Highland Brewing Devil's Britches IPA

This is the second Highland Brewing beer. The first was pretty decent, and I consequently have high hopes for this one. As you may well know, I have an unnatural attraction to IPAs, and I anticipate this being a good one, indeed.

The head is okay, and it seems thicker than normal (although not as thick as something like Guinness) and does not dissipate completely. The color is a reddish copper. The aroma is very hoppy, as is typical for this type of ale. Can't really smell anything beyond the hops, but that's okay. The scent is very strong, too. I can distinctly smell it from my chair while it's sitting on the table attracting condensation.

First sip is hoppy. Again, no surprise there. That's a glass full of bitter, resentful hops sitting right there. There is some malt, but it's being overrun by hops. They claim to use two different kinds of hops, and they both taste like... hops. I suspect, as with most IPAs, a simple sip doesn't give it enough time to release any complex flavors.

So, the full swig, then? Why not?

Oh, that's pretty good. It's got a smooth taste right at the beginning with its toasty floral hints. Then the hops kick in with their robust bitterness followed by a relative spike in bitter. The finish eases off with a kind of nutty fruit. The finish evens out the bitterness pretty well, but they would probably do well to enter a bit earlier in the experience.

I let it get a little warmer, and the taste seems to improve; the malty thickness lounges around on the tongue for a while longer before giving way to the bitterness of the hops. And the bitterness is more muted, allowing the finish to do its job with a touch more alacrity. It's a good beverage on the whole, and I wouldn't mind sampling a few more.

3.5/5

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