Cards on the table. I had my first beer when I was 15. Yeah, I know - that's ancient. Most of you were probably way younger than that - smoking 20 a day at 12; covered in tattoo's at 10; virginity lost at 9. What can I say - I was a late developer.
From what I can remember - between bouts of spewing and singing rugby songs (and, bizarrely enough, watching Knight Rider in the middle of the night) - the object of the session was to get as drunk as possible. I mean proper miroculous. Falling down, can't talk, struggling to get up stairs drunk. The kind of drunk that kids these days only dream of. And if memory serves me right, that kind of drunk came after 6 cans of Tennents and a half bottle of Smirnoff. Between 3 of us. We were hardcore.
These days, things are more sedate. I'd much rather get a few decent beers and be in my bed early, so I don't waste the next day nursing a hangover. Long gone are my days of unbridled hedonism. Which is why, I think, I'm actually really enjoying this Black Isle Goldfinch, even though its only 3.5% ABV. My 15-year-old self could probably drink about 4 of these before succumbing to the urge to sing 'The Hairs on Her Dickey-Di-Do' at the top of his voice. He'd also probably kick my arse for this whole last paragraph.
I feel like I have a bit of an affinity to Black Isle Brewery these days, on account of the box of their ale that I've been slowly working my way through recently (thanks Iain!). This one though isn't from that box though (sorry Iain!). It's another Flavourly special. And its looking likely that we're about to score 3 from 3 (along with Panda Blood and Summer Breeze).
This is another light, refreshing brew in the same ilk as those two. Think citrus fruit and hops, crisp and fresh, easy to drink. I do find that a lot of these IPA's taste pretty similar, but sometimes there are variations that stand out from the rest and I'd definitely add this to that list. I like the fact that it isn't mega-strong, so it doesn't go straight to your head after the first (and unfortunately this time, only) bottle. I like that it doesn't bag you up either. This is a really tasty summery beer.
My younger self would be disappointed with that previous statement there too. 'Isn't mega strong? Pah!' He'd be half way through a pack of super ale or something as well, into the 3rd or 4th verse of Father Abraham. To be frank though, my younger self can go and fornicate himself with an iron bar. He always was a bit of a dick. Everyone knows all the cool kids are drinking low alcohol IPA's these days.