Reviews & info on some beers, bars & pubs in Japan (mainly Tokyo/Yokohama area) - with an extra large serving of nonsensical jibbbbah jabbah thrown in:

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Brewdog Tokyo/Tokyo* - a fistful of love?

Many people may know about Brewdog, the Scottish brewery that seems to be taking the beer world by storm (get it? Storm, the brewdog beer? Ah, never mind).
Some love it, some hate it.
Some also love Brewdog the brewery, others don't care for them.
Martin dickie and James Watt - founders of Brewdog

This Tokyo beer has perhaps caused the biggest uproar, concerning it's high alcohol content.

Personally, I don't care for their apparent marketing strategy.
I also don't like that it appears to work.
People are buying into the hype.
It's a shame that they don't seem to sell beer just on the premise that it's really, really good.

In that sense, I kinda selfishly hope it's all crap.
Alas, it isn't true.
They make some sh*t beer. I've tried one or two myself and certainly was put off trying any more for a long while (it wasn't just the huge price tag but the horrible, weird taste).
Well, I now know from experience that they do make some very fine beer.

I was fortunate to be part of a special, pre-import tasting session, in Tokyo, featuring both Tokyos, the 12% Tokyo and it's stronger brother, the hefty 18% Tokyo* (strongest beer in Britain and the cause of consternation among many as to potential abuse by binge drinkers).

Well, I certainly wouldn't have paid for these beers, but seeing as they were free, I decided to give them a go.

With more than a little trepidation, I handed over my glass to be filled.
First was the Tokyo.
My goodness. Lovely fruity aromas. The cranberries shone in the nose and the flavor, as well as cardomom (a friend pointed that out and I defintiely agreed). A little too fruity dry sour for me ot be perfect, but this was not a bad beer at all. The alcohol seemed to be kept hidden quite well.
bitter dark chocolate flavors to go with the fruit. Not bad at all.
However, I don't think I will pay a premium price for this when there are other cheaper options available.

Next was the Tokyo*.
Wowza. This is probably now my favourite Brewdog 'beer'.
A whopping 18% but quite drinkable.This beer actually impressed me. I liked the overall complexity of flavor and sweetness which jsut seemd to grow on the tongue. Sweet, yes, not too sweet. Nicely made. The nice full aroma which wasn't overly fruity like the Tokyo. I preferred this one to its lower alc brother. At 18% alcohol, this beer should age nicely.
Pity I can't afford to buy half a dozen and put them in my 'cellar'.
A beer perhaps, to sit back by the fireside with, whilst enjoying a nice cigar, reminiscing about the good old colonnial days, with fellow members of the gentlemen's club.

My advice: If you like strong, flavorful complex beers, then I highly recommend trying these two. If you like simple single style beers like pilsners, amber lagers, light ales, then maybe this isn't for you. Still, I bet you're curious to try one, aren't you?

Well, despite BrewDog's aggressive marketing strategy, these beers, although strong in flavor and alcohol and threatening to punch out my taste buds instead left me with a fistful of love.

p.s. Tokyo/Tokyo* may well be coming to Tokyo in October.

No comments:

Post a Comment