Brewdog, Layer Cake

Brewdog’s Layer Cake is proof there’s life in the old dog yet. It’s a sweet and decadent dessert stout with marshmallow, syrup, and milk chocolate aromas and a bitter, chocolate and red berry flavour. Layer Cake is not suitable for vegans.

Layer Cake is not just a 2004 film in which Professor Dumbledore lays down the facts of life to James Bond. It’s also a chocolate marshmallow stout from Brewdog.

Brewdog divides opinion. It’s one thing to wang on about how much of a punk you are when you’re a young upstart. But that punk attitude looks a little inauthentic when you’re opening your second hotel. I’m hoping this beer is evidence that Brewdog isn’t just increasingly watered down iterations of Punk IPA. Fingers crossed, there’s some upstart in Ellon yet.

Let’s start by taking a look at the can. Two tones, with white and pink marshmallow on the bottom and rich, dark chocolate on top. Do I love the aesthetic? Not especially. But I like it more than many of Brewdog’s other can designs at the moment: this, at least, gives you a clue about what flavours you’ll find inside.

It pours black and smooth with a creamy, tan head. The aroma isn’t terribly complex. There’s marshmallow. There’s syrup. There’s a bit of milk chocolate. Nice enough, but I’m left wanting more.

Things start to look up when this beer hits the tongue. It’s far more complex than the aroma suggests: yes, the marshmallow and syrupy sweetness is still there, but also dark chocolate bitterness. There are some fruity red berry flavours too: dark cherry and raspberry. They add an element of sourness, which carries through onto the finish.

This would be an amazing beer for someone with a sweet tooth. That person who always asks for a dessert menu, no matter how full they are after the main, will have a good time with Layer Cake. But for me, it’s lacking something. There’s not enough flavour or complexity in here to justify the 7.0% ABV.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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