Thursday, 22 September 2016

Beer Review: Elvis Juice

Once again, I am very late to the party. Saw this in my local supermarket and decided that I had to get it in to try because, well, why not? A lot of people I know and respect in beer-reviewing circles have had this and already reviewed it and I thought I'd join in. Only much later than they did. Because I'm so cool and hip and 'with it'. Anyway, it will surprise no one to learn that I am having Elvis Juice from Brewdog and that I am looking forward to trying it. I took the photo in front of our newly opened fireplace. Well, I say 'newly', it was done at the beginning of August but this is the first time you'll have seen it on here. It's the same room as I took many other ale pictures but my how it has changed.

You didn't come here for a treatise on the rooms in my house though, you came here to read what I think about beer (or maybe just out of pity, either way, my ego is supported by your visit - thank you) so the big question is now: would you like to know more (about the beer, not the fireplace)?

You may recognise the glass from my beer festival experience in Matlock (see that review on this link) and I thought it a fitting glass to use for this rather bonkers brew from the kings of bonkers brews. It poured well, after a minor struggle in getting it open (I blame my training regimen, or lack thereof, for this), and left nary a head despite some activity from the opening. As it stood in the room, slowly warming up from a couple of hours worth of chilling in the fridge, that head did grow a touch but not much and it mainly stayed looking like a thin skein throughout. The warm amber-like colour became thinner and more like an oak shade, but browner and nuttier, with a nose that was a riot of dominating grapefruit. It is absolutely massive, as the bottle promises, and it just lays waste to anything smelling anywhere near it. This is mainly appetising rather than off-putting and the activity, whilst minimised by the chilling, is bigger than nothing but not the huge swirling tornado of bubbles I saw in summer with the golden ales or even other IPAs.

There is, neverthless, above that huge hop hit of bitter grapefruit a sugary sweetness that reminds me of having breakfasts in posh hotels (and less-than-posh bed and breakfasts) back in the 1980s and 1990s when they used tinned grapefruit in the bowls. Okay, that's still the grapefruit but it does suggest that this will be more of a fruit-beer than, say, the peach that mysteriously vanished on tasting when I had the Golden Glory from Badger (here) and will remain something more than a spear of bitterness dragged across the tastebuds to leave a searing sour aftertaste.

Once on the tongue, sure enough, that massive hop-heavy punch arrives and sticks around, immediately spilling down the sides of the tongue and filling the mouth like that bowl of breakfast grapefruit. If it were socially acceptable to have beer for breakfast (and it isn't) then this is the one that you would choose. Never mind the offer of full English with the single long hair from a short-haired cook or the eggs that must always be badly scrambled or the selection of cereals that never has Sugar Puffs (because why would it?), this is the one you'd want. The bubbles do their best to offer a brief respite as soon as they can but anything of the malt and the yeast is instantly annihilated and then it's all grapefruit all the time and all the way. A dry bitterness rolls to the back of the throat, where I'm supposed to experience orange and peach though I can discern neither, and then hangs around as the front of the mouth deals with the aftermath of a tactical nuclear strike of grapefruit.

Now, see, I really like the grapefruit angle. It's my kind of ale, is this, and my kind of taste but I suspect that mileage may very well vary - in other words, I like my bitterness deployed from orbit in the sort of concentrated pattern that eradicates entire cities and signals the battle of Armageddon but you may prefer something with a bit more subtlety. To that I say: wuss! And then I move on to have more of this ale. The joy of pouring it into a half pint glass is that I get a second pour and, now that it's had time to warm up, I even get a bit of a persistent head. Much more controlled than some of the gigantic frothers I've had over the summer and thus acceptable to me. Yes, the grapefruit does rather nuke all other tastes and experiences in this ale, even the 6.5% ABV, making it feel deceptively light and airy. I was wondering whether I'd try this again and, initially, my thoughts were that I was glad I'd tried it but I would hold off getting any more unless I had some decent company to chat to about it. But, now, as I come to the end of my second glass (well, the glass in which I poured the last of the ale), I suspect that I would have it again with no questions asked. It's not a bad ale. It's utterly bonkers and very much divisive, but it's from Brewdog - what did you expect?

Hack into the mainframe, gain control of the orbital bitterness cannon mounted on the space station in geosynchronous orbit. Lay in the co-ordinates of your mouth and hit the big button marked 'fire' to immolate your taste and, indeed, all other senses in the fiery nuclear doom of unlimited grapefruit power. A fully operational battle station of an ale that will blot out the moon and destroy the Rebel scum whilst making sure to bring comparisons to a large and very overweight king of rock in the twilight of his career of excess and genuine talent. Afterwards, ruminate on what has been sacrificed but fixate on the experience gained.


  1. Do you have a bunker in your garden? Love the review. How on earth do you get the bottle to spin like that?

    1. Alas no bunker anywhere in the house. At least, not yet.

      Thank you. The spinning effect is a massive cheat. Take a series of still photos slightly turning the bottle each time then upload the sequence to Google photos. Use the assistant to stitch them into an animation.

      Can't see me doing it often though, it's a lot of faff.