The list of great craft breweries that have cropped up over the last several years is pretty extensive, they’ve cropped up in every corner of the globe and the wealth of choice available now is enormous. However, two breweries that have become big names in the craft beer business not just in the UK but around the world are BrewDog and Beavertown. So, when those two breweries collaborate to make a beer, then any beer lover is going to want to try it.
A bit of disclosure – I love BrewDog, and am a Equity for Punks member (their shareholder plan), but I will always be honest with regard to their beers! Though I haven’t tried a beer of theirs that I’ve disliked yet, and the same applies for Beavertown, and this one is no different.
The first thing that struck me about Coffee & Cigarettes is how dark it is. It’s probably the darkest beer I’ve ever had, or certainly up there. In my tasting notes I wrote “BLACK. SO BLACK. LIKE A LIQUIFIED GOTH.” Though, admittedly this was about five or six beers into a tasting session, but in any case my point still stands. It’s a brilliant black and it’s a shame to have to drink it but, you know, in the interests of science and all that…
Up next, the aroma – it hits you even before you lift it up to your nose There’s a complexity there that’s akin to a peaty Islay whisky and you get hits of smoke, peat, whisky, cigarettes, and even a bit of smoked paprika. These would seem like unusual flavours for a beer, and they’re not going to be everyone’s tastes, but if you are a fan of them then you could spend ages just taking in the different scents.
All of those aromas following through in the tasting, and you get the smoke and peat straight away that trigger that whisky familiarity, which is then followed by treacle, molasses, chocolate and hints of dried fruits like raisins and sultanas. It’s the most complex stout I’ve ever had, and the thick texture of the beer coats your mouth and lets those flavours linger. Though at 12.1% ABV, it’s a very strong drink and definitely a sipping beer which you’re only going to have one of in an evening.
Now, all of this complexity and flavour does come at a cost and a single 330ml bottle will set you back £10. But if you’re a fan of the flavours that I’ve described, peaty whiskies, or just trying something new and a little bit special, then it’s absolutely worth every penny. I just hope that BrewDog and Beavertown decided to collaborate on further beers – I’d love to see what they could do with an IPA, or a brown ale.
An undeniably expensive beer, but full of flavour and complexity and worth every penny.