Tonight is a review of Mikkeller/BrewDog's Devine Rebel. This one is a collaboration between two of Europe's best extreme brewers. It is somewhere amongst a barley wine and a strong ale and has noticeable influences from both sides of the North Sea.
Upon opening the bottle, it is immediately apparent that something is different. The fill level is nearly to the top! Most interesting. This one is bottle aged, so pour to leave the yeast in the bottom. The coloring is a deep caramel and the head is the color light brown sugar (ok, perhaps lighter than that). Not bad, let's see where this goes.
Cold, the Scotch flavourings from the barrels smacks your nose. There are hints of barley malts and some hops in there, but the Scotch is quite forward. The tip of the tongue is greeted with Scotch bitterness and alcohol. It has the smooth feel of beer aged in old whiskey barrels.
Mid-mouth, the malt sweetness blends with the Scotch tones. As it gets warmer, the sweetness becomes easier to detect. Hold it in your mouth and the sweetness increases. It is one to savor the moment and close your eyes. The finish is quite pronounced with Scotch and hop bitterness. It very eagerly removes the sweetness from the tongue leaving Scotch flavors.
A few swirls of the glass and all these aromas and flavors intensify a bit. This is one to hold and breathe through your teeth. The Scotch flavor really picks up.
This one is quite interesting. I'm no fan of Scotch, but I do like this mixture. It is not one for the timid, but it doesn't require a strong hop palette to enjoy. At 12%, it pretty much is a "one and done." Just be sure to find your feet before you stand up.