Home > American Pale Ale > Russian Doll – Pale Ale

Russian Doll – Pale Ale

Rating: 3.25

A beer I’ve been saving for a couple of months now, the first of four offerings released in September last year as part of Brewdog’s Russian Doll series. Labelled as a “voyage into the essence of beer”, each of the four beers were brewed using the same malts, hops and yeast with the abv. being the only difference between them. This pale ale is the lightest of the four and comes in at 4% abv. with the regular IPA listed at 6% followed by an 8% double IPA and finally a 10% abv. barley wine. To be honest this was a four pack that I probably wouldn’t have picked up had I not already been placing an order with Brewdog around the time of its release and it’s not a release that I’ve heard all that much about in the last few months but hopefully it will prove to be a decent series and one that I’m looking forward to trying now I have them in my procession.

Russian Doll Pale Ale

Appearance (3/5): Pouring a slightly lighter than average amber colour with a clear body, this one is topped with a half centimetre tall head that is white and quite bubbly looking. Retention wise the beer is about average with the head slowly receding over the opening minute to leave a slightly patch looking surface lacing.
Aroma (8/10): Starting with a few fairly nice hops and tropical fruit notes, the beer certainly isn’t the strongest on the nose but the initial aroma was easy enough to detect with some mango, passion fruit and hints of pineapple in alongside the pine and touches of citrus. There was quite a nice caramel malt base to this one that gave the beer some sweetness and helps balance the aroma of this one; great stuff.
Taste (6/10): This one tasted more malty than I was expecting and certainly more malty than the nose suggested with the caramel coming through stronger than before and some toffee backing it up with both of these added to the sweetness before the citrus from the nose decided to make an appearance. The tropical fruits and pine were again present in the taste but seemed to take more of a back seat this time around allowing the caramel to make itself the more dominant of the flavours on the taste buds.
Palate (3/5): Light bodied and quite crisp, this one seemed slightly oily and was quite dry, particularly at the end with a moderate citrus tang coming through as well. The beer had average carbonation and was easy enough to drink but it seemed a little thin I’m afraid.

Overall (13/20): I’ve never truly got high hopes for any Brewdog special release four pack since so many previous offerings have been poor or worse but this one really caught my attention when I opened the bottle, the smell from this one was superb and I was hoping that the taste would be more of the same but as it turned up it was business as usual with this one being a less than satisfactory offering. The beer did remain drinkable throughout but after the initial burst of hops and tropical fruits with the nose, the taste was a bit of a let down with the malts seeming to dominate when I’d have preferred more of the same from the aroma; a fairly average beer but hopefully the next one in the series will be an improvement on this at least.

Brewed In: Ellon, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Brewery: Brewdog
First Brewed: 2014
Type: American Pale Ale
Abv: 4.0%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Brewdog.com
Price: £2.50 (approx.)

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  1. March 16, 2015 at 21:05

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