...Well, I've spent the last couple of hours tasting the most talked about beer this week - BrewDog Tokyo. At a massive 18.2% abv, the alcohol content of this stout has gained most of the press, but we've had very little on taste so far. I've never had anything this strong before, so it really was a first.
Once the incredibly lively, orange head dies down, you're left with a stout as dark as a Newcastle supporter's mood. It really is black. The nose is where you get the first hint of how strong this stuff actually is - there's a brininess to it that, for me, was a little meaty. Before you drink it you know it's going to be hot, but the once the initial warming alcohol fades, you get a surprisingly round, raisiny fruitiness with only a whiff of smoke - just before the final bitter tang and another hit of alcohol to warm the throat. It's certainly not as dry as I thought it would be, being an imperial stout. It is dry-hopped,but for me the malts and oak chips dominate the flavour profile.
Of course, It is ludicrously strong; you can't get away from that. In fact, one bottle is a struggle - furtive sipping is the way to go with this one. However, I found it surprisingly well-balanced, and quite unlike anything I've managed to get my mitts on yet. And that's the point of beer-hunting isn't it?
Now, I'm feeling a little sleepy...