The Scots know their malts. Unfortunately, my first road trip across Scotland didn't allow enough time for a detour to Aberdeenshire. I say unfortunately because that very same year, a little less than two months before I arrived in fact, a couple of guys and a chocolate lab started a brewery in Fraserburgh on the coast of the North Sea.
So it wasn't until my neighborhood beer merchant began to carry their malty products that I finally got to try BrewDog. But instead of choosing Punk IPA, their most popular style, I opted for the more unusual and enigmatic Dogma, a heather honey infused ale.
At 7.8% alcohol by volume, Dogma packs a punch, especially if you finish a 660ml bottle by yourself, as I did last night while watching the season premiere of "The Office." It didn't acquire much head when I poured a glass, and to my nose, smelled strongly of overripe fruit and honey. The malts came through in the flavor and although my taste buds did identify notes of bitter honey, they haven't yet learned to distinguish a kola nut from a guarana seed. Poppy seed on the other hand, really stood out in the lingering finish.
I'd definitely recommend trying this complex beer, ideally at pub like The Halfway House, Edinburgh's smallest (and one-time Scottish pub of the year). I'm guessing it could go well with an order of stovies and oat cakes.