Last month when we visited the Scottish Beer Festival at the Assembly Rooms in our home city we found a great deal of things we liked, both new and old. One of the newer discoveries was a pale bitter called Peden’s Cove from the Windie Goat Brewery in Failford, Ayrshire. Tucked away in the far corner of the festival due to alphabetical order, it was a really tasty session bitter from a relatively new producer (they started up in 2006). Anyhow, Michelle the head brewer recently sent us a minikeg of one of her newer inventions – Gutter Slab. With a whole weekend of golf on the telly to get through…what could be better?
Named after a fishing pool in the River Ayr, it seemed to be something of an experiment for Michelle (going by her brewery blog) – a hop-packed IPA in the ‘American Style’ (i.e. hop-packed doesn’t even get close). But we love hops on the BeerCast, and particularly love beers that pack a punch – and by crikey does Gutter Slab pound the hops down your throat. Cascade really zing from the beer, giving out that sharp grapefruit taste. At 5.5%abv, it’s not up there with most IPA’s from over the pond, but it certainly tastes like one.
It pours an opaque orange colour, even after having been well settled – and with these minikegs you always get half a glass full of chunks before the drinkable beer comes. But the lemony smell that follows really makes you want to dive in, and when you do the characteristic Cascadey hop taste screams at you. I get the feeling that if it was around 4%abv it would really lose something, so the higher alcohol content pays off. The consensus from the BeerCasters at the sampling was that it would be even better on cask. If we ever find ourselves at the Failford Inn, I would certainly want to find out.