#29 – Belhaven Scottish Stout

Name: Belhaven Scottish Stout
Style: Strong Stout
Brewed by: Belhaven Brewery/Greene King (Dunbar, Scotland)
Alcohol: 7% abv.
Price: c. $8.50/500ml bottle

If you wanted to annoy a Scot – and who wouldn’t? It’s hilarious – you could remind them that the modern kilt, that iconic symbol of Scottishness was an English idea, and came about when Mr. Rawlinson of Lancashire wanted his workers at t’ ironworks to get a move on and stop loafing about in their traditional but obviously daft full-length tartans, warmth and dignity be damned. You could remind them that the name of one of their greatest medieval philosophers is now a byword for idiocy for no better reason that no-one could be bothered figuring out what he was actually on about. You could remind them of Aberdeen (sorry, but hey, you know I’m right). You could remind them that their oldest and greatest independent brewery (which just happened to be Belhaven) was finally bought out in 2005 by the English, and this, their “Scottish Stout” was launched in 2007. Now I’m not saying it’s an English creation, but…well in any case there remains something to say about it that may or may not go down well.

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Review #11 – Brewdog Hardcore

Hardcore IPA (Imperial/Double IPA, 9.2% abv) by BrewDog (Fraserburgh, Scotland). $8.50/330ml bottle.

From the label: “4 Hop Cones willingly sacrificed themselves in fiery cauldron (sic) that is our brew kettle to ensure your mouth is left feeling punished and puckering for more.” They’re half right.

A second round of redemption Thursday and this time around it’s the Brewdog Hardcore, a beer I’d had during last year’s world footy cup or whatever it was, apparently New Zealand won it and there was much rejoicing. At the time I described in my notes as “f…ing awful. Too hoppy, bitter, fruity and stenchy” but of course I hadn’t really given it a fair chance. It was served to me in a plastic cup – I believe I have elsewhere expressed my opinion of such an abominable act – and from memory I was coming off a row of porters and stouts so it was never going to sit well. And so, now, swollen with magnanimity in the comfort of my own home, I am willing to give it another try. Continue reading