Brodie’s Prime Reserve 2011

Hawkshead Brewery


8.5% ABV

Reviewed by David Bishop aka @broadfordbrewer

Introducing our guest reviewer Dave Bishop. Dave is a keen homebrewer (when his future assistant brewers will allow, Dave is the father of 3 young children). He is most well known to most of you for his twitter based musing (@broadfordbrewer)…to say Dave likes the odd tweet is a understatement. But on top of that he likes good beer and is a blooming lovely chap.


Matt from Hawkhead Brewery (another lovely bloke, I’m spotting a trend here?) sent me a couple of bottles of Brodie’s Prime Reserve 2011. It is a version of Hawkhead’s acclaimed hopped-up brown ale that was aged in 20 year old Bladnoch Whisky Barrels. I shared a bottle with fellow fairweather HopZiner and co-founder Matt and his girlfriend Becky, I’ll get to my comments in a second. I also gave Dave a bottle to drink and his notes will form the main part of this review.

From my time drinking Brodie’s Prime Reserve 2011 my group enjoyed it, some more than others. Matt really enjoyed those big boozey roasted flavours. Me, I’m a huge fan of Brodies Prime a rather hoppy brown ale and walks that tightrope between between hops and malts with sublime dexterity. But at the same time I’m not a fan of whisky, I enjoyed it for what it is but it just not my preferred taste.


Bladnoch Whisky Barrel. Pic copywrite Baron Orm

On to the Main Event…Dave, take it away.


Upon opening there are immediate hints of whisky on the nose, the aroma grows once being poured.

Poured dark and oily, little or no carbonation, although difficult to tell through the murk!

No head formed.

First taste is of bitter dark chocolate but very pleasant, with peat and what I recognised as pipe tobacco (rather than just any old type of tobacco), difficult to describe but a sweet, moreish tobacco.


Aftertaste is complex as the flavours blend effortlessly, and then comes the oaky/vanilla, with a long roasted aftertaste.  Oh and the booziness is ever-present.


Overall I did enjoy this beer and I would say that it is more likely to be enjoyed by those who like the odd dram, but I would have been much happier with 330ml.  I found the last few mouthfulls weren’t wanted or needed. And this may sound weird but it left me feeling like I’d smoked 10 Regal!  i.e. a heavy chest feeling :-)  Maybe not something that the brewer would find helpful to hear, but thought I’d share it with you anyway for a chuckle!


I guess neither me or Dave are the best judge of this beer as we didn’t really enjoy the whisky element, personally I’d take the regular Brodies over this anytime.


If you are up in the Lake District and want to enjoy a great beer in beautiful surroundings I urge you to visit Hawkshead’s Brewery and their fabulous Beer Hall.

Click Here for more details


Also why not CLICK HERE and read all about Baron Orm’s visit to the opening of the new beer hall at the Hawkshead Brewery and the launch of Brodie’s Prime Reserve 2011.



2 comments to Brodie’s Prime Reserve 2011

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