I’ve had these bottles kicking around for a while now, they were part of an order I made with BEERMerchants.com way back in July. London Brick was a collaboration brew between a load of London brewers and Dark Star, you can read about it here and here. Big Brick was London Brick’s bigger brother and another collaboration brew, which you can read about here.
London Brick poured a burnished mahogany colour, with a fantastic light brown head. The head stayed pretty stable at about a finger, as it was being fed by loads a wee bubbles. I’m struggling to describe the nose, it reminded me of that aroma you get with lots of crystal malt, not not quite the same. I’m not sure I got anything else to be honest.
It was pretty smooth in the mouth, with a lovely, just sweet enough, malty backbone that laid a perfect platform for the hops. The bitterness was perfectly pitched, just peaking above the malt in a medley of grapefruit and orange. The after taste was fantastically juicy and left lingering fruity notes fading away for ages. A totally brilliant beer.
Big Brick poured a similar colour to London Brick, but just a bit darker. While the head was a similar colour and just as easily formed, it didn’t last and dropped to a covering relatively quickly. The nose was an amped version of London Brick, you might be seeing a pattern here. It was very thick, pungent and vinous, with the rye notes pounding the nose.
For such a big beer, it was amazingly smooth in the mouth, at least at the start, then the bitterness cut in. It really rampaged through the mouth and brought some prickly malt with it. The balance between the malt and the bitterness was pretty good, with plenty of sweetness to balance out the immense bitterness. The wasn’t quite as fruity in the after taste as London Brick, I found it to be a bit dryer, but still pretty juicy though.
- The Kernel
- Big Brick Collaboration Red Rye Ale, 8.9%, 330ml
I’m not sure why I’ve not got round to drinking them earlier. I think I was scared of them, as I’ve not really had any beers made with rye before and big red ales are really not my favourite style. As is normal though, I should have got round to them sooner as they were amazing, especially the London Brick. I can only think what it must have been like when it was fresh, damn my prejudices, damn them to hell…