Thursday, November 19, 2009

Devine Rebel, from Mikkeller and BrewDog.

The label asserts that the pairing of Mikkeller (Denmark and the known world at large) and Brew Dog (bricks and mortar in Scotland, thank you much) is tantamount to two rock stars coming together.

I'm for it, but wary. Pop and rock is littered with the corpses of ill-conceived super groups and one-off video abominations like Mick Jagger and David Bowie imagining they might improve on the divinely rebellious sass of Martha and the Vandellas. They didn't.

Providentially, Devine Rebel avoids this jinx, sticks to the strengths of its collaborators, and offers an excellent libation best sampled at room temp on a chilly night. This one's a finisher.

The liquid is brewed to post-Barley Wine strength (circa 12% abv), and pours mildly carbonated, a bit on the murky side of amber/brown, and with a nose that promises the contemplative.

Devine Rebel was brewed at Brew Dog, partially aged in Speyside Scotch barrels and blended into final form, and indeed, there is a sufficient whisky component fighting for a peek above the glass’s rim with the fully expected Mikkeller hop backbone.

Though not a spirits aficionado, it’s a trend of which I’ve approved for longer than you might imagine.

When I was a freshman in high school, I aspired to be as cool as the upper classmen. In practice, this meant finding a way to artfully pilfer liquor from my father’s bar to lubricate shadowy sessions in the gloaming prior to football games.

One time, I judged it unsafe to bleed off any more bourbon from a fast depleting bottle that the old man seldom touched, anyway, and I turned instead to a quart of Scotch. Later, in our usual hiding place, I proffered my take to my co-conspirators and was surprised to find the reaction universally negative.

I rather liked it. As I proceeded to learn, bourbon was sweeter and easier to swallow uncut, and of course when added to coke, became a taste sensation that approximated the sugar-laden dietary habits that would render future generations crazily obese.

Don’t even ask about the time I brought gin to the meeting.

Save Devine Rebel for a nightcap, and you’ll not be disappointed.

Photo/label credit

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