Brewdog Prototype 27 is an experiment, an idea, an attempt to bring three beloved flavours together with a winning result. Hardcore – award winning double IPA - Caol Ila Whisky barrel and fresh Scottish Raspberries were thrown into the melting pot and challenged to make friends.
P27 pours a jewel red with a thin, white, fading head and enough of an amber hue to remind you of the beer from which it was born.
The aroma bursts forth with fruit. Not instantly identifiable as Raspberry, it’s sweet and syrupy, ripe, almost cough medicine like. There’s the faintest hint of jammy orange coming from the hops and something slightly acidic. Beyond that comes the cask: it’s woody, earthy, gritty and burnt. It’s prominent but doens't over power.
On the palate it kicks off with sweet fruit, it's syrupy in the way the aroma suggests - almost reminding me of Cherryade. It becomes tart before the fruit vanishes and the beer smoothes out. Hardcore sees an opportunity and bursts on stage giving you the smallest of cameo's, sweet orangey hops and then gone. The final act starts with bitterness before making way to the barrel. Woody at first then burnt, some smokiness then ash, earthy and dirty, it dries the beer out, tip toes to the boundary between "enough" and "too much" then runs away.
The fruit and the barrel are the big players, leaving the Hardcore with little chance to shine. The aggressive hops and bitterness are completely tamed, leaving you slightly mourning the loss of such a great beer. The result however really is worth it. No longer an IPA, Prototype 27 is a whole new beer, fruity and wild, challenging, incredibly complex but never confused.
I'm sure it'll divide opinion, but put me firmly in the "love it" camp.