After a disappointing start to the beer cocktails BrewDog have to offer in their bars, with the first on the list of BrewDog Beer Cocktails, Russian Psycho, I decided to return in the hopes of a better experience second time around. I chose the next one on the list, to keep things simple, which was SeaDog.
Dogma is a lovely Scotch ale brewed using 10 malts and light heather honey. It’s a rich, silky, slightly boozy beer at 7.4% with a very bitter flavour, from both hops and a roasty malt. It is quite robust, so I expect it to stand up fairly well in a cocktail.
The drink looked amazing, with a hazy amber liquid poured over a ball of ice that fits snugly in the glass, just as in the Russian Psycho. Slipped down the side of the glass is a gloriously huge strip or orange. The snob in me wanted to moan about how it was a shoddy garnish – no care had been taken to ensure only the fragrant peel had been used, there was a thick layer of bitter white pith and a big strip of juicy gooey fruit still attached. The former would have cocktail snobs foaming with anger, worried that the pith would have a negative effect on the delicately balanced flavour of the cocktail, but I was in awe of how appetising the juicy orange flesh looked.
The smell was mouth watering – unsurprisingly it was of fragrant orange oils and the sweet citrus of the squidgy orange flesh. The flavour was similarly orangey, with a good mix of zest, juice and bitterness – maybe the pith was a worthy addition with all the bitter flavours of this roasty scotch ale. There was a constant orange honey flavour throughout too, so the beer was certainly having an impact. It mixed well with the dark, caramel flavours of Kraken rum and the subtle spices (plus the extra addition of clove) bringing out that citrus. All in all it was like a really juicy orange with a hint of boozy warmth from the rum. It’s a Christmassy cocktail, with spice, citrus and sweetness all mingling together perfectly.
There’s a faint prickle of carbonation from the beer, but the dilution of the ale by the other ingredients makes it fade away. It doesn’t disappear though, which gives the drink a lovely lift and a lift in texture.
Once I finished the drink, I had a chance to have a closer look at BrewDog’s chosen method of chilling their drinks. It’s not quite spherical and not quite clear, with lots of cracks and edges inside the ball of ice. It looks like it’s from one of those ice shapers for home bars that produces less than high quality ice. It does the job, I suppose, but when you’d have to work for more than an hour to pay for this little luxury, you expect some quality. This ice ball looks a little amateur.
I really enjoyed this beer cocktail and would actually buy it again, maybe not for £7.50 though. For me, Dogma is slightly too astringent, with quite a green bitterness that puts me off. This cocktail develops the flavours I like in the beer whilst limiting the flavours I don’t. So for me, this cocktail is an improvement on the beer, but only because it appeals to my tastes more. Does it elevate the beer? I don’t think it does. It turns it into something else.