The third review of the year is another big-hitter, a double IPA from Pilot, one of Scotland’s newest breweries and a product of the boom in craft beers and ales.
Pilot of Leith, Edinburgh, began brewing in November 2013 with the ambition to make beers that were different yet drinkable, off-the-wall rather than out-and-out wacky. They launched with a Vienna Pale Ale, a fairly tame precursor of what has since followed. These past 12 months Pilot’s adventures in brewing have seen them brew beer with parma violets, seaweed and cocoa nibs.
With their latest brew, Pilot used ingredients including jaggery sugar and fenugreek, putting the India back into IPA and making an educated nod to the history of this style.
The aroma is warm spice and tropical fruit, and these carry through to the taste, which is surprisingly sweet, delicate and welcoming, with washes of passion fruit, liquorice and toffee, before suddenly moving to a medium dry bitterness that lasts and lasts.
You can certainly taste its 8.5% strength, though it’s far from harsh or over-powering. Texture-wise, it’s lovely. Think mango juice.
India India is complex and sophisticated, a beast of a beer with big flavours, a solid body and a potent hit. It comes in hefty 660ml bottles, making it ideal for sharing.