09 June 2011

What the dormouse said

I was a bit tired when I came to BrewDog Alice Porter. It had been a long week and I probably didn't really need another beer. But if it's just going to be the one, why not a 6.2% ABV Baltic Porter from the naughty Scottish boys at the back of the class? As ever, the label copy makes big and flouncy promises -- I took its talk of a "radically reinvisaged" [sic] porter at face value and reckoned there wouldn't be a whole lot of work stringing a few words together about it. And then I opened it.

It's a Baltic Porter all right, but it could be any Baltic Porter: you get that stern liquorice and treacle bitter sweetness and pleasant boozy warmth. All very lovely as it goes, but where's the radical reimagining? Concentrating hard, I managed to pick up a few of Alice's distinguishing features. There's a light and flowery sweet flavour at the very end: a touch of lavender or rose water, but I had to work to find it.

Despite the bluster, I think this can be filed at the good, solid, balanced, drinkable end of the BrewDog portfolio. Don't expect a full-palate workout.


  1. Not a psychedelic experience, then. (What the Dormouse said, incidentally, was "twinkle, twinkle, twinkle, twinkle...")

    This is one of the big problems with BD - every single beer is supposed to be a radical challenge to the very foundations of the stale and repressive (continued page 94). When you actually drink them, some are good solid flavoursome beers, some are weird experiments aimed at tickers, and some (quite a lot) are toned-down versions of the weird experiments aimed at people who buy beer in supermarkets but want to feel superior to the kind of people who, er, buy beer in supermarkets (never could work that one out). If you drank everything they brew you'd spend a lot of money for some revolting beer, but if you ignored them completely you'd miss out on the nice stuff that they are actually rather good at producing - e.g. this one, which I'm going to look out for.

  2. Always thought that song could have done with another verse.

    And a very true analysis of The Whole BD Thing. I can't say I'm very tempted by any of their ticker beers that cost more than a tenner a bottle. €9 for Tokyo* is where I stop, I think.

  3. Anonymous10:25 a.m.

    Fair enough, they are loud and should excpect some criticism, but don't undermind the fact that they've got consumer sex-appeal and hence their beer is pretty available. Availability is not obvious in supermarkets where I live (Oslo), and I'm thrilled to be able to pick up a well beyond descent BD (with my milk and dipers) just down the road.


  4. Their consumer sex appeal -- anyone's consumer sex appeal -- doesn't interest me. Their beer wouldn't remain available if it wasn't drinkable in the first place, which thankfully it mostly is.

  5. AB06 is worth the few extra pennies if you like it hoppy.
    Alice is one of my favourite brewdog core range

  6. I liked it, to be honest.

  7. I have a bottle in the fridge. Time to reach for the bottle opener methinks.

  8. Let it warm up a bit before drinking, fridge temp is a bit cold for Alice. http://www.brewdog.com/blog-article/brewdogs-guide-to-matching-food-with-beer

  9. My beer fridge is set to 10°C, which I find works for most beers.

  10. Not germane ... but, can't resist.

    Back in Sept 2009 Jeff Alworth's blog regard this brewery was titled:
    Sons of the American Revolution: Scotland's BrewDog Brewery.

    Brilliant wordplay and layered historic reference.

  11. BrewDog are far from the only ones taking ideas from US craft beer. Like the other revolution, the beer one doesn't just belong to you any more.