For the first time in a while we finally have a new guest reviewer on the show. My friend Chris stops by to help me check out this collaboration brew between two of the most well-known breweries on the planet: Three Floyds of Indiana and BrewDog of Scotland. Apparently what they were going for on this one was a barleywine with additional sweeteners added and then the beer was aged in Scotch whiskey barrels for 8 months before bottling. I specifically asked Chris to review this one with me because he is a huge Scotch whiskey enthusiast, and I've been getting him into craft beer a lot lately. If you'd like to see him in future episodes let me know.
P.S. this is the last of the beers sent to me from http://youtube.com/ZakAvery in a trade - thanks for the beer, Zak!
4.2AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
I received a 330ml bottle from Zak Avery in England (thanks!). I split it with a friend and poured my half into a tulip glass.
Appearance: Cloudy burgundy-colored body. Forms a surprisingly large, off-white, frothy head which retains very well and even laces a little.
Smell: Similar to most barleywines with raw fruit sweetness, a hint of dark chocolate, and smoked malt.
Taste: This is one of those beers with two very separate and distinct palates. The first half is very sweet, almost confectionary, of fruit-flavor syrup. Similar to something you’d put on ice cream or pancakes or the liquid preservative of canned fruit. The second half is just the opposite with an immediate transition to dry, smoked malts. The residual flavor is very smoky, reminiscent of hickory and BBQ food.
The palate here takes some getting used to as these flavors do work together, but continually catch the palate off guard. The beer was made with toffee, shortbread, and peated malt and was aged in Scotch barrels to give it a Scotch-like quality and it definitely succeeds in that respect.
Mouthfeel: Thinner than I expected, but plenty of energy while its on the tongue. Aftertaste is dry and smoky.
Drinkability: While the palate to Bitch Please is very robust, the mouthfeel is thin enough to enable smooth drinkability. The 11.5% ABV only plays a small role in the palate with minor warmth and Scotch-like dryness. This beer would be absolutely wonderful with any smoked pork entree, especially tenderloin or pulled pork. Drinking it on its own as a dessert beer is pleasing too, although the smoky aftertaste is a little cloying.
Overall, this is an original, impressive and very enjoyable experimental brew. It’s a shame it’s in such limited quantities (and probably a one-time-only brewing) as I think a lot of craft beer enthusiasts would really enjoy and appreciate Bitch Please.