Wednesday, 4 April 2012

REVIEW #91: Dogma (BrewDog)

Pours out a bromine red with honeycomb coloured head. Porter-esque rich dark malt nose, with bread and sesame seed. Strong treacly caramel and blackcurrant maltiness up front. Prickly pepper and nut notes follow. The heather honey probably contributes a lot to these flavours, providing the final beer with an unusual depth. Toasted grains are particularly prominent throughout drinking, especially in the long dry finish; poppy and sesame seed leap out as does roast barley. Dogma features a minimal hop character with some potent alcohol, a full mouthfeel and plenty of caramel malt. Its a fine, modern interpretation of a Scotch Ale.

This beer is a Scotch Ale or "Wee Heavy", denoted as 160/- in Scotland. Traquair House Brewery, Belhaven Brewery and Orkney Brewery are some Scottish breweries that still produce well-regarded, authentic examples of the Scotch Ales. The style is also popular in Belgium, mainly as a digestif; a notable range being Gordon's produced on commission for John Martin's. Two versions of Dogma have been made (this review is of the latest) and before these it was called 'Speedball'. The Original Dogma is still available to buy on the marvellous BrewDog shop, it has an added range of stimulant and depressant herbs such as Californian poppy, guarana and kola nut, as well as a different hop & malt schedule.

BrewDog seem to be the brewing equivalent of Neil Young, who has alternated between grunge/heavy rock and country with alarming success for most of his career. Despite coming in for criticism by traditionalists, I think BrewDog should be celebrated for being schizophrenic: On the one hand they make beers full of class and substance (Alice Porter, Hardcore IPA, Punk IPA, Dogma) at fair prices. On the other they make some of the most unique (Abstrakt series), decadent (Tokyo*) and extreme beers (Sink the Bismark & Tactical Nuclear Penguin) in the world, at some financial cost. Somewhere between the two lie their collaborative efforts; these may be also be a little on the expensive side but offer us beer geeks lovers a chance to sample the collective fruit of some world-leading craft breweries such as Mikkeller, Lost Abbey, 3 Floyds and Nogne O. BrewDog have something for everyone and stick to their principles; for this they need some respect!

Ps. Open your next bar in Birmingham, BrewDog... we deserve it ;)
  • MALTS: munich; crystal; chocolate; brown; dark chocolate... (10 in total)
  • IBU: ?
  • ABV: 7.4%
  • contains heather honey


  1. i'm not sure that new dogma has the kola nut etc in...

    1. Ah yeh looks like you you may be right... I'll email 'em to check.

  2. Edited in the mean time as I suspect you're right. Cheers Steve.

    1. I much preferred the original, the honey in this just muddies the flavours compared to plain scotch ale but will certainly try kegged if i find it


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