Having tested the water / teased the beer geeks over the past few months with occasional single keg releases, Moon Dog have finally got their brewery fully up and running and popped a beer into bottles. As you'd expect, said bottles are suitably off the wall, bringing lunacy to the land of labels (wonder what the collectors societies will make of them?), as well as upfront honesty with a complete list of ingredients and when they've been added to the brew.
We're actually a little late with this listing as we didn't allow the first bottle we snaffled off the boys time to fully carbonate; patience has delivered what we believe they intended. Which is a hugely hop led beer with a twist, the twist being the time it spent in Cognac barrels. The hops are predominantly of a piney nature on the nose, while warming allows hints of vanilla and a touch of booze to come through. Once imbibed, the dense, cloudy amber beer delivers some caramel malt flavours but they play second fiddle to the resiny hops, which build to a citrus marmalade bitterness that's surprisingly inoffensive given the reported IBUs, and is given an added dimension by the barrel-ageing. There's a spicy heat to it too. A beer it will be interesting to watch evolve, assuming they ever make a beer twice.