The third beer cocktail on BrewDog’s list is a variation of an Old Fashioned using Hardcore IPA.
I’m not a massive fan of the Old Fashioned. I love a good bourbon now and again, but I don’t find them easy to drink. The flavors added to an Old Fashioned are subtle, and I find the ingredients only really lengthen the drink. Hopefully the punchy flavours of a 9.2% IPA in a beer Old Fashioned will add something that I’ll enjoy a lot more. A reduction of the IPA can only intensify the flavours and bring them out to stand up to the strong bourbon flavours.
Visually, it looked nearly exactly the same as the SeaDog, only less cloudy. It was the same colour with exactly the same garnish – a big strip of orange, with all the pith and a little bit of flesh remaining.
The smell was mainly licorice and citrus. Quite a watery scent though. There were no pungent, stand-out flavours that really grabbed my attention. The licorice continued into the taste, with a sweet licorice Allsorts flavour and a bit of orange oil coming through. Warm, aniseed like bourbon and the bitter note of an IPA that makes your tongue feel like it’s covered in resin. The finish is much the same – citrus oils, anise and earthy bourbon.
It’s not terribly complex, or terribly flavourful. The bourbon gains the drying, botanical quality of gin through the Hardcore IPA reduction. The texture of the liquid doesn’t change much at all, but you’re left feeling there’s a residue on the back of your tongue. Maybe one for hop heads, or those who are bored of the usual Old Fashioned, but if you’re after something refreshing, sweet, drinkable or more complex, I’d go for the SeaDog.
I’m not sure a Beer Old Fashioned works – certainly not if you’re just adding beer to an Old Fashioned. I’d like to try something that replaces the bourbon entirely with a similarly earthy beer. For me, adding beer to bourbon is just a waste of both.