For what happened last time round – Fanzine, the Eighth Edition
I got a text from the Royal Mail earlier in the week, indicating that a new Fanzine box was imminent. Unfortunately, on delivery day, one hour into my shift at work, I was “asked” to stay on and work an additional 4.5 hours that day. My evening with a new Fanzine selection slowly dwindled into a fantasy. Later that day I received another text from our glorious mail service informing me that delivery hadn’t been successful, and I would have to pick the package up from my local delivery office. Oh well, the beers would have to wait until the next night! The next day, I got up early to get cracked on with work and allowed myself time for a brief detour to the sorting office. I picked up the little cardboard box: for the first time since the Fanzine subscription began, I didn’t know what was going to be inside! I opened it as I parked for work, and though it was pre-9am, I gave a double cheer of excitement for what awaited me that evening. The first cheer was upon seeing a NEIPA and the second was for “Elvis Hammer” – named after two of my favourite existing BrewDog beers.
All 330mls, the third set of Fanzine beers are as follows:
- Ten Ton Truck V2
- Cloud Cartel
- Elvis Hammer
Mandatory ‘Ten Ton Truck V2’ Facts
- Untappd Rating: 3.94 (at time of writing)
- ABV: 10.0%
- IBU: 70
- Style: Stout
- Tagline: Vietnamese Coffee Edition
- Descriptive Comment: Low down torque
I was really surprised that the second “Ten Ton Truck” of Fanzine’s relatively short existence had not been labelled as “V2”. Until BrewDog confirms otherwise, I’m going to reference it as “Ten Ton Truck V2”. I still get slightly twitchy about stouts, as I have only recently begun to enjoy them. Nonetheless, I know that if balanced well, providing more than just an overwhelming bitter sensation, this category of beer can be really diverse and exciting.
The neon-purple can design poured an incredibly thick, almost tar-like liquid, that looked incredibly rich. It was pitch-black in appearance with a deep chocolate foam head. Coffee and chocolate were on the nose in equal proportions. On sampling, my first sip actually gave me goose bumps! A rich and intense flavour, backed up with a whopping ABV, was just too much for my first sip of the night. On slower, smaller sips, I noticed the complexity within the incredibly luxurious texture given by the beer. I feel the flavour profile evolved in three waves:
- Beginning: a deep caramel bitterness, with an initial warmth of alcohol on the front of my tongue
- Middle: a huge coffee hit
- End: the bitterness collides with the sweet additives of honey, vanilla and sugar, preventing the bitter notes from going too far
Diagnosis: 3.25/5. “Ten Ton Truck V2” was a really enjoyable stout, but not one that I could have more than a 330ml serving of. It’s so intensely rich that I had to cautiously pace myself during sampling, but thankfully I enjoyed each and every mouthful.
Mandatory ‘Cloud Cartel’ Facts
- Untappd Rating: 3.55 (at time of writing)
- ABV: 5.0%
- IBU: 20
- Style: NEIPA
- Tagline: New England Session IPA
- Descriptive Comment: A hop-smuggling operation
NEIPA is certainly a style that I struggle not to consume! This teal-coloured can produced a beer that was slightly hazy, turbid and Tuscany-yellow in appearance. The smells were really beautiful from the can and glass, with subtle light lime notes. On top of the hazy beer was a fluffy foam head, creating such an inviting look. The taste was great, but not what I would associate with a typical NEIPA. The majority of NEIPA style beers that I have sampled usually sit at the 7-8%, so given its sessionable percentage, the beer felt slightly weaker than what I would typically expect. It was a very light beer, lacking the dankness usually found within a NEIPA, and the texture was slightly thin-bodied. There were notes of peach and grapefruit that popped throughout sampling, finishing with a mild lime twist at the end.
Diagnosis: 3.0/5. “Cloud Cartel” is a nice sessionable NEIPA, but to be honest, I’d rather have a Cloud Cartel with a greater all-round intensity, backed up with the typical, enjoyable 7-8% ABV. It’s as though reducing the alcohol has reduced the flavour punch.
Mandatory ‘Elvis Hammer’ Facts
- Untappd Rating: 3.91 (at time of writing)
- ABV: 6.8%
- IBU: 75
- Style: IPA
- Tagline: Ruthless Grapefruit IPA
- Descriptive comment: Hops joined at the hip
I always save the beer that I expect to enjoy the most until last. As soon as I saw the name, my jaw dropped. This is EXACTLY the kind of concept that I want BrewDog to be playing with for Fanzine. Take two successful brews from BrewDog’s core line-up and mash them into one glorious orange can. For those of you that don’t know, the “roots” of this beer trace back to “Elvis Juice” and “Jack Hammer” – two of my favourite ever BrewDog beers. As such, I had to pour this beer into my “Jack Hammer” glass. The beer poured a mid-golden-orange colour with a thin, bright white foam head. It zinged of grapefruit and reminded me of Elvis Juice! It was beautiful: elegantly smooth in texture with a huge grapefruit kick upfront. This faded into a savoury bread-malt base that complimented this beer. Not only this, but on smaller sips, bitter notes reminiscent of Jack Hammer came through.
Diagnosis: 4.5/5. “Elvis Hammer” is a wonderfully complex, but light, beer. Well done BrewDog! This is exactly what Dr Beer ordered! I hope that this brew goes down well and ultimately becomes part of BrewDog’s core line-up.
Box Rating: 3.58/5
Fanzine Rating to Date: 3.38/5
Want to join the Fanzine experience AND want a £10 voucher for the BrewDog website? The sign up to Fanzine and quote my name “Dr Beer” in the referral section!
For more Fanzine stories, hit here to see the complete journey to date.