You wouldn’t think it, but apparently it’s winter in the northern hemisphere, and with plummeting temperatures, there’s nothing better than a rich, roasty stout to warm the cockles. Since the disappearance of Alice Porter from their core range, Brewdog have had a dark beer sized hole in their rotation, but today, they’ve redressed the balance with the launch of Jet Black Heart.
Brewdog being Brewdog, they’ve launched Jet Black Heart with a bit of a cheeky dig at Guinness (who Brewdog have a bit of a history with) and a silly video with James and Martin from the brewery messing around in a municipal swimming pool dressed as a pantomime horse. All very chucklesome, but how’s the beer?
Drinking straight from the bottle, it’s difficult to tell how it smells, but there’s a slight waft of coconut and a hint of chocolate. Given it’s a milk stout, I’d expected slightly more roastiness and sweetness, but there’s definitely a suggestion of those two flavours. There’s hints of chocolate and vanilla, followed by a clean bitterness and, surprisingly, a touch of boozy warmth on the finish, which I didn’t expect for a 4.7% beer.
Given they’re nitro kegging the keg version in their bars, I would’ve expected the bottled version to be nitro bottled too, which may have softened out the rough edges (I guess their bottling lines aren’t set up for it).
It’s fashionable to bash Brewdog at the moment, and with this in mind (and the fact that I actually quite rate them as a brewery), I really wanted to like this beer. But, for me, there’s probably a bit too much going on here for it to be a true classic. That said, it’s nice to see Brewdog embrace the dark side once more, and I’ll certainly give this another go on draft.