Brewery: Top Out
Top Out Brewery, out in Loanhead, says that it combines Scottish and German brewing techniques to make its beer, but on the evidence provided by The Cone, there’s a big dose of American method thrown in there as well. Packed full of bold, hoppy flavours characteristic of the US (and, increasingly, Scottish craft beers), The Cone is no wallflower and, at 6.8 per cent, it can throw its weight around, too.
Its deep orange colour and zesty aromas promise a rich beer with tropical fruity flavours. A YouTube video contends that the The Cone might be Scotland’s best ever IPA, a prospect that heightens the anticipation of a sip. Some will find that its citrus notes are, however, too sharp, and the bitterness that follows the first swig pinches the throat. The inviting smells that come from the glass—a variety of hops and passion fruits—make the results all the more disappointing. It’s as if the dominant flavours have converged too closely together, never allowing you to properly unpack what’s going on even after several gulps. The results might be improved by a complementary meal — a steak or a gently spiced Thai curry, perhaps — but on its own it’s a little too overpowering.