It's hot in Ireland at the moment, seriously hot. While it might only be in the 80's and early 90's to American's, it has been approaching and sometimes hitting 30c for the last few days and that's hot for our climate, especially since the hottest recorded temperature in history was about 33c. It's made worse by the fact we are unused to and ill-equipped for this kind of heat so most houses are sweltering brick ovens at the moment. Only large office buildings have air conditioning. There is very little in the way of a breeze either so leaving the windows open only marginally helps and it's warm air that flows through. Since it gets bright at about 4:30 - 5am at the moment, and is hot all night, sleep can be elusive for some people.
Tomorrow, I leave for Edinburgh for the third European Beer Bloggers Conference. Edinburgh is marginally cooler I believe so that will be welcome. It will be a good scouting trip so I will know my way around when I'm there later this year for the EBCU meeting.
Mainly due to the heat, I haven't been drinking much new stuff so here are a couple of random beers I just haven't mentioned yet. They didn't seem to fit anywhere and have been patiently waiting for a mention since May. Anyway, since all I'm drinking at the moment are cold pale ales to keep cool, I might as well mention these beers that are better consumed on a cold winters evening.
First up is San Diego Scotch Ale from Brewdog. I'll be visiting their Edinburgh bar tomorrow so I suppose it seems fitting. It's a collaboration with Ballast Point in San Diego, hence the name. This is an 11.9% ABV Scotch ale or Imperial Scotch ale perhaps? What we have here is a beer packed full of raisin and sultana, dark plums, muscovado sugar and that's just the aroma. All of these are present in the flavour too but I expected the beer to be much sweeter than it actually is. There's an astringency to it with lots of oak and whiskey, a little smoke and ash and a gooey dark chocolate centre.
It might be a little odd, but it's a lovely beer nonetheless.
To Bruges now, or should I really say Brugge. Straffe Hendrik is an 11% ABV quadruple brewed by the Brewery de Halve Maan. I'm not sure what to make of it other than to say a big thumbs up because it's bloody gorgeous. Cherry syrup and prunes on the nose, a real fruity affair with a little dark chocolate thrown in. So a liqueur chocolate then. On tasting, I was hit by a syrupy prune juice and cherry concoction that would have been sickly where it not for the lively carbonation cutting through it.
This is a beer to serve as a digestif or desert beer.