With a Rebel Yell She Cried Beer, Beer, Beer
A Review of Devine Rebel by BrewDog
Posted on 10/25/2013 by Chops
                   
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Let me ask you a serious question. What do you get when you combine BrewDog, Mikkeller, and an insatiable desire for malty goodness? That's right, you get a 13.8% ABV barleywine from hell. They call this collaborative creation the Devine Rebel. Beer fans like myself call it a relentless assault on the senses (in a loving way of course). Every now and then a brew will catch my eye based solely on the insanity factor. BrewDog and Mikkeller by themselves are enough to intimidate taste buds. Hell, just the barleywine beer style is enough to garner a baseline respect. So to see the Devine Rebel on a beer store shelf was a little like seeing a UFO. I wasn't quite sure what I was witnessing, but I couldn't help but be drawn to it in fascination. Needless to say, this beauty when home with me.

As a little pre-review tidbit, this beer is actually a blend. 25% of this beer is a malt brew aged in Scotch whiskey casks. 75% of this beer is a straight malt brew. In other words, I hope you like strong malty brews. And for those keeping score, this is the amplified 2010 version.

In the glass, this beastly brew has a muddy dark brown coloration and comes with plenty of chunky sediment. Resting on top is a frothy tan head that dissipates quickly. On the nose, I was greeted with big bursts of malt and booze. Based on strength alone, it should come as no surprise that the sweet whiskey note is large and in charge. Once you make peace with it, you can find earthy oak, dark fruits (namely dates), sweet syrup, toasted nuts, and brown sugar. And despite the interesting complexity, there isn't a whole lot of mystery going into that first sip. This beer is going to be a big bold boozy malt bomb.

Yup, nailed it. Sweet mercy is this beer a punch in the face. Everything in this beer is huge. Big boozy alcohol, big malty sweetness, big woody oak, big, big, big. This beer has huge presence and huge flavor, which basically translates into an obligate sipper. You can actually feel the alcohol evaporating in your mouth. Despite its over-the-top strength, this brew actually has a mid-level body and feels somewhat silky. All of the aromatic characters make flavor appearances with the notable additions of caramel and vanilla. The hop profile is present, but struggles to get noticed. The beer finishes a tad sticky and exits with a long lasting malty boozy aftertaste.

Overall, BrewDog and Mikkeller's Devine Rebel collaboration barleywine is a maniacal brew with loads of flavor. But, only the daring should tread through these murky waters. To seasoned beer fans with honed imperial palates, I say good luck and brewspeed. To novices, I say beware. BrewDog and Mikkeller have earned their respect and reputations. They are both well known for quality, strength, and aggression. In other words, you better recognize before cracking that bottle cap. You might as well punch yourself in the face and give yourself a wedgie before approaching this monster. Maybe then the beer gods will take pity and allow your taste buds to live.

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Devine Rebel by BrewDog
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