Brewdog is Scottish brewery created by James Watt, Martin Dickie, and their dog, Simcoe, 2 guys and 1 dog bored of the mass produced swill that dominated most of the market. Since their only option was to make their own, they imbued it with their personality and disregard for what those stuffy old beer barons, who take the fun out of the drink, think.
Unsurprisingly, their unique view and attitude brought out the masses in full force and, now, they have a world-wide operation including almost 400 employees and 26 Brewdog bars. However, staggering behind the masses and looming over all that’s considered fun was, and still is, the Portman Group. They have become known as, at least to those who support Brewdog, a prudish institute of stale mentalities without a sense of humor.
The Portman Group was actually made by the largest alcohol producers in 1989 to help stop alcohol-related issues, such as alcoholism and overconsumption. However, as noble as that goal is, they have made some ridiculous accusations towards Brewdog and tried to get them blacklisted throughout the UK for their use of humor and sarcasm, because they believe it promoted anti-social behavior and overconsumption of alcohol. If you want to see how ridiculous these accusation really were, take a look at the article published in the Morning Advertiser and Brewdog’s subsequent response.
Past this insignificant matter with a small-minded bureaucracy, Brewdog hasn’t slowed down. In fact, they have a funding program called “Equity for Punks.” They are currently on their fourth round and offers many perks that increase depending how much you put in. It has been a smash hit with their customers, considering almost 15,000 shareholders were registered by the end of 2014. Check out the video below to see how it works and, if you’re interested, head to their site to find out more.
Dogma refers to a set of principles that are held as incontrovertibly true as given by an authority (thank you Google). Now, I can’t say that Brewdog is THE authority on beer, but they are an authority on their beer and their style of business. Funny that they name their special Scotch Ale dogma, does it intend to contain the company essence or is it a simple pun on their name and mascot (Simcoe the dog)? Either way you want to look at it, it’s one hell of a beer! Like the entire Amplify line of beer, Dogma is high in alcohol content at a mighty 7.4% in a 330ml bottle.
From the open, it’s clear that this will be a bold drink as the aroma fills the room with a heavy sweetness and bitter notes. The pour is thick and black as it fills the glass, forming head that foams and puffs out in a creamy, uneven landscape of undiscovered flavors and smells. Once poured the head begins dissipating quickly, evening it out and leaving only the tightly packed, typical foam of a darker ale, which stays until the bitter end.
The aroma started very typically with a bold sweetness and roasted malt, but as Dogma warmed up, the aromas became more plentiful and specific. Honey was the main body of that sweetness, hiding a light caramel note. Grain became smelling more and more like baked bread as the evidence of the many grains came forward. Most shockingly of all, there was a light floral aroma at the tail end that seemed only to serve as a rounding character in the overall recipe.
On the sip, malt and honey were very prominent, washing over the mouth in a thick, creamy texture. Dark fruits evolved shortly after, a fruit pudding comes to mind. The roasted grains and malts return and start taking over on the swallow, but fall short of the sweetness, leaving a lingering sweet roll aftertaste. The carbonation is quite mild and the astringent alcohol flavor is hidden within the complex flavors making for the smoothest 7.4% beer I’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting.
The aroma, flavors, mouthfeel, it’s all well-rounded and comes together nicely. The only negative I could find with Dogma; it’s far too easy to drink at such a high alcohol content.
Smooth, rounded aroma and flavor, quite complex and enjoyable.
High alcohol content and easy drinkability, take care with this one.
Heavier meals; honey glazed ham or beef roast with roasted vegetables & fruity and bready desserts.
Time of Year
Definitely a winter brew, bold and heavy.
TA Brews rating: 4.75/5