HopDog Abbey of the Dead

Total Score: 7.45/10 Earth1Flowers1Coriander1Tulipglass1

How could I possibly walk away from this crazy limited experimental beer from HopDog (Doc’s favourite experimental Aussie brewer)? Let me read to you a list of the ingredients in this magic elixir [btw my voice sounds like Barry White]: Sugar skull candies, marigolds, hibiscus flowers, Belgian malts and 2 Belgian yeast strains – reads like a list of crazy awesome things to me. Err, you can stop imagining my smooth baritone voice now… no, really, aww yeah. I love the sexy slither of a lady snake. There – you happy now?

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Yeast particles in a HopDog brew? Yep you know it! Presents with a cloudy deep ruby/brown body with a blanket of a dense tan head on top. If it tastes as imposing as it looks, well it’s going to be one tasty brew! 8/10.

S: Unable to ignore this dense cake-like aroma – fruity and dirty – that’s how grandma likes it (I’m talking about Christmas cakes – mind. out. of. gutter.). It’s hard to get past the earthiness of this brew, must be the marigolds – never tried a beer brewed with marigolds before. Other than this there is a sherbet candy note, must be the skulls. 9/10.

T: Sour sherbet candy, I wonder if chief HopDog Tim used a lactobacillus yeast strain? If so that would account for the upfront sourness of this brew. Background floral/dirty/earthy notes are present from the marigolds and hibiscus flowers. Other than that there is a slight herbal bitter finish. Not getting much in the way of malt sweetness to balance out these hop/herbal characters. 7/10.

M: Mid to light bodied with a tight medium carbonation. 7/10.

D: The bitter/sour pairing is a bit amiss with this brew. I’m left wanting sweetness and wondering if the sourness was intended or if was spoilage related – this is the second HopDog brew I’ve had that seemed to be spoiled (other being The Pale). However in the case of this brew the damage done was minimal – it’s still quite drinkable, if not quirky. As Shakespeare was once incorrectly attributed as saying by me right now: “Them is the breaks when brewing ye small batch”. This won’t of course by any stretch of the imagination stop me from buying HopDog beers, HopDog are still lekker. 7/10.

Food match: Mushrooms or something earthy… magic mushrooms? Not earthy enough space cadet. Space cadets? That’s cannibalism yo.


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