MIKKELLER/BREWDOG “DEVINE REBEL”: THE WALLET AND THE DAMAGE DONE
We humans can’t help but be hornswaggled at times by the whole “price as a cue for quality” trope. If you’ve read anything about the psychology of shopping – and I actually have – you know that a desirable piece of merchandise priced higher than you might otherwise have expected gains a certain bonus cachet simply by virtue of the high price. "It’s expensive, so it must be good". How often this turns out to be untrue – and yet, how fantastic when it is true.
I’m talking of course about the $16.99 twelve-ounce bottle of MIKKELLER/BREWDOG “DEVINE REBEL” that I tried this week and was floored by. Take one outstanding itinerant Danish brewer (MIKKELLER), and pair them with an upstart Scottish brewer (BREWDOG), and put ‘em to work making an English-style barleywine. Release it in limited quantities, keep the information on the label vague, then price it high enough to make it super-desirable for beer dorks like Jay Hinman to spring for in a moment of weakness. Check, check and check. I walked out of the store feeling guilty and remorseful, consoling myself that it were bad or even mediocre, I could savage it on Hedonist Beer Jive as consolation.
DEVINE REBEL is the best beer I’ve had in 2010 (OMG!!!). It is a 12.5% bomb of a barleywine, and yet so smooth and perfect and flavorful that you might as well be drinking the proverbial liquid nirvana. Butterscotch, caramel and dried fruit mix with straight-up scotch, and the results are stu-friggin’-pendous. It’s full-bodied and just about completely uncarbonated. I’ve never had a BREWDOG beer before, so if you’ve got any recommendations for their stuff, lemme know. MIKKELLER, well so far I’ve only had their single-hop IPA series, because everything else I see of theirs is so off-the-charts expensive, but this is one time I’m glad I let the insidious marketing manipulators get to me. 9.5/10.