Last year, Stone Brewing teamed up with Scotland’s BrewDog to brew up a collaboration beer, and Bashah was the result: a “Black Belgian Double IPA” (how’s that for a style designation?) that weighs in at 8.6% alcohol by volume.
(Yes, this was last year’s beer—this is a review from February I hadn’t posted yet, though I’ve still seen Bashah on the shelves, so if you have a decent bottleshop nearby there’s a chance you can still find it.)
You might be thinking “Black IPA,” and that’s more-or-less what I thought when I picked it up. What I found instead was a much more Belgian-influenced character without being overpowering.
Appearance: Black pour without much carbonation at first except a light brown head that built up gradually. Deep ruby when held to the light.
Smell: Roasted malts with a bit of earthy hops but with a chocolate “funk” that strikes me as Belgian and reminds me of earthy mushroom at the same time.
Taste: Definitely hoppy but also spicy up front—peppercorns and radish greens in the mix. Roasted malts and bitter cocoa powder with a bit of sweetness like… honeycomb? Raw honey maybe. Hops again follow up with a minty “green” bitter-spice.
Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a lightness on the tongue, finishing the sweetish body with a roasty dryness.
Overall: Unusual and tasty, not the assault on the tastebuds I’d feared. Nor (for me) nearly as bitter as expected. Nice, interesting mix of flavors happening.