I’m cracking open another from my precious stash. This time it’s one I’ve been saving for a good long while. This beer has the most beautiful label I have ever seen. The illustration, devoid of text save “Atlantic Pale Ale: Product of Scotland” is by Johanna Basford. It seems she has already done a tattoo project but this label would make the perfect sleeve!
I’ve been on the Atlantic a few times. My hair whipping about me while riding the wild swells: those were times in my life when I was perfectly happy. That sea, the “pond” I cross between two homes*, has taken on a poetic solidity in my imagination.
And just so with this beer. This baby has a dense, velvety head. The deep orange colour is alive with sea-monkey effervescence. This is one pretty beer. The nose is full of roasted malt and kelp. The first sip you get that tickling from the head which is staying put, crowning the beer to the last and tracing the sides of the glass like maps of archipelagos yet to be discovered. There’s an upfront earthy malt which quickly sours as the hops take over. I don’t sense any fragrance from the hops, just an intense, side-of-the-mouth bitterness with a hint of white pepper. As I keep drinking the fruits come out, but they are dried, salted- apricot and umeboshi. The whole thing finishes with ghost-toast rounding it out.
BrewDog have done it again– in the dazzle camoflage of their stunt-mindedness there’s joyful lyricism, or maybe that’s just me, waxing in the buzz. No matter, these guys make beer that feels like a gift.
You’ve got to feel for that little barrel strapped to the bow of the ship– a beery figurehead!
*By plane of course.