Straight up malty goodness
A Review of Dogma by BrewDog
Posted on 7/17/2014 by Chops
As the new season of Brew Dogs starts up on the Esquire Network, I cannot help but think back on my recent visit to Scotland. For any certified beer nerd, Scotland means one big thing: BrewDog. Both the main brewery and a number of pubs adorn the Scottish landscape. Unfortunately the main brewery was located at the opposite side of the country from where I was staying, but the BrewDog Glasgow pub was a short drive away. Every BrewDog beer menu promises a wide variety of wacky nectar. At the Glasgow location, I was treated to the Watt Dickie, a 35% ABV Ice-Distilled Imperial IPA, and I even got to hold one of the End of History taxidermy bottles (only 12 in existence). It was a fun place and I planned to stay for a while, so I needed some session-worthy brews that wouldn't put me into a coma. Up first was Dogma, a heather honey infused Scotch Ale.

In the glass, this beer had a deep dark brown coloration that was not quite black. It came with a frothy tan head that had really nice retention. On the nose, I was treated to a rich mishmash of roasted malt and sweet caramel. Rounding out the aroma were notes of toffee, molasses, chocolate, and smoke. I could already tell that this beer was going to be a rich roasted malt bomb, so I grinned in delight and dove right in.

I was actually surprised to see that the flavor profile closely matched the aroma. BrewDog just loves to throw curve balls at beer fans, but this beer was a straight shooter. All of the primary notes were easy to identify. Malt roast, caramel, toffee, molasses, dark chocolate, smokiness, all present and nicely balanced. Additional notes of mild coffee, dark berries, and heather honey also joined the party. The beer had a solid medium body and felt very smooth on the palate. The hop profile was moderately aggressive and complimented the malty sweetness quite well. I would say the only red herring was the finish, which was harshly dry with a lengthy malty bitter aftertaste. Not bad mind you, just caught me off guard.

Overall, I found BrewDog's Dogma Scotch Ale to be a strong malty delight. And when it comes to the Scotch Ale style, you have to hand it to the Scottish pros. BrewDog Founders Martin Dickie and James Watt have made a career out of pushing brewing boundaries, but it seems like they opted for some traditional Scottish pride in creating Dogma. This is a beer that I can easily recommend to most beer fans. I only caution novices for obvious reasons. Dogma is a rich 7.4% ABV nectar that can sneak up on you in a hurry, so give it the respect it deserves.

I greatly enjoyed my visit to the BrewDog Glasgow pub and highly advise any Glasgow tromping beer geek to pay it a visit. It was much smaller than their Manchester pub I visited earlier in the year, but it has much better views as it overlooks the iconic Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. It's a fantastic location to stop in for a pre-culturing drink. Of course, BrewDog beer is art in itself, so you may have a hard time leaving.

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Dogma by BrewDog
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