WITH A NAME like Dogma, this 7.4% ABV Scotch ale should be BrewDog’s flagship beer. Beyond the obvious tie-in to the brewery’s name, BrewDog is based in Scotland and made its name through the same packed grain bills and massive flavor profiles that make Scotch ale one of beer’s heartiest styles.
And Dogma certainly is robust, boasting fully 10 different malts and heather-infused honey as an adjunct “twist.” Colored a light leathery brown with a modest head, the beer virtually erupts with aromas of dark chocolate, molasses, cola, some baking spice, kilned malt grain, raw honey, and an earthy sweetness almost akin to beetroots. Its body is moderately full (estimated 1.025 FG) and water profile unexpectedly neutral. Hops are mild in aroma and marginal in flavor, contributing only a bit of Saaz’s herbal spice in either case, though the finish certainly isn’t left wanting—the lingering sweetness and brush of smoke dawdle about the palate for quite a while before subsiding.
By and large this description seems well-suited to a standout Scotch ale, but for some reason Dogma just doesn’t come together properly. Its carbonation is a touch too low, leaving the body more cloying than chewy; its malt profile blurs together and becomes almost clumpy for its density; the finish, though lengthy, lacks for contrast or sufficient sparkle (from carbonation, carbonates, or even a bit more hoppiness). After opening its sermon well with a confident hook, Dogma can’t keep to its own tenets and ends up somewhat astray. The overall impression is a little muddled, and chances are BrewDog could have said more with less.
Served: 33 cl bottle