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#Mashtag 2015

Rating: 4.1

This one is the third beer from Brewdog to be released as part of their annual #Mashtag offering and follows on from the 2013 and 2014 offerings that I’ve reviewed in previous years. This one is a 10% American barleywine which makes it the strongest beer in the series so far, coming in slightly stronger than 2014’s 9% imperial red ale and well above the 7.4% of the original #Mashtag beer. I have enjoyed both beers in the series thus far but the last one was an exceptionally good beer and currently sits tied for second of all the Scottish beers I’ve reviewed here so far, hopefully this one can go one better but I’m really just hoping it’s another excellent beer. The label, featuring a skull and Brewdog crown on top of a black background, was designed by Mark Green and the beer itself is brewed with vanilla beans aged on toasted oak chips so I’m expecting big flavours with some decent sweetness coming through as well; hopefully it is a good one and I’ll pick up a couple more bottles as it seems like it is a beer that would age well.

#Mashtag 2015

Appearance (4/5): This one pours with an opaque black body that is topped with a thin, half centimetre tall head that looks medium tan in colour and fades to half its original size fairly quickly before holding at that point for a while longer. Eventually the head starts to turn slightly patch but leaves a little more build up round the edges of the glass and falls short of disappearing completely; not bad considering the strength of the beer really.
Aroma (9/10): There is quite a noticeable hop presence to this one up front, there is some good pine notes coming through alongside plenty of dark malts and roasted notes. The beer is definitely more fresh smelling that I’d expected and quite strong too, there’s a nice combination of tropical fruits coming through with a bit of mango and orange coming through that is accompanied by some lighter grapefruit notes. This is followed by a little chocolate sweetness, some faint touches of alcohol and a couple of sweet malts as well. All in all a very satisfying beer on the nose with a good mix of smells and some faint bitterness coming through towards the end.
Taste (8/10): Again there is some nice pine hops and touches of citrus coming through to open this one up, it’s quite a zesty tasting beer and not quite as dark as I’d expect from the style but some roasted malts and barely to feature early on, they just don’t come through as strong as the hops. I got some nice sweetness around the middle with a hit of chocolate and some background vanilla coming through on top of some sweet malts and a bit of caramel but the burst of orange and mango that carry on from the nose are what you really take notice of.
Palate (4/5): This one comes through with a medium to heavy body that is quite strong with a pleasant alcohol kick helping to give the palate a warming, almost boozy feel to it. There’s more hop bitterness than expected but some chocolate and vanilla sweetness help balance this out some. Carbonation levels on this one sit about medium and it wasn’t too hard on the way down despite the strength either.

Overall (16/20): This one was quite an enjoyable offering from Brewdog without being a stand-out classic and in truth I was expecting a little bit more from it given it was such a strong offering. The beer was a nice hybrid of a double IPA and a barleywine with some parts leaning towards an imperial stout; the pine hops in particular were quite nice. The beer was definitely a nice one but in truth I’d have to say I preferred the 2014 offering to this one, hopefully 2016 will see things back on track though.

Brewed In: Ellon, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Brewery: Brewdog
First Brewed: 2015
Type: American Barleywine
Abv: 10.0%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Brewdog.com
Price: £3.20

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  1. February 10, 2016 at 10:34
  2. November 7, 2016 at 13:37

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