Albino Squid Assassin by Brewdog

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Beer Name: Albino Squid Assassin

Brewer: Brewdog, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

Date Sampled: 13th September 2016

ABV: 7.4%

Serving Type: Can

Location Sampled: Home

There's no denying it; the moment I saw this can in the fridge at The Leopold Tavern there was no way that I wasn't buying it. It didn't matter who the brewer was or what style of beer was hidden inside. The second you put a gun and hand grenade toting giant squid on the tin, I'm going to be buying!

Brewdog has become a name synonymous with craft beer. Started in 2007 by two beer lovers bored by the offerings currently dominating the marketplace, they quickly grew thanks to an apparently natural flair for marketing and, more importantly, a knack for turning out top quality beer. Their story since then is one of amazing growth and success, including several crowd funding campaigns, and they currently have over 40 bars, well over 500 employees and in 2015 brewed 134000hl of beer. This ain't no microbrewery!

I will probably do a Brewdog Post soon, to include some of their more well known and easily obtainable beers, but for now, onto the squid!

Albino Squid Assassin is a Red Rye IPA that Brewdog describe as "bristling with layers of depth from a fusillade of kettle and dry hopping." It's one of their limited edition small batch beers, was released late in 2015 and it is still available on their website either in cans or in a bottle (barrel aged).

First off, the can is a thing of beauty! Designed by Joe Wilson, the depiction of the heavily armed squid is possibly the most bonkers branding I've seen on a beer yet. The graphic novel style illustration is top notch and if I thought I'd be able to convince the other half, I'd be snapping up one of the limited edition prints from the Brewdog website!

The beer pours a lovely clear rust-red with a head that has a slight terracotta hue to it.

The aroma has a lot going on; the initial malty hit has a real depth to it, conjuring images of thick tar-like black treacle being poured into a saucepan. But as that fades you're left with a linseed oil like perfume and a sulphurous note, like freshly launched fireworks.

The taste lives up to the name; this is not a beer to be taken lightly. Whilst the citrus and resin hop flavours are there at the start, it isn't long before they are pushed out of the way by everything else that is going on. The Rye brings a warm spiciness to the drink, and the malts now bring a burnt toffee hint to the occasion. There is a nod to a rich, heavily 'boozed' Christmas cake, before disappearing into a coppery aftertaste.

I'm actually caught a little bit in two minds over this beer; if I'm being honest it isn't one I'd rush back to. But that doesn't mean that it isn't a good beer. In fact, to get the flavours as well balanced as Brewdog have is nothing short of genius.

I do kind of think though that this is the point of small batch beers; it gives the brewers a chance to spread their wings, experiment with flavours and try and surprise people. You only have to head to any beer review sight and you'll find plenty of people that love Albino Squid Assassin, as well as a few who don't, but the beautiful thing about beer (one of the beautiful things) is that for every beer you find that you're not itching to drink again, there's hundreds more out there to keep trying!

So if you see a can of Albino Squid Assassin give him a try by all means, it is definitely worth trying, and it may not be around for long before it disappear to the briny depths from whence it came.


  1. A good beer for Christmas then... Much better than that horrible port stuff I'm usually given!!

  2. Actually, now you mention it, I reckon it would work pretty good with a cheese board....


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