Advent Beer: BrewDog Black Hammer

My once yearly purchase of beer from the Scottish Brewery.

I have my reasons for not buying beer from the Scottish Brewery. They have a place though and are now pretty well known, even by non-beer drinkers. I do feel the need to try one occasionally. Mainly so I can point out to which ever non-beer drinking friend has brought them up, that they could do better. Mainly by going here, here, here or here and buying something more interesting, something you can’t get in every supermarket.

Evidently this is a variation on their regular Jack Hammer, which I’ve had once, in 2014; I didn’t think much of it according to Untappd. It poured a really dark mahogany, rather than jet black, it is a Black IPA after all. A loose (ish) tan coloured head formed slowly and dropped back to half a finger quite quickly.

The nose was thick with hops, positively reeking. Dank C hop aromas spilling out of both the can and glass. The same C hops provided a massive wave of prickly bitterness in the mouth. This upfront bitterness, was overwhelmed pretty quickly, by massive sweet coffee and chocolate roasted flavours. The segway wasn’t nicely integrated, it was quite a discordant change.

More dissonance followed, with the change from all that cloying roasted malt, back to the aftertaste of astringent C hop flavour. The brutality of the flavour change did lessen slightly as the beer warmed up, but it was pretty unrelenting. As was the sweetness; you’d think a beer with a theoretical 200+ IBUs would be searingly bitter, not cloyingly sweet.

It wasn’t that it was unpleasant, it was just far, far, far too sweet. The aggressive hops just couldn’t cope with all that dark malt. Who knows if it’s the beer, or just shoddy warehousing by Tesco. Either way, that’s my annual Scottish Brewery purchase done and dusted. Back to buying something more interesting…

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