Tuesday, July 08, 2008
I totally dig this beer. If you think about what you would expect from a Scottish Imperial IPA this beer hits the mark. Ok, when I think of Scottish beer I think of a beer that is malty. This beer is that, it has plenty of sweet pale malt to go along with its respectable hop quantity that is required for an IPA. The hops present themselves in an orange and grassy aroma and flavor. With higher gravity Scottish beers you tend to find some amount of diacetyl. This is a yeast product that imparts a buttery/butterscotch flavor. Now this is not normally found in IPAs but it does make for an enjoyable, unique flavor profile. The other thing I expect out of a Scottish beer is fairly low hop bitterness. That is not to say that Hard Core has low hop bitterness because it would not be an imperial IPA if it had. What I am saying is that the 65 to 75 IBUs balances well with the malt but is not the tongue scrapingly 90+ you find in most American Imperial IPAs. Even if you are a total hophead I think if you honestly evaluate the sensory experience that Hard Core provides, you will come to enjoy it as much as I have.