Beer Review 0069: Brewdog Old World India Pale Ale

Brewdog began brewing beer in 2007, founded by friends James Watt and Martin Dickie. The center of operations is in Fraserburgh, Scotland, and the outfit produces about 120,000 bottles per month, which makes it the largest independent Scottish brewery.

Tired of “industrially brewed lagers and stuffy ales,” Watt and Dickie took out some loans and started the brewery to do things their own way. This company is about breaking the rules and taking risk, and they are succeeding; their Punk IPA is the fastest growing independent beer in the UK.

Brewdog also offers what they call “Equity for Punks,” where anyone with some cash can buy shares and invest in the company.

There have been some controversies surrounding Brewdog. In a quest to produce the highest ABV (alcohol by volume) beer in the world, the brewery introduced a 55% ABV freeze-distilled beer called The End of History, and packaged the bottles in stuffed dead bodies of small animals.

What we’re reviewing today isn’t nearly as disgusting, creepy, or high ABV. Old World India Pale Ale is brewed by Brewdog, but the average eye would never guess it. The bottle design is nothing like the common Brewdog bottle, and this beer is only available and is specially produced for Total Wine stores in the United States.

The pour produced an average head that was of lasting quality. The beer itself was bright amber in color with some orange highlights, while the body was clear and free of any particles or sediment. The lacing throughout the drink was good. This was a nice looking beer with a beautiful contrast between the head and the liquid.

The aromatics were anything but an IPA; right off, you notice a thick malt presence in the form of caramel. There’s also a bit of nuttiness, and a bread-like yeast character. There’s a faint hint of some citrus hops, but otherwise nothing to tell you this is an India Pale Ale. I guess this is where the “Old World” thing comes into play. Even with the malt domination, the aromatics were disappointing as everything smelled distant and watery.

On the tongue, there’s an immediate blast of caramel and orange, followed by a transition into the finish that is more like an IPA with a thick bitterness. As the beer warmed, I noticed the finish took on a smoke note as it progressed. This beer is 7.5% ABV (alcohol by volume) and there is a noticeable alcohol kick that warms your chest.

Old World IPA is a decent beer, but I don’t think it’s quite what you’re looking for when you pick up the bottle. The flavors are decent but I wasn’t fond of the alcohol kick, which I think played into a finish that starts off okay but ends with the drinker wanting to quickly move on to something else.

I do like the bottle design…

Brewdog Old World India Pale Ale, 77 points. Price: $5.99 US for one twenty-two ounce bomber bottle.

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