New Years Post – Imperial Amber/Red Ale – Scottish: Brewdog Mashtag #2014

My first Blog post of 2015, but I’m starting off with a great beer from last year – Brewdog‘s Mashtag 2014. Mashtag is a Beer that Brewdog ask the public to nominate ingredients for. They did one in 2013, and 2014 so I’m hoping it happens again this year! I’ll let you know a little more about the recipe later on but I really do think this is a great idea. I’m surprised the combination in this one came out so well!

Let’s start with Brewdog‘s description of the Beer:

#Mashtag 2014 – a beer for the people, by the people.
The #Mashtag concept is simple. We invited the public to vote on each aspect of the brew, from hops to malt to the special twist and even the label design, and from the thousands of possibilities this presented, the result is an imperial red ale, brewed with copious speciality malts, a global blend of hops, and blood orange, lemon peel and orange peel.
On the nose, there’s a riot of citrus, in many forms, from orange pith to lemon zest, via lime juice and even lemongrass. Fresh, bright resinous notes blend with light toasty malt aromas.
The palate is intense with toffee, with tiny hints of tobacco smoke coming through in little bursts, but the star attraction is an all-out bitter orange avalanche. A slightly psychotic, orange-that-thinks-it’s-a-grapefruit character builds upon and intensifies the hop bitterness, squaring up against the rich sweet malt base. The result is a huge red ale with a drinkable quality you’d expect in a beer half this strength.

I quite like this description, it’s not like a lot of the Brewdog’s other (now banned) bottles. It makes me sad in a way, but on the other hand I think it’s an apt description for a beer voted for by people around the world. It has a little back story on how the Public voted for ingredients and then a little insight on the flavours which really do sound incredible!

The Malts used in this beer are Extra Pale, Cara, Crystal, Dark Crystal and Black Malt – A different mix for a Red Ale, but it contributes to the appearance and flavour a lot. Next up, the Hops! Amarillo, Motueka and Mittelfrüh. Definitely a Citrus bomb with the hops, given the other ingredients; a large helping of Blood Orange, Orange Peel and various other Citrus fruits. After this, it’s Fermented with Brewdog’s usual yeast, which is a Dry English Yeast strain.

When you pour this beer, it is a dark Ruby colour with a thin off-white head. It dissipates pretty quickly leaving dotty lacing on the glass, which is a nice touch. On the nose, absolutely loads of Blood Orange, some Honey, Pine and Citrus notes follow. After smelling this beer you want to drink the entire thing straight away, but this is definitely not to be taken lightly as it’s just shy of 10%. The first thing you get when you taste this brew, is yet more Blood Orange, it really dominates this brew but it’s not a bad thing! After this, some Citrus Notes with a little bit of Grapefruit until the Caramel, Honey with a touch of Smoke comes through from the malts. The flavour in this beer sounds completely extreme, but it’s so balanced and that’s not an easy feat! The carbonation isn’t as high as you’d expect in a beer like this, finishing Medium/Dry with some Bitter Orange Peel notes.

This is a beer I’d definitely recommend seeking out before it goes completely! There’s nothing wrong with drinking a beer from last year this year! Let’s look forward to this years Mashtag!

You can still buy Mashtag #2014 at:

Ales By Mail

Beer Gonzo

Beers of Europe

All three of these places are still In Stock at time of writing, and the beer has a pretty long date so don’t worry about that.

For any Bars/Shops looking to stock this beer you can Contact the Brewdog rep in your area for more info.

EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%


Red/Amber Ale – American: Stone Levitation Ale

Unfortunately, the original picture I took got deleted and another picture of a 3D model car took it’s place. Therefore, I am using the stock picture for this post. Apologies (Edit 12/02/2015)

This weeks beer is called Levitation Ale, a Red/Amber Ale from one of my favorite brewers Stone Brewing. Although in August we had a Red/Amber Ale from Scottish Brewers Brewdog, this one is slightly different.

I find this beer is good to drink during summer, but it’s also great when the weather is starting to get colder, but more on that after the description from Stone:

We’re best known for brewing aggressive, big-character beers, but we love a great sessionable ale as much as anyone. Most beers at the less-weighty end of the spectrum lack flavor and depth as much as they lack high ABVs, but not Stone Levitation Ale! This deep amber brew has a rich maltiness, big hoppy character, citrus overtones, and an impressively modest alcohol content for a beer with so much flavor packed into it.

A short and sweet description which is very informative, and I expect nothing less from Stone. However, the description on the bottle of the beer doesn’t say this and often Stone have tongue in cheek lengthy descriptions on their bottle. Even if you don’t like beer, it’s worth buying one to read the description!

Although Stone always let you know which hops are in their beer, their CEO and Head Brewer are always hinting at the rest of the recipe. Levitation is hopped with Magnum, CrystalSimcoe and Amarillo hops. Stone always heavily hop their beers, and this no exception. The Amarillo hops in this beer are the most important part, as they give the beer it’s pineapple and citrus flavours. I think this beer is most probably Dry-Hopped with Amarillo, just for that extra kick. The malts used in this beer are Crystal, Pale Malt and a touch of Black Malt. The Crystal malt in this beer is what gives it it’s Red Colour.

This beer pours with a deep red/ruby colour which almost looks brown if there isn’t a good amount of light behind it. It has an off white coloured head and medium carbonation. This really is a very inviting looking brew. The head on the beer lasts for the majority of the time you are drinking it, which is a very nice touch. This beer smells absolutely great, lots of citrus, pine and floral aromas with some great bready malty sweet smells and a little bit of sea salt even, if you could drink a smell it would be… oh wait you can! The taste follows the smell, apart from it’s better. You get the great fruity citrus, the pine but also you get this great caramel and toffee taste from the malts used. Whilst drinking this beer, it’s so smooth in your mouth and you can tell why it was the winner of the 2007 Great American Beer Festival in the American Red/Amber Ale category. At 4.4%, this beer can be enjoyed as a session beer or a one off due to the flavour.

I really recommend this beer, and it is one of my favourite beers. Great in the sun, great in the rain and great when it’s starting to get colder.

You can purchase Stone Levitation Ale in the UK at:

Beers of Europe

Beautiful Beers

As always, a google search is good too!

For any bars, shops etc that are interested, unfortunately Stone beer is flown in by shops that stock it currently but Stone plan to open a brewery in Berlin next year which means wide distribution of Stone Beer soon!

EST. CALORIES: 132   ABV: 4.4%