30 January 2012

The limit of creativity

Brewdog didn't even bother putting one of their colourful diatribes on the label of Hops Kill: it's just an ad for their share ownership thingy. Label copy that tries to sell you something other than the beer behind it is a new one on me. I guess they reckon anyone who's going to buy this limited-edition imperial red ale has already made up their mind before getting close enough to the bottle to read it.

It's a viscous little number, pouring relatively flat at first and only gradually foaming up towards the end. I was expecting 5AM Saint with extra booziness, as it's 7.8% ABV, but that's not how it transpired. 5AM's aggressive Simcoe and Nelson Sauvin hopping is something I can only handle in small doses, producing a gradual cheese-and-cat-pee character that starts me regretting my pint about three quarters of the way through. Thankfully, Hops Kill doesn't have this.

Perhaps the dry-hopping is less intensive, or perhaps the additional alcohol lends it balance, but the hops here are pleasantly and unapologetically bitter at first, and only showing off their flavour towards the end where, yes the neighbourhood Tom has been marking his territory, but it's balanced with enough sweet sherbet and dry roast to clean up the worst excesses.

At the end of the bottle I'd have another. That doesn't happen with 5AM Saint.


  1. I really like 5am Saint and I will now be trying to taste cat pee in it. I think you have probably ruined the beer for me.

    As revenge here are some things that once you notice you can't unnotice

    1. Michael Stipe sounds bored when he's singing

    2. Mary Lou McDonald puts a cliche in every third sentence

    3. One of Ronnie Corbit's nostrils is much bigger than the other.

    1. We will never be the equal of wine drinkers as long as we remain disgusted at the notion of drinking cats' piss.

      I'm stunned you managed to listen to Mary Lou for a whole three sentences. Never managed that one myself.

      Now if you'll excuse me I have a lot of Ronnie Corbett research to do on YouTube.

  2. "We will never be the equal of wine drinkers as long as we remain disgusted at the notion of drinking cats' piss."

    Does this mean we don't have to stoop to their level then?

    1. That depends on whether or not the cat is standing on anything.

  3. ba dum tssh

    other way round fo rme I'm afraid, 5am saint probably my second fave after alice porter. in comparison i found hops kill too sticky and a tad cloying with plenty of aroma and no flavour or to use a dog cliche, all bark and no bite

  4. Had this on keg in North Bar and Brewdog camden and liked it both times. Apart from the fact I really do like 5am can't argue with your points here mate.