Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Stone/Brewdog Bashah

Sitting down to a beer after a long hard day of work, on a Saturday no less.  As I sit back let myself relax into this glass of Bashah, I'm reminded of a mindset, or perhaps ideology, that goes deeper than the craft brew movement.  Regardless of what's in your glass, miller lite or Beer Geek Breakfast, after a long hard day of work, there really is nothing better than something cold and frosty to restore your spirit and vitality.

The Bashah is no exception.  I'm opening this beer with quite a bit of trepidation.  It's been exhalted for its collaborators, Stone and Brewdog, two of the industry leaders.  If you haven't already, you should watch Stone's 30 minute video about the making of this beer.  I was lucky enough to try this beer on tap at the Daily Pint about a month ago, but was pretty disappointed as it had a similar funk to my Shah Mat, leading me to believe that either I had stumbled upon some mysterious ingredient combination of Black IPAs, or my beer had simply gone bad.

It doesn't take too long after opening this beer to tell, that the batch I had on tap had simply gone bad.  Why? Because this is good.

There's practically no head on this beer and the aroma is almost entirely Belgian yeast.  The taste, however, is much more complex.  The front end is mostly hops and carbonation with a slight citrus bend.  The clarity and wildness of the yeast seems to take over in the middle and we finish with an incredibly complex mixture of chocolate roasted grains, and VERY bitter alpha acid hops.  Actually, those two descriptions should be reversed because while the bitter is settling in under the tongue, the chocolate roast subtley spreads out like a final shockwave: definitive punctuation on a very wordy sentence.

The body is understandably light to enhance the IPA qualities.  The Belgian yeast does the job it's supposed to, really enhancing the bitterness of the hops, but plays perhaps too much of a role in the flavor for my liking.  The flavors seem to swing from one to another rather than roll, and a bit of smoothing in this balance could hopefully be incorporated into future collaborations.

Lastly, in Stone spirit, they have adorned the label with typically Stone-esque long paragraph of sometimes wise, sometimes philosophical ramblings.  Unfortunately, this is not one of their better ones as it says little beyond commenting on the elusive and illusive qualities of their beer.  All that aside, it's well made beer with a lot to offer its happy drinkers with 8.6% alc.

Bashah: ****

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