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Brewdog Ship Wreck

Rating: 3.15

A beer I’ve been in two minds about trying for a few months now, this one is the last collaboration between Brewdog and Ballast Point, brewed last year when Ballast were still an independent craft brewery and before they were bought by Mexican distributor Constellation Brands. I’m always interested in trying new Brewdog beers and this was no exception but I was initially put off by the fact that it was on sale for just £9.99 a bottle but when I was in one of the brewery’s bars over the weekend I decided to take the plunge try it while it was still on-tap. The beer was launched in late March this year as a ‘redacted collaboration beer’ with the Ballast Point wording on the label being blacked out as well. As for the beer itself, this one was aged in whisky casks, some of which had Sal de Gusano, a Mexican spice/salt, added as well and the beer also features mezcal flavours which is somewhat ironic considering Ballast Point was then bought out by a Mexican company. Despite the brewery politics, this one is a beer I was still happy to try since I’ve not had too many bad beers from Ballast Point; whether that changes going forward remains to be seen.


Appearance (4/5): This one poured a fairly bright amber colour that wasn’t too far away from orange. The body was quite clear and formed a small, foamy white head on top that was relatively good considering the strength of the beer but it was a touch patchy towards the centre of the surface; not too bad really.
Aroma (6/10): Sticky sweet on the nose initially, the beer wasn’t quite as strong as I’d expected in the early going which wasn’t a bad thing. There was some light hops and a bit of spice coming through alongside a background alcohol smell and a little grain. This was followed by some smoky notes and wood/oak from the whisky barrels that give the beers an almost rauchbier like aroma  at times.
Taste (6/10): The taste kicked off a lot stronger than the nose indicated with the alcohol and whisky flavours more pronounced here than before, there was also a tequila like aroma that I’d put down as mezcal since that’s what was promised. There was some wood and oak flavours towards the middle of the beer with a few smoky touches too and overall it was a little rough and grainy on the way down. Some background hops and a touch of sweetness came through with some spice nearer the end but it wasn’t too bad a taste, it was just a little a strong for my liking.
Palate (3/5): Medium bodied and coming through with very little carbonation at all, this one was quite a rough beer on the way down thanks to the alcohol and grain that featured heavily from the start and made the beer a more difficult one to drink than I’d have liked. It was an overly strong beer but at the same time, it was still drinkable but I really had to take my time with it.

Overall (11/20): This one was definitely an interesting offering and one that started a lot lighter on the nose than I’d feared it might, it certainly wasn’t a weak offering and some oak notes did feature alongside some smoky ones but it wasn’t anywhere near as strong as some other beers coming in north of 10% abv. either. Things were stepped up a gear come the taste though and it was a lot stronger by then thanks to the whisky flavours and touches of background sweetness; there was some tequila type notes as well and touches of grain that gave it quite a harsh feel but it just about remained drinkable. It’s not really one I’d be tempted to go back to but that’s really only because it was such a strong offering, it was nice though and it’s well worth trying.

Brewed In: Ellon, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Brewery: Brewdog / Ballast Point (collaboration)
First Brewed: 2016
Type: American Strong Ale
Abv: 13.8%
Serving: Keg (1/3rd Pint)
Purchased: Brewdog DogHouse, Glasgow, Scotland
Price: £5.28

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