When BrewDog are good they’re really good.
Shipwreck was originally brewed as a collaboration with Ballast Point, but as BrewDog are forthright enough to point out, the Americans, to use a musical simile, sold out to a major, and BrewDog don’t like that kind of thing.
As a result, they’ve crossed out Ballast Point’s name from the label and have a few disparaging things to say about the move.
And while I kind of see what BrewDog is getting at, even as a shareholder, I’m getting pretty tired of their holier than thou/Punkier than thou attitude.
Especially when the beer can be this good.
Shipwreck is a big scary beer, a Pale Ale, brewed with smoked Agave syrup and aged in Speyside whisky barrels.
Pouring a pale gold it smells of wood smoke caught on the breeze through an old damp log cabin window.
There’s a hell of a lot of whisky in here.
In the smell, in the taste, in the heat of the alcohol, it rings around the beer, making it feel thick and boozy.
The malting is runny honey and shortbread, honey and pancakes, and the hops add a brittle herbal pithiness that’s dry and bitter.
And all of this sinks into a deep smoky mist that reminds me of BrewDog’s original batch of Paradox that blew my mind a half decade or so ago.
Smoked Imperial barrel aged Pale Ale with added Agave for an extra juicy finish, Shipwreck might be the product of a collaboration that BrewDog are using as a way of proving their indie credentials, but away from all the marketing bullshit, this is one hell of a beer.