There were some quiet murmurings in the blogosphere that some of the Magic Rock core range reminded them of a certain brewer from north of the border. At the time I suggested someone do a comparative tasting, yet no one seems to have taken up the gauntlet (too scared of repercussions perhaps?); so I've decided to put the issue to bed myself. I'm aware I'm a bit late to the party, but its difficult to get any beers over here!
Regardless of what is found out it won't take away from what Magic Rock has achieved in the short months since it has been opened, a great set of brews, with some tasting spot-on at the first attempt. I've tried all bar the bearded lady and enjoyed the lot. Dark Arts was my keg beer of the year. Their branding is eye-catching and memorable, their web presence is great and they've already done a collaboration brew (Rock-Star) with more to come. . They're certainly going places in 2012.
I'm going to be as objective as possible, though as always, taste is subjective. To prevent bias I'm going to taste them blind* with the help of a third party. I'll present my findings and let you make your own conclusions.
|Someone's gotta drink 'em...may as well be me!|
Rapture (4.6%) vs 5am Saint (5%)
Malts: 5 varieties including Crystal Rye,
Vienna and Dark Crystal.
Hops: 6 varieties
|Sight: see above. Forms foamy head in big pour.||Sight: see above|
|Smell: Pine resin, kiwi fruit and oranges||Smell: orange peel, caramel and lotus flower|
|Taste: Caramel sweetness with citrus pith||Taste: Sweet and fruity with citrus zest.|
|Palate: Sticky with medium carbonation||Palate: Gentle carbonation|
|Finish: Drying bitterness||Finish: Astringent and pithy|
High Wire (5.5%) vs Punk IPA (5.6%)
|Sight: Light gold, effervescent||Sight: Slightly darker gold.|
|Smell: Pineapple, lychee and mango||Smell: Cats urine and ripe mango|
|Taste: Sweet tangerine, mango and gentle
|Taste: Mango rind, butterscotch and lime juice|
|Palate: Gently carbonated and light in
|Palate: Tingling carbonation, light in body|
|Finish: brief tropical fruit||Finish: Fruit salad jacks|
|Hops: Apollo, Summit, Target, Warrior||
|Sight: Medium orange amber||Sight: Medium orange amber, slightly less carbonation|
|Smell: Sticky toffee, melon, green apple and ripe peaches||Smell: Black pepper, orange and marmalade|
|Taste: Sticky toffee, resinous and pithy||Taste: Liquid orange extract, zesty citrus|
|Palate: Highly carbonated||Palate: Light carbonation|
|Finish: Very bitter||Finish: Orange pith|
Magic Rock are on Twitter as a brewery and individuals; MD Richard Burhouse, Brewer Stuart Ross and Scott Caverley.
Brewdog are on Twitter as a brewery, MD James Watt, Head Brewer Martin Dickie and a whole host of other Brewdoggians if you care to search!
All beer logos were linked from the respective breweries' websites. Images of beer my own.