For what happened in the last box, check out Fanzine, the Seventh subscription
These beers arrived whilst I was midway through a set of nightshifts; consequently, I had these as a celebration once I was finished!
All 330mls, the eighth set of Fanzine beers are as follows:
- King of Eights V3
- Technicolour Black
- Pulp Patriot V2
Mandatory ‘King of Eights V3’ Facts
- Untappd Rating: 3.89 (at time of writing)
- ABV: 7.4%
- IBU: 20
- Style: IPA
- Tagline: Triple Dry-Hop Edition
- Descriptive Comment: Cue ‘em up
A hazy pale orange beer was poured from the deep-green can. A soft, velvety white head was produced. To date, the “King of Eights” beer series has underperformed up against my expectations. The tropical IPA flavour description is one that reads perfectly for my taste-buds, but I’ve found that the actual taste is washed-out and often lacks depth. In this one, version 3, the tropical notes really came through on the nose, beginning the salivation process. On tasting, a smooth texture was noted, with light exotic notes of mango and peach coming through. The taste though, reflected that of its two predecessors – it was thin and lacked the intensity that I associate with BrewDog’s hop-fuelled beers. It finished with an equally disappointing light watery-thin bitterness.
Rating: 3.0/5. “King of Eights V3” was difficult to score: it has the base and attributes that I desire in a beer, the flavour profile is enjoyable, and it smells incredible, but the taste lacks the intensity I crave. I feel that the volume level is on single digits – just press ‘up’ on the remote and let the hops shout!
Mandatory ‘Technicolour Black’ Facts
- Untappd Rating: 3.54 (at time of writing)
- ABV: 6.5%
- IBU: 90
- Style: IPA
- Tagline: Black Rye IPA
- Descriptive Comment: Auto-cue bitterness
A bright neon pink can design contained a jet-black beer. I’ve had a few black IPAs over the last couple of years, with varying levels of success. This beer had a slight tan head that settled to the side of the glass, with an addition of a single row of foam bubbles pooled in the centre. The scent was bizarre – it messed with my mind as my olfactory sense predicted a deep bitter taste, but was then fooled by bright, typical IPA aromas flooding through.
On sampling, it started with quite a thin texture, with no carbonation. There was a magical complexity to it; depending on the size of your mouthful, a different flavour profile dominated. On small sips, the bitter flavours dominated and the characteristic savoury and malty-rye flavour came through. On larger samplings, the bitterness was more of an undercurrent, whilst bright, piney IPA flavours came through.
Rating: 3.75/5. “Technicolour Black” offers a great blend of bitterness and a light zing of pine. With an IBU of 90, the bitterness certainly doesn’t go unnoticed. Nonetheless, it is wonderfully light and refreshing, which I don’t usually associate with traditional darker coloured beers – stouts and porters. As I delve deeper into darker brews I am beginning to understand and appreciate the complexity bitterness can provide. The bitterness here really elevates what would otherwise be a mediocre IPA.
Mandatory ‘Pulp Patriot V2’ Facts
- Untappd Rating: 4.04 (at time of writing)
- ABV: 9.5%
- IBU: 10
- Style: NEIPA
- Tagline: Double-Dry Hop Edition
- Descriptive comment: Swear allegiance
When it comes to movies, sequels rarely do as well as the original. With beer, the brewer is able to take their time, criticise the beer and think “How could I make this better?”. I absolutely adored the original “Pulp Patriot” (which fanzine and link)– a rich, creamy milkshake IPA with a tropical bomb explosion. With all the Fanzine beers now available for a limited period in BrewDog bars – I searched for another one of these cans, although I would have also accepted a draught growler to take-away! I couldn’t find it in any of my local BrewDogs’ – with all hope lost, I could only wish for this to become a regular beer on BrewDog’s menu.
On what might appear as a slight tangent, I’ve recently been on holiday in the Mediterranean and I visited two wonderful cities – Barcelona and Rome. Whilst there, I managed to deviate from the tourist attractions and wonderful architecture in order to sneak a quick drink in a BrewDog bar. This was the first time I’ve been in a BrewDog outside of the UK and I definitely had to get my ‘BrewDog Passport’ stamped. Whilst in the Rome bar – which was within viewing distance of the Colosseum – I managed to get the very last can of “Pulp Patriot”! It was actually on display, advertising the Fanzine subscription! As a result, I’ve actually managed to sample both versions of “Pulp Patriot” in quick succession, making comparison a bit easier.
As soon as I saw that this Fanzine box contained a new Pulp Patriot I was super excited! This was the last of the three cans to be sampled, as I was anticipating saving the best for last. For some reason, when opening the can I didn’t get the classical “hiss” sound effect, as has the ring-pull didn’t fully penetrate the aluminium indent. This left only a slight opening for beer to be poured from, so I had to use my thumb to pry a large enough opening – a bit strange! The beer poured a mildly hazy orange colour but was not as turbid as V1. There was little foam head, but that didn’t stop lovely mango and peach aromas breaking through. Sampling wasn’t as impressive as I hoped: instead of the smooth, velvety, creamy texture of its predecessor, a thin-bodied feel was noted with a hint of carbonation. At least the flavour profile was enjoyable, with some sweetness very characteristic of a milkshake IPA. There were also some great tropical notes from the Citra and Mosaic hops used.
Rating: 3.5/5. “Pulp Patriot V2” was unfortunately not as good as the original. The flavour profile is as enjoyable and might even be more intense than its predecessor, but the inferior mouthfeel with this beer truly highlights that a great beer isn’t just about flavour profiles.
Box Rating: 3.42/5
Fanzine Rating to Date: 3.35/5
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