Dog A, produced by BrewDog and served at their 2012 AGM, is reviewed by Chris Hall.
Dog A is based on one of BrewDog’s innovative Abstrakt range; the AB:04 to be precise. This was easily their most popular, and has become the basis for the brewer’s 5th anniversary beer. It is a muscular Imperial stout that practically detonates in the mouth, and really epitomises this brewer’s approach to beer.
The inclusion of pure cacao beans, naga chillies and coffee sets the agenda here. Roasted malt forms the backbone to this monstrosity, and has the colour of a black hole. The head, pillowy and hillock-like, is the colour of quality fudge.
A thick scent of rum and raisin bursts out of the glass, bringing with it a plantation of coffee beans, a pint of hot chocolate and large brandy for good measure. The smell alone is enough to get drunk from, or at least that’s what it feels like.
If you dare to bring this beast to your lips, you’ll immediately be aware of a large carpet, woven from chilli and chocolate, being rolled down your tongue. With it comes a gentle burn of hot coffee and a raspberry-tipped cruise missile of booziness. Relax, it isn’t going anywhere. The flavour, conveyed by a whisky-like body, clings to your teeth and seeps into your gums. This isn’t a finish, this is an occupation.
Thickness or astringency just doesn’t cover it. This is the brewing equivalent of ultra-violence. Prop open your eyelids, pop on a bowler hat and prepare to get beaten senseless. Sheer, excessive magnificence.