Fanzine the Terrific Thirteenth

For what happened last time round – Fanzine, the twelfth edition

Wow: we now approach 6 months since the start of Fanzine. For the second box in a row, there were no sequels (i.e. “versions”) which I was pleased to see. There was one little surprise however… The return of an old Russian brew!

All 330mls, the latest set of Fanzine beers were as follows:

  • Russian Imperial Stout
  • Brutalist
  • Flux Factory


Mandatory “Russian Imperial Stout” Facts

  • Untappd Rating: 3.98 (at time of writing)
  • ABV: 9.5%
  • IBU: 50
  • Style: Stout
  • Tagline: Russian Imperial Stout
  • Descriptive Comment: n/a

My mind was blown when I opened the box: the typical trio appeared different from the offset, with the can on the far left looking very out-of-place. The recipe of this stout hadn’t been used for approximately 5 years; as such, BrewDog decided to bring it out of retirement for this box. BrewDog retained the original can design, which highlighted Russian architecture.

The beer poured a jet-black colour, with a slight tan head that settled over approximately 5 minutes. Aromas had a light roasted scent, with little else. On sampling, the imperial stout was remarkably light, both in mouthfeel and ABV. At 9.5% I was expecting a bigger booze note. I had to do a double-take with this can as I was surprised by the sweetness of this stout – yes, the IBU was only 50, making it different to other stouts of the Fanzine series, which are often around 90.


Diagnosis: 4.0/5. “Russian Imperial Stout” is a wonderful stout that I wouldn’t have been able to appreciate 5 years ago, so I’m really glad to have finally sampled it!

Mandatory “Brutalist” Facts

  • Untappd Rating: 3.55 (at time of writing)
  • ABV: 6.0%
  • IBU: 20
  • Style: IPA
  • Tagline: Brut India Pale Ale
  • Descriptive Comment: The bone dry bruiser

A neon-orange can poured a surprisingly light straw colour beer, lighter than expected for an IPA. It had a bright white foam head a few bubbles in height (yes that is the technical term!). Aromas were light and savoury in nature; primarily of flour and dough, complementing the light nature of the brew. The savoury bread notes really came through, with a slight stone fruit note in the background. This was one of my first “Brut” beers: considered to be “the champagne of beer”, meaning it is dry with a high carbonation. “Brutalist” certainly achieved this, with light bubbles popping on the palate. The beer ended in an incredibly dry and savoury manner, making it all-too-easy not to put this crisp and fresh beer down, making me go straight for the next sip repeatedly!


Diagnosis: 4.0/5. “Brutalist” is brutally dry without creating an unpleasant tasting experience! I would consider this like an IPA-lager hybrid: the light crispness of a lager mixed with increased complexity from an IPA hop base.


Mandatory “Flux Factory” Facts

  • Untappd Rating: 3.60 (at time of writing)
  • ABV: 6.1%
  • IBU: 60
  • Style: IPA
  • Tagline: West Coast IPA
  • Descriptive comment: Go with the flow

Final can of the box, ultimately meaning it’s a two week wait before the next box comes through! A dark green can poured a light, transparent caramel colour with a modest white foam head. Aromas were predominantly savoury, with notes of pine and bread. The beer had a moderate amount of carbonation. Taste reflected the aromas, with a light fizz on the tongue, giving a satisfying umami sensation. Partnering this was a mix of pine and a subtle bitter floury edge. The beer ended by being incredibly dry, a bit too dry for my liking, though it created quite a cleansing sensation on my palate. The overall drinking experience was exceptionally similar to that of “Brutalist”.


Diagnosis: 3.75/5. “Flux Factory” is light, piney and savoury, though the dry finish meant I didn’t really put this beer down on the table for very long!


Box Rating: 3.92/5

Fanzine Rating to Date: 3.44/5


Do you want to join the Fanzine experience AND want a £10 voucher for the BrewDog website? The sign up to via the link below, select referred by a friend, and use “Dr Beer” in the referral section! The associated email is:

Subscribe to Fanzine


For more Fanzine stories, hit here to see the complete journey to date.



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