichten Karamellnote. Nach ein paar weiteren Schlucken kommen dann die erdigen und blumigen Noten hervor… nicht ganz so spektakulär wie das Aroma und anfangs ein wenig wässrig! Trotz der 5 Malze – Maris Otter, Karamellmalz, MĂĽnchner Malz, Kristall, Kristall dunkel – ist es durch die Hopfenbittere nicht allzu sĂĽĂź.

Die Karbonisierung hilft in der Hinsicht auch auch gleicht den etwas wässrigen und eher dünnen Körper aus.

Fazit:

Für mich ist es nicht unbedingt “The Holy Grail” der Red Ales aber insgesamt ein gutes Gebräu für diesen Bierstil!

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Beer Review #3: BrewDog IPA is Dead

BrewDog IPA is Dead

Since 2011 BrewDog has released their IPA is Dead 4-packs once a year. Each of the four beers has the same base recipe, but was dryhopped with a different hop variety. In this year’s edition they chose Comet, EXP 366, Amarillo and Kohatu hops.

Over the past few days I tasted and compared the four. All four IPAs are based on a milder version of BrewDogs Hardcore IPA, brewed with Maris Otter, Crystal and Cara-malt.

The EXP 366 was first on my list. EXP 366 is a new, yet unnamed American hop variety. The IPA is amber with an eggshell-colored large-pore foam head that quickly falls apart and little carbonation. The aroma is malty with pine, orange peel and lemon notes. The taste resembles sweet bread and also has a resinous hoppy pine flavor. The finish is reminiscent of bitter grapefruit, but its taste fades quickly.

Next up Comet. Like the EPX 366, this one also has a clear amber color but with a narrow white head and leaves nice lacing on glass. Its bouquet is a blend of citrus, grapefruit and pine. The taste is malty-sweet with mango and also lemon and grapefruit flavors and a hint of resin. For me, the bitterness is a rather mediocre medium bitterness with lots of resin.

Next, I decided on Kohatu. Again, this is a newer hop variety from New Zealand and unknown/”un-tested” to me! Like the first two IPAs it is amber in color. It is clear with a full soft white crown. I first notice mango and lime in the aroma followed by hints of pineapple.

The taste is very interesting. First, bitter-sweet with a hot alcohol sharpness which fades fast and is overpowered by pineapple and herbal pine aromas. After a few seconds I taste sweet sage – a finish after the finish! Wow!

For my final beer, I have set aside the Amarillo – one of my favorite hops, which has a very balanced, fruity aroma. It also has a nice amber color and is the clearest of all four. When pouring a narrow eggshell colored head builds which dissolves quickly and leaves little lacing. The nose is almost tropical: passion fruit and orange peel, very fresh, slightly grassy. The aroma is repeated in the first sip and reminds me of a mango-passion fruit and banana smoothie with a slightly bitter-sweet finish.

Conclusion

The hop flavors are good in all four IPA’s, but I would have liked to see a slightly fuller body in all of them. My favorite is the Kohatu because it surprised me and the aroma-flavor combination was the most interesting.

I definitely recommend the 4-pack. It is interesting for those who love hops and everybody who wants to learn more about the individual hop varieties and their characteristics.