Brewdog Boilermaker Series whiskies

The Brewdog Boilermaker Series of whiskies?
Resurrecting the hauf’n’hauf with a Brewdog chaser??
Now THAT sounds like a match made in heaven.

I’ve been blown away over the years by the success the Brewdog guys have had with their craft beers from a remote base in the far north east of Scotland.
These days you accept amazing stuff can crop up in the strangest of places, but the ‘death of distance’ phenomena is mainly a digital thing. So for the Brewdog guys to have established such a successful global brewing venture on the fisherman’s jaggy jawed coast of the North Sea is simply remarkable.

Now they have collaborated with three innovative whisky makers – Zuidam, Compass Box and Duncan Taylor – to craft a set of BoilerMaker whiskies to cuddle up to their awesome beers. What could be finer?
(As a side note, I love Zuidam, if only for the fact it lets you appropriately bookend any whisky A-Z.)

Brewdog have never been afraid of making bold statements:
I applaud their technical skills in brewing Tactical Nuclear Penguin at an ABV of 32%, but won’t be making a habit of drinking it.
I laughed at their 55% ABV End of History coming in a stuffed animal bottle, until I realised they were real dead stoats and squirrels.
And I can happily sink a 0% ABV Nanny State iPA zero alcohol brew in the middle of a session because of its great taste, but I won’t make a habit of that either.

It may seem strange to many that Brewdog have gone down this route but I’d never bet against them. As the launch coincides with the rebranding of their Lone Wolf distillery as Brewdog distillery and key new appointments, I’m keen to see how their plan unfolds.

Now my experience with the boilermaker is limited.

I saw many a boilermaker sunk in anger in my Chicago days. Guys haunched at the bar in dusty dives and biker joints across the Midwest spicing up their frosty beers. Back in the 80s and 90s, before the craft beer revolution made everybody up their game, it was understandable. American beers weren’t really renowned for their flavour.
When I was on the road, once I’d stabled the Harley for the night, I’d sometimes kickstart the evening with a boilermaker or two. Never too many though, as I’d often have a few hundred more miles to ride the following day.
(I really would ride hundreds of miles for a beer in those days)

But the hauf ‘n’ hauf was a firm staple in the Glasgow of my youth.
I dabbled occasionally, from back in the 70s before I was legally entitled to even be in the pub.
In the 80s, when I worked behind the bar in Chandlers opposite the old John Brown’s shipyard in Clydebank we opened at 6:30 am for the night crew coming off shift. (If any of the regulars didn’t appear you knew they d had a few too many over the course of the night.)
The hauf’n’hauf was the standard ‘one for the road’. Come 10 o’clock as the mood shifted,  a hauf’n’hauf was the standard call.

The sweetheart spirits in the Boilermaker Series have been individually crafted to bespoke recipes to cuddle up to their matched brew as a boilermaker or hauf’n’hauf.
There’s no coyness here. These drams are full-on partners to the pint.
And they all make great couples, either dancing together or hand in hand.
They’re pretty damn good on their own as well.

Torpedo Tulip from Millhouse  is a 100% rye born in the Zuidam distillery in Holland. It’s crafted to snuggle up with Dead Pony Club, BrewDog’s American Pale Ale, and is bottled at 46% ABV after maturing in ex-olorosso sherry casks.

Transistor from Compass Box, is a blended Scotch. It’s designed to go to the ball with the flagship Brewdog beer, Punk IPA and is a single malt led blend bottled at 43% ABV.

Skeleton Key from Duncan Taylor & Co is a blended Scotch whisky. It’s a bit of a flirt so it will go with both the Jet Black Heart stout or the Zombie Cake porter and is bottled at 46% ABV.

Check out this month’s In the Doghouse for the full roadtest. 

Looking to the future, following some years of trials, the rebranded Brewdog distillery – opened in 2016 – is moving to produce its flagship single malt with Brewdogs customary non-traditional attitude, while the Lone Wolf brand will continue in use for their gin.

I think it would be a foolish man who bet against Brewdog, so I look forward to seeing what the future holds for their spirited new venture.

Brewdog (nee Lone Wolf) Distillery