Would you drink a beer that tastes like liquor? How about a liquor that tastes like beer?


BrewDog, an independent brewery based in Scotland has launched a beer-based spirit called WattDickie. It’s named for the two owners whose keyboard seems to be missing the space bar. (Their website is here.)

But their creativity seems to be working okay. Although, the idea has been done before, but the other way around. Therein lies the tale.

Messrs Watt and Dickie developed the new product using a “radical brewing and ice distillation process.” It’s 35% AbV and is created using an IPA style beer. At 70 proof it must pack a wallop.

I’ve been following these gents for some time (see May 16, 2012 posting) and admire their independence and cheekiness (for those of you in the States, that’s called chutzpah). Martin Dickie, had this to say about their new creation:

“What we have here is not a beer, but its alter-ego. This is Mr. Hyde. This is the shiver down the spine of the grease slick adman relying on people lapping up the ‘same old-same old’ from their sticky bottle of snake oil. This is a drink by the misfits, for the misfits. It’s a beautiful, absurd experiment.”

It will sell for £2.99 for a 6cl bottle and will be available in BrewDog bars and their online store at the end of June. Get this – according to Just Drinks, it is expected to be available in 700ml bottles later this year.Image

I wonder what it tastes like.

Back in the day, Seagram, spurred on by the vagaries of the owner, produced a beer-flavored whiskey called Old Breed. (See the May 24, 2010 posting for the full story.)

Failure does not begin to describe the reaction to this neither fish nor fowl new product. The comments were universally negative (with “awful taste” at the forefront) and the product was pulled faster than a New York minute. That is, of course, when management mustered enough guts to tell the owner his baby was ugly.

Now, I’m not saying that WattDickie is in the same class as Old Breed. But, calling their brew or concoction a “new style of spirit,” makes me wonder. Is it indeed a new worthwhile alcohol product or a bad idea whose time has come again?

As they say, “the proof of a pudding is in the eating.” So, to my readers in the UK – try it and let me know what you think.

(My thanks to Drew DeSarno who brought this to my attention and supplied the Old Breed photo.)


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  1. Interesting story— had never heard of Old Breed, but maybe a bit before it’s time (and maybe the quality just wasnt there) but lots of smaller distilleries now are marketing hopped up whiskeys and whiskey distilled from beer that was made to be consumed as beer. Tastes is from my opinion, interesting to really good-(http://www.charbay.com/productinfo.aspx?ProductID=DT1)- however, yields of alcohol with these beers tend to be much lower than distillers mash thus driving costs up. (have a feeling Old Breed used maybe a cheaper method to achieve their goal?)
    Dave Schmier

  2. I’d never heard of Old Breed before. Interesting.

    BrewDog, on the other, is a really interesting brewery. The UK seems to be about 15-20 years behind the US in their micro/craft brewing scene, and BrewDog is at the forefront of it. Their marketing is a bit heavy on the in-your-face, aggressive, punk theme, but their beers are tasty and adventurous, to say the least.

    It’s curious that they’re coming out with a beer that tastes like whisky since their Tactical Nuclear Penguin already fits that bill. It comes in around 27% ABV and is served much like whisky – an ounce at a time and in a wine glass. If I recall correctly (it’s been a few months since I tasted it, though I’ve still got an unopened bottle on a shelf at home), it shares some brown sugar, malty sweetness notes of some of my favorite bourbons or aged rums.

    Can’t wait to try it!
    Chris Myers

  3. Imagine you just got done hiking thirty miles to a campsite, you’re going to be hunting for the next three days, you fill up your canteen with clean, cold stream water, pour a shot of beer-flavored liquor into it and drop in a seltzer tablet. Instant beer. I’d go for that. Or maybe you’re going to a ball game or concert and could smuggle in a flask easier than you could a twelve pack. Hell of a lot cheaper than $7/glass. Seems like there’s a pretty solid consumer base if you know where to look. Maybe it’s just the marketing that sucks.

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