5 a.m. Saint - BrewDog Ltd, Fraserburgh
I'm not sure what to make of BrewDog's 5 a.m. Saint... For starters, I'm pretty sure I've already had at least three different Amber style beers from BrewDog. Plenty of breweries do a Stout, Coffee Stout, Imperial Stout and maybe even another variation on the same style, but I've never heard of anyone making as many different Ambers as BrewDog. Secondly, I don't get the label. I can't tell if it's tongue-in-cheek or if BrewDog stole the marketing copy from a bottle of Arrogant Bastard. "You probably don't know much about beer." "You don't understand beer." Those are the first two lines on the back of the bottle... "lowest common denominator beer" is mentioned a couple paragraphs later. The name's meaning eludes me as well. Maybe this whole beer is just over my head.
This beer pours a dark reddish brown color and settles to a mostly opaque body with a fluffy light tan colored head. The head stick around for quite a while and leaves a ton of lacing down the sides of your glass. The aroma of this beer is more like an IPA than an Amber. I don't mean that in a bad way, but the combination of caramel malt and big grassy hop aroma reminded me a lot of a decent IPA. There's a hint of cola to this beer but other than it's pretty cut and dry.
The 5 a.m. Saint also tastes like an IPA in the sense that it has a big hoppy flavor, but it lacks a lot of the bitterness of an IPA. The caramel malt and cola I got in the aroma? They didn't really show up in the flavor at all. What you've got here is a hop flavored Amber with a light malt character and thin body. Once the hops leave your tongue the rest of the beer seems to just fall apart. It's weird, not bad... just weird.
Overall I enjoyed the flavor of the 5 a.m. Saint, but it felt like I was missing something... like I wasn't in on the joke. This beer is deceptively hoppy, and I enjoyed that about it, but I can see why others didn't. It seems like there were a lot of obvious flaws like that in this beer. It's sweet and malt in the aroma but the flavor is hoppy and the body is incredibly thin. Again, it's odd.
I can't really say I'd recommend this to anyone looking for an Amber or an IPA... If you're looking for a confusing beer with some obvious flaws and questionable integrity... by all means pick up a bottle of 5 a.m. Saint.