Monday, February 14, 2011
The ones who know this beer are probably keen to hear how it all ended up with this beer. Well, I'd say it ended up pretty well. I got myself a new experience in terms of beer and also in terms of a new restaurant. The later part was offered me by the surprise my fiancée arranged me by taking me to Olutravintola Birger (http://birger.fi/), a place I have heard so many stories of. Finally it was my time to see what the fuss was about!
The place itself was pretty much smaller than I had imagined but the selection of the beers was even over my wildest dreams. Now I had a dilemma: should I try the legendary Tokio or go maybe go for few other Brewdogs products? The problem was solved as my friend offered to buy the first round, thnx again J-M! :) Why so? Well, this beer again has at least two special features. 1. The alcohol level is mind staggering 18,2 % (Brewdog also has product ranging up to 41 % of alcohol, Sink the Bismark EDIT: Also a very limited edition of The end of the history with 55 % of alcohol) and 2. With the price of one bottle you can buy a case of 24 cans of "normal" beer from a local grocery store. So the choice was obvious.
About the beer itself, I think I have never been so nervous in front of a beer, at least after my first Belzebuth (at that time the strongest around with 15 % of alcohol, nowadays only 13 %). Holding the glass up against light you can really see the dark reddish color... almost like it was... black (to the ones who didn't get that: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QRJxafiqHvw).
The scent from this beer is overwhelmingly complex and rich. Just like tons of fruits and berries being squashed to your nose at the same time. Tons, and after that one raisin. The raisin sort of gets its place from top of it all.
The taste of the beer replicates those of the scent's getting some more new angles from the hops (which is alleged to be Galena). The hops stands out from the beer in a weird way when you drink it. It's not that present while smelling it. This is weird also because the IBU's on this devil is 90, and still it's not even making your mouth dry. After the kick of the sweet attack of the berries and fruits (and the raisin) you can sense a hint of sweet coffee, perhaps with milk even... The sweetness of the malts is present all the time. And there's more, the cranberry really gets its place in the taste. In the aftertaste you'll get the oak flavors from the oak chips used at the aging phase. The taste is so complex it's hard to describe and there's no running away from it!
Btw. I'm not sure if you noticed but at the Brewdog website the beer is called Tokyo and on the label in the picture above it's spelled Tokio. A little word game there...
There's something negative in this beer as well and it's the whole package. I mean, I'd love to have another one or another beer after this but it seems pointless as you have no ability to concentrate on the small nuances on the taste. This one wears you out. But in a good way. Still I'm determined to have another one in some point, just to experience the roller coaster of tastes!
Still to come...