Beer Review: 5 A.M. Saint

For this review, we go to Scotland’s Brewdog brewery. They’re a relatively new brewery, started in 2007, but they have grown into the largest independent brewery in Scotland. Their mission statement says,

BrewDog is about breaking rules, taking risks, upsetting trends, unsettling institutions but first and foremost, great tasting beers.

That pretty much sums them up. Their other statement says,

Welcome to the craft beer revolution

Beer was never meant to be bland, tasteless and apathetic.
At BrewDog we are setting the record straight.
We are committed to making the highest quality beers with the finest fresh natural ingredients.
Our beers are in no way commercial or mainstream.
We do not merely aspire to the proclaimed heady heights of conformity through neutrality and blandness.
We are unique and individual.
A beacon of non-conformity in a increasingly monotone corporate desert.
We are proud to be an intrepid David in a desperate ocean of insipid Goliaths.
We are proud to be an alternative.

Even the bottle says that they are “iconoclastic,” meaning that they go against everything. Their famous beer is the Punk IPA, but they also have a Hardcore IPA and one of the strongest beers in existence, the 32% Tactical Nuclear Penguin.

I like their marketing, but I have to say that it seems a bit weird when a beer that purports to be against everything is now one of the largest and best reviewed. One of the founders has even been in a reality show, I hear. It’s kind of like Nirvana. They’re good, and they are the epitome of alternative, but then they go big and they’re now pop-ular. Are they still “alternative”? To what?

But hey, it doesn’t really matter as long as the music or the beer still tastes good. And the 5 A.M. Saint still tastes good. It’s an amber ale, but it’s not your traditional amber ale. It pours a lovely head, and it keeps a bit of head throughout the drink. The carbonation is heavy and makes it a joy on the tongue, even before you taste it.

The taste is heavy on nuts, which is odd for an amber. Then there is a slight spiciness before a light bitterness takes over on the back end. A citrus bitter flavor lingers after the beer is gone, which is very pleasant. Overall, this is a great beer that deserves to be drunk. I don’t know about drinking it at 5 AM, and I don’t know about drinking all four of them in a pack, but I would enjoy one as part of an evening of beer.

Nice work, punks.

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