Though I continue to enjoy my BrewDog journey of Fanzine beers, this set has arrived at an unfortunate time – during the World Cup! I’m certainly being kept busy having to try beers from all over the world and sample new Fanzine beers.
All 330ml cans, the sixth set of Fanzine beers are as follows:
- Vinyl Vigilante
- Zephyr V3
- Raspberry Rivet
Not only are these beers available in the subscription can set, they are also available as a draught variety in BrewDog bars. Now if I could only go back and get approximately 10 pints of that Milkshake IPA ‘Pulp Patriot’ from the third Fanzine instalment.
Mandatory ‘Vinyl Vigilante’ Facts
- Untappd Rating: 3.66 (at time of writing)
- ABV: 7.0%
- IBU: 35
- Style: Stout
- Tagline: Coffee Milk Stout
- Descriptive Comment: Play loud
Although I’m starting to enjoy stouts, I’m not yet raiding my local beer store for their entire supply: my relationship with this variety of beer would probably best be described as ‘tentative’. It’s probably why I choose to drink ‘Vinyl Vigilante’ first – because it is least likely to be a new favourite. Nonetheless, a striking neon purple can design looked really appealing and luxurious. As I opened the can it fizzed everywhere, making a bit of a mess over the kitchen counter! The beer poured jet black and a moderately large mocha head was produced – very similar to Ten Ton Truck. Aromas of coffee came through, with a mild sweetness. On tasting, I was expecting a coffee overload, but it was quite gentle and not overbearing. In addition, the other primary flavour that came through was a soft chocolate note, produced from the chocolate wheat malts used during the mashing stage of the brewing process. At the mid-point of tasting, a strong sweetness dominated (from the addition of the milk sugar), but this then crashed into a contrasting bitterness, which rounded off the beer.
Rating: 3.75/5. ‘Vinyl Vigilante’ continues to build my trust in stouts and I now WANT to try new ones. The overwhelmingly bitter brews lacking additional flavours that I sampled in my early beer-days are being slowly forgotten (hopefully never to be experienced again)! To make this beer really shine, I’d want the chocolate and coffee flavours to be inverted, so that chocolate dominates – but given it’s a “coffee milk stout”, that would be a new beer. *Hint @BrewDog!*
Mandatory ‘Zephyr V3’ Facts
- Untappd Rating: 3.62 (at time of writing)
- ABV: 4.6%
- IBU: 10
- Style: Sour
- Tagline: Pina Colada Edition
- Descriptive Comment: Juiced up and ready to roll
Before I start I would like to state that I’m not a big coconut fan. In a box of celebrations, the bounty bars are always left untouched and I’ve never been a fan of desiccated coconut as a coating on confectionary. As such, piña coladas have never been the cocktail for me. Unfortunately, the can had seen better days, with BrewDog blaming the yeast used (apparently yeast can damage cans…?); I was really careful whilst opening this can after making a bit of a mess with ‘Vinyl Vigilante’!
The can was a neon yellow, just like the other Zephyr cans. It poured a transparent sunny lager-like colour, slightly darker than the namesake cocktail would pour. A modest bright white head dissipated quickly. Aromas of piña colada are strong, even on a “drive by” sniff test (i.e. when the glass is about 1-2 feet away), promising a flavour-sensation. On sampling, the first half of the drink tasted of pineapple and a touch of lime, creating a lovely, sour, salty edge. This then slowly faded to a desiccated coconut taste, created by the coconut added at the end of the brewing process.
Rating: 2.0/5. ‘Zephyr V3’ is not a beer for me, but this isn’t BrewDog’s mistake, it’s just my personal preference of flavour combinations. Conceptually and technically speaking – it hits the promised marks, but work needs to be done on can protection! NB: If you drink the beer quickly, you get less of the coconut flavour.
Mandatory ‘Raspberry Rivet’ Facts
- Untappd Rating: 3.66 (at time of writing)
- ABV: 6.5%
- IBU: 15
- Style: Ale
- Tagline: Raspberry Oatmeal Cream Ale
- Descriptive comment: Super smooth superstructure
Final beer of the evening. This bright pink can with ‘Raspberry’ proudly standing out on the front was certainly inviting. A hazy light orange beer was produced on pouring, with a slight, smooth foam head. Little aroma came from the head itself, except a tinge of an IPA scent. The most noticeable factor, before acknowledging the taste, was the luxurious mouthfeel; it was incredibly silky, which I’ve found to be a consistent characteristic of oatmeal-based beers. Supplementing the smoothness was a creamy flavour, rounded off by a light raspberry edge. The raspberry brought a touch of sweetness and perfume to the beer before finally, a slight bitter hint finished the drink, but at only 15 IBUs, it is certainly very subtle.
Rating: 3.75/5. ‘Raspberry Rivet’ by far has the best mouthfeel of all three beers: it is super smooth in texture and is therefore beautiful to drink. Whilst I enjoy the raspberry present, I feel that it could do with just a bit more in order to elevate its status from a good beer, to a brilliant brew.
Box Rating: 3.17/5
Fanzine Rating to Date: 3.31/5
Enjoy your fanzine beers! Let me know your ratings!