Beer Review: Stone/BrewDog/Magic Rock – Magic Stone Dog
Brewery: Stone Brewing Co. (USA) / Magic Rock Brewing (England) / BrewDog (Scotland)
Style: Saison – Pale Ale Hybrid
Serving: Pint – Keg
I’ve had some fantastic collab beers during the course of my craft beer journey so far. I’ve also had some rubbish ones. More often than not though, I find them to be simply mediocre. Often these mediocre brews are simply two beers from different breweries mixed together and, more often than not they aren’t as good as either of the component beers on their own. Prefect example is the BrewDog/Mikkeller collab I Hardcore You which is a mixture of BrewDog’s Hardcore IPA and Mikkeller’s I Beat yoU. Both of those beers are better on their own. When breweries come together and brew something unique, however, that’s when things get interesting. One of the best beers I’ve ever had is the BrewDog/8Wired collab DogWired which is a hoppy imperial pilsner that just rocked! When I heard about Magic Stone Dog; a menage a trois of awesome between three of my all time favourite breweries, I had to get some of that action so on Saturday I stopped in my local BrewDog bar and had a pint.
The beer pours a light orange, golden colour with plenty of carbonation and a solid one finger of pure white head. It is nearly perfectly clear with just the smallest amount of hop haze visible in the glass. It would be interesting to see how this compares to the bottled version which I suspect will be bottle conditioned, though I could be wrong.
Aroma screams freshness with notes of grassy citrus hops and a faint but unmistakable Belgian yeast bringing the spicy notes of lemongrass cardamom and basil. Just how fresh this is comes through in the aroma. it is super clean with well-defined profile of hops, yeast and malts all present.
The flavour very much mirrors the aroma. very clean, mild citrus notes with fruity, herbal, spicy notes from that Belgian yeast. I also picked up a slight lemon thyme note that was enhanced by the prickly carbonation. The beer ended on a mild bitterness that was pleasant but didn’t hang around for too long. Often with Saisons you get such a spicy note that the beer almost has the warming quality of something like a mulled wine and as such lends itself more to winter drinking. The pale ale elements of Magic Stone Dog, however make it an absolutely delicious summer beer. It would be absolutely fantastic at a BBQ and is low enough in alcohol for you to have a good few in a session.
My one criticism here is that I could have hoped for something a little more adventurous from breweries of this calibre. Stone are big time hop wranglers and there wasn’t much in the way of powerful hops, BrewDog experiment with wacky ingredients but there was no crazy twist and Magic Rock bring unapologetic American swagger to classic ale styles but there was nothing like this either. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a very, very well executed beer and I would definitely recommend it but it just seems a little out of character and a little too safe considering it’s parentage.