So, about 4 days later than I meant to post it - here's the 2nd edition of Beer of the week! They do say that it's better to be late than never, but honestly in this case, I think that's debatable. I mean, it's not like the extra time I've taken to come up with this article will result in it being of a better quality than usual. I'm basically flinging it together right now, so I can get something uploaded to the site, to make it look like I'm making an effort to stay up to date.
I really need to learn when to stop typing sometimes. It doesn't alyways pay to be honest...
This weeks Beer of the Week will also deviate slightly from the usual approach which was set... er... last week, I suppose. Rather than have to suffer watching Scotty boy drown in a pool of his own drool having to write about his current BBF (Best Beer Forever) Evil Twin's Molotov Cocktail, I've decided to let him lie down in a cold, dark room for the week, while I write a short mini-review for my selection for Beer of the Week.
Scott: Just click here for Scott's choice, OK? He's still a smiley, gibbering wreck somewhere after drinking this monster.
Andy: Sometimes it's nice to be surprised. It's nice, when you peel back the wrapping on that sock shaped Christmas present, only to find out that it's actually an ounce of grass, wrapped in a sock, wrapped in Christmas paper*. (So I'm told... Look, it's only a joke, OK?) And sometimes, it's not nice to be surprised - like when someone tells you "The first inch is the worst", only to find out, to your surprise, that it doesn't get any better after that* (it's another joke, ok? Lighten up!). On this occasion though, the surprise, I'm pleased to say, was most welcome.
PLEASE NOTE: I have never 'received' either of these things. This is just a crap attempt at humour.
Bit of background. I inherited a fridge when I moved into my new place a couple of months ago. It does the job i.e it keeps stuff cold. For some reason though, it started dripping liquid all over the place, like a pensioner with a leaky catheter. This meant that everything in the fridge was soaking wet, including the beer in the box at the bottom. The relevance of this story is thus; this weeks Beer of the Week was lying in said box, its lovely paper label slowly disintegrating in the every increasing downpour of the fridge. I later figured out what was causing the condensation problem (the door wasn't closing properly - remember that for the future, beer fans. You never know when such information may be priceless) but by that point, the damage was done. The label was in a sorry state and failed to properly distinguish the quality of the beverage stored inside.
Now we all know that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover (I'm full of cliches today, eh? Full of something anyway...), but sometimes it's difficult. When you're looking at a bottle of beer that appears to have been found at the bottom of some thawing glacier in Iceland, possibly a product of some ancient, neolithic brewing process, you don't automatically think "This is going to be awesome". So, it was with some trepidation that I popped the cap on this weeks BotW, took a swig and was transported to beer nirvana...
Radical Road from Stewart Brewing is awesome. At 6.4% ABV, it's hardly a docile beast, but you wouldn't know it was that strong from the flavour. Some of these stronger beers seem to verge on paint stripper territory, but this is light and fresh, with no harsh alcohol flavour to it at all. It walks the fine line between bitter and sweet perfectly, going just the right amount in either direction to make for a really enjoyable ale.
There are 6 varieties of hop in the recipe - Magnum, Cascade, Chinook, Junga, Citra (my current personal favourite) and Simcoe, which are blended together perfectly to give a hint of grapefruit, followed by a syrupy, orangey sweetness that lingers after swallowing. I could easily tear through a six-pack of this and it may well be a new entry in my top 5 beers. Being brewed here in Bonnie Scotland, it also shouldn't prove too difficult for me to track down in future, unlike some of the beers we've previously reviewed here. Bravo Stewart Brewing - I'll definitely be buying this one again!