Let's start this review with an admission, shall we? I'm writing this review, despite the fact that I didn't actually drink all of this bottle of beer. No, I haven't broken UN Law by pouring away alcohol . I somehow managed to spill half the bottle all over the (light coloured) carpet in the living room, despite being stone cold sober at the time. And the missus doesn't actually know yet, so by the time she's read this, I'll be halfway down the road, looking for a place to hide out. Sorry Laura! If anyone else spots me, please keep my hideout secret.
(P.S. the carpet actually scrubbed up OK and now smells lovely and fruity.)
And lovely and fruity partly describes this beer, Devil's Peak Brewing's, Toe the Line. But it almost started off badly, even before the carpet had a beer bath...
My first swig from the bottle wasn't... well, it wasn't great. I'm not sure if this had something to do with the fact that the bottle had been sitting in my beer cellar (OK, shed) for the past few weeks, or the temperature (it's been snowing here all day, so the shed is pretty cold) or because I was drinking it straight from the bottle, but first impressions weren't great. There was a big metallic hit straight away that wasn't pleasant and which almost put me off the beer. But, luckily for both me and Devil's Peak, things quickly improved from there...
The next swig was much improved - big, fresh and fruity, with no metallic aftertaste, thankfully. I definitely got hints of citrus fruit - orange, lemon and lime - as well as other hoppy characteristics, such as fresh cut grass and nettles. There's also a nice malty sweetness there to offset the bitterness of the hops. That's not to say that this is an excessively bitter IPA - it isn't, it's a great balance between sweet and sour.
It also has a lovely, silky mouthfeel that probably comes from the addition of oats in the mash. The texture of the beer is also helped by feeling only lightly carbonated, which keeps it creamy and fresh tasting and nowhere near as strong as 6% ABV might suggest. It's really easy to drink and I almost feel guilty for sharing half of it with the living room floor. I can definitely see myself buying more of this in the future.
Also congratulations if you spotted the crap Toto reference in the blurb!