Thursday, 23 December 2010

Punk's not dead. It's just been re-invented.

Generation X

A couple of blogposts ago, I compared Brewdog's Trashy Blonde with a modified prototype version of it brewed with Belgian yeast rather than the U.S. Ale yeast used in the original. This concoction was called Euro Trash.

Well, I've manged to get my hands upon another of their prototype beer which, again, used Belgian yeast in the fermentation process. This beer is called Punk X and is a hybrid of the Fraserburgh Upstarts 6% Punk IPA, which is easily, for me, one of the nicest beers commonly available in most major supermarkets.

It would seem only fair to do a side by side taste test comparison to see which beer wins the battle of the Brewdog Punks.

Brew Dogging

So here goes - both versions promptly despatched into their glasses, it's obvious that the Brewdog Punk X pours a more opaque amber colour than the original. Both fill the glass quickly with thick, creamy foam heads that strain to escape their glass prison. As they do so, the pair release the most delicious aromas full of resinous, piney, citrus hop notes which fill my nostrils and entice my tongue into a punkgasm of expectant mouth watering pleasure.

Wow! The Punk X tastes as good as it smells. It is everything that Brewdog Euro Trash wasn't. It's crisp, clean and full of gloriously hoptastic tastiness. It's big and powerful yet smooth in the mouth and is bursting full of fresh sweet pineapple with a grapefruit and orange citrus zing followed by a long, nicely bittered finish. This actually is a cracking beer. It's robust, zesty and refreshing and the big hitting hops are balanced very well by a nice malt underbite.  It tastes lovely and drinks superbly well.

The original Punk has a stronger carbonation and feels harsher on the tongue than the X. It has a good floral hop profile and nice malt balance too but the hop bitterness hits you much sooner than the X and tends to dominate from then on in whereas the X prototype allows the fruity tastiness of the hops to hang around for much longer then gives way to a cameo appearance from the sweet and slightly warming malt before the very pleasant bitter finale.

Mr Whippy

I was really surprised by how lovely the Punk X was. Perhaps, I expected the Prototype Punk to be as bland and generic as the Euro Trash but clearly the addition of the Belgian yeast to a beer that has a stronger abv and a greater hop density than the Trashy Blonde has been a success on this occassion.

Prior to the tasting, I had thought that the original IPA would win hands down in this battle of the Brewdog Punks but that is not the case. The original Punk IPA is still a lovely beer but Brewdog have created, by either accident or design, a beer that has improved upon Punk's greatness and would be a worthy addition to their beer canon.


  1. I had the X on keg and really loved it. If they roll it out and replace Punk with the X recipe then I think it'd be a decent move - X is less bitter and not so dry and I'd buy much more of it for that reason (even though I do love my beers bitter and dry! Punk is a fridge beer to open whenever the feeling strikes).

  2. Great post, I'm looking forward to doing a similar comparison over New Year.

    Mark, I totally agree. I'd by a lot more Punk if it was less dry, less bitter and a bit more predictable, Every bottle I've had of the original has tasted different. Some of it undrinkable!

  3. cheers Mark and Dave for your comments. I hope you enjoy your tasting and comparison in the new year, Dave. i wouldn't grumble at all if the Punk X prototype was to become the standard Punk IPA. It's really rather nice.

  4. Hi BeerMonkey, I like the post, I've only just read it now even though I was made aware of your review a couple of weeks back. I knew I'd be trying it soon and wanted to drink it without any prior knowledge. I think we both agree on many of the same taste aspects of X. Dave Lozman's put my opinion of X on his site Taste Sensations here.

  5. Hi Tom,
    Ive just read your blog on Dave's site. Good post mate. left comment too