This is Doctor’s Orders Spring release. And it’s perfect just as the weather is making up its mind between hot and cold: it’s boozy and warming.
Doctor’s Orders Prescription 12 pours jet black with the tiniest cola coloured underbelly. That slight translucent brown tinge provides a very important visual clue. It gives you an indication of the weight of this beer before you even lift the glass.
While you know it will pack substantial character, you know it’s no meal-in-a-glass stout.
On top of the dark liquid sits a thick head of tightly bound bubbles that shows off a sort of half-and-half bread colour. Very slowly the froth dies down to a half inch thick layer.
Billowing out of the bottle and the glass, the aromas feature some caramel and booze-soaked fruit. It’s a dried fruit smell like raisin or prune. Perhaps rum-soaked raisin is a fairly accurate descriptor.
Complementing the boozy fruitiness are some toasted aromas from the malt.
Given that it’s a Belgian inspired black IPA, it has some of that familiar Belgian yeast character. Subtle at first but the more time you spend mulling over it the clearer the banana aromas become. Once you’ve picked them out among the other smells they take control.
On the palate it shows off some strong toasted flavour, some deep bitterness and something like overdone home made biscuits, or burnt caramelised fruit. There’s also something a bit harsh and a little bit smokey in there. A bit like a sticky date pudding or christmas cake that granny has attacked with too much brandy.
A Beer to Experience
It’s strong! It’s a 7.6% ABV beer that makes you taste each drop of alcohol. This provides a warming backbone that you want from a big beer. This’ll put life back into you when the spring showers hit.
The mouthfeel has a certain slickness and then a sensation that makes you think it’ll finish dry but it doesn’t. It kind of draws to a rounded, full-bodied finish.
There’s quite a lot of bitterness coming from the IPA parts of the beer but the edge is slightly taken off by the sugary, fruity flavours.
Doctor’s Orders aim to make thought-provoking beers and this is certainly one. The complex mix of sensations you experience when drinking it will keep you guessing and make you think about it in detail. It’s definitely a beer to fuss over.
Once you’ve tried this in Spring, you’ll be eagerly awaiting Doc’s Summer release, Zephyr.
Beer style: Belgian Black IPA
Pair with: Enjoy on its own, taking in the experience.
If you’ve tried Doctor’s Orders Prescription 12, leave a comment and let me know what you thought.