Friday, May 18, 2012

BrewDog Punk IPA (2012 original review)


I realize this review is a few years behind the times. BrewDog is a Scottish brewery inspired by the American craft beer scene that has been using some pretty wild publicity and marketing antics over the years to shake up the frumpy real ale scene of the UK (and I'm okay with that). And even though I've had a few beers bearing the BrewDog label, NONE of them were regular releases - all collabs. Well I decided to give one of their perennial releases a try - their flagship beer - the Punk IPA. Is it really that punkish? I'll find out.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (664) - Albany, New York, USA - MAY 18, 2012
It’s no secret that BrewDog was inspired by the American craft beer scene, so it comes as no surprise that their flagship beer, the Punk IPA, is reminiscent of one of the more famous American craft brewery’s flagship - Stone IPA. But since this is from the UK, it’s much more reserved. The label even describes it as a "pale ale" twice and seems to almost be boasting its 5.6% ABV potency.

I poured an 11.2 bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Dark gold to light orange hue; so hazy it’s opaque and I can’t see any carbonation. Does form a good sized, white, frothy head which laces and retains quite well.

Smell: Light orange sherbet sweetness and a subtle flowery/perfumey scent.

Taste: Since Punk IPA seemed so American from the get-go I was a little surprised it was a little weak on the draw. Mild sweetness up front - a subtle citrusy flavor of orange juice and other tropical fruit flavors sans bitterness and sans juicy sweetness. Once it hits its apex the flavors really start to come out - orange is certainly the most prominent. But it’s short-lived as the energy level of this palate is noticeably low for a so-called IPA. I did notice some bitterness and I was able to enhance it a little with some tongue action. It finishes a little too clean, though, as there’s little hop presence in the aftertaste. If you approach this as a pale ale along the lines of a Sierra Nevada it’s a satisfying beer and the flavors are enjoyable, but mild.

Drinkability: What BrewDog Punk IPA lacks in robustness it makes up for in drinkability. With a slightly thin viscosity, low carbonation and clean finish, it’s easy to drink this beer by the glug rather than the sip. I drank this on a hot, humid night and it was actually quite refreshing - an attribute I would not normally attribute to an IPA since hops tend to dry out the mouth. The 5.6% ABV seems right, if not a tad high, as I could easily envision the average American craft beer drinker approaching this as something sessionable rather than anything to prepare for.

Grade: 7/10

NOTE: Read my 2016 re-review (of a can to BJCP specs) here: http://www.chadzbeerreviews.com/2016/09/brewdog-punk-ipa-2016-re-review.html