Breakfast Beer Tasting: Brewdog Libertine Black Ale
Tuesday in July can only mean one thing: Brewdog. Their take on Black IPA to be exact. It’s described as a “hop whore for the 21st century” which, being a hop whore lover, I can dig.
It’s the standard 330ml bottle and at 7.2% it’s in the ballpark for this type of beer. Pouring black with a large tan head, its aroma consisted of moderate levels of citrus hops, roast and dark fruits. The beer itself was medium bodied and surprisingly smooth. There was a flash of bitterness that lingers, but overall the beer is well balanced. A little too well balanced?
Yes, it seems a funny criticism, but it’s not what you’d expect from a beer purporting to be a Black IPA. The grapefruit notes are complemented by dark berries and then washed away by the roast malt. You’re left waiting for the punch that never comes. It's certainly no hop whore.
There are a lot of good Black IPAs out there. Sadly, this isn’t one of them. If you look to the likes of Buxton as a benchmark, you’ll feel short changed by this. It lacks the power that a 7.2% should carry and is far too bland to be a serious contender.