Mikkeller BrewDog Devine Rebel Review

Devine Rebel is an “extreme” collaboration beer between Mikkeller (Mikkel Borg Bjergsø) of Denmark and BrewDog of Scotland. This is an interesting beer that where one-quarter of the beer has been aged in oak Seyside Scottish whiskey barrels. It was also brewed using a single hop variety and both an ale yeast and a champagne yeast, likely to boost the beer up to 12% alcohol by volume.

Mikkeller considers himself to be a “gypsy brewer” in so much as Mikkeller is a one man operation that only produces collaboration beers with breweries in Europe and the United States. It’s actually a quite interesting idea for a beer company.

Brew Dog is famous and controversial for creating the first 32% supposed beer, called Tactical Nuclear Penguin, but it is more like an ice-beer-brandy concoction. My opinion is that is is both beer and brandy.

Brew Dog has a blog post that explains just a little bit of the background of Devin Rebel.

Date Reviewed. April 28, 2010

Where I Found It. Healthy Spirits in San Francisco, CA.

Serving Type. 11.2 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance. Devine Rebel is slightly hazy with beer-bottle-brown color. The combination makes the beer look a bit muddy. It’s not the blue background in the photos, it does look muddy. The head is tan and has poor head retention.

Smell. This beer has a malty nose with noticeable (but not in your face) Scotch and woody aromas. The maltiness also has a brown sugar, molasses, and vanilla quality to it. As the beer gets closer to cellar temperature the scotch notes come out more. Despite the high alcohol content, this beer does not have a strong pure-booze smell to it, just the Scotch notes.

Taste. Devine Rebel reminds me of a strong, woody, barley-wine. There is plenty of roasted malt sweetness combined with a balance of hop bitterness that makes the sweetness a bit like molasses. When combined with the woody and Scotch flavors, it adds an interesting complexity. There is also hint of dried fruit like dates. This beer definitely has a boozy astringency to it from the alcohol content, which was masked in the aroma. Devine Rebel is a strong beer with bold flavors that are interesting but also sometimes rarely clash. The most interesting aspect of this beer is the noticeable Scotch flavors, which are just the perfect amount. Not too overwhelming and so faint you barely would know it was there.

Mouthfeel. The mouthfeel of this beer is thick and full-bodied with low carbonation with a bit of tannins.

Drinkability. This is a strong, boozy, barley-wine-esque beer with some interesting flavors of Scotch whiskey barrels. Maybe it is the alcohol but my first impressions were not as good as my final impression of the beer. If you see it in the store, it might be worth picking up a bottle but it is not worth calling around to see who carries it or still has a bottle left on the shelf.

Rating. My ratings below are on a five point scale with five being the best score.

  • Appearance (20%): 3.0
  • Smell (20%): 4.0
  • Taste (40%): 4.0
  • Mouthfeel (10%): 3.5
  • Drinkability (10%): 3.5
  • Overall: 3.7

Information

  • Style: Barley-wine
  • Brewery: Mikkeller and Brew Dog
  • Alcohol by volume: 12.1%
  • Hops: a single variety
  • Other ingredients: ale yeast and champagne yeast.
  • Beer Advocate rating: 3.94 (as of April 28, 2010)

Caption on the Bottle

The following caption appears on the side of the bottle:

In a rock ‘n roll collaboration, 2 of Europe’s most extreme. experimental brewers have combined forces, talents and ideas to produce this innovative ale.

Uniting inspiration, ingredients and people form around the world this beer was brewed and aged at BrewDog in Scotland.

This rebellious beer is partially aged in oak Speyside whiskey barrels and partially aged in stainless steel, combines and ale yeast and a champagne yeast and showcase a single hop variety.

Other Reviews

Other

This is Day 1 of 47 Days of Beer 47, in which I plan to post 47 articles in 47 days. This year, 2010, I launched this idea on April 28 but in 2011 I’ll plan to start on April 7 also known as 4/7.

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About David Jensen

David is a craft beer and photography enthusiast.
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