It features that perfect rich wee heavy colour you want to see. It’s a deep, dark burgundy, with hues of beautiful reddish brown underneath a bubbly head the colour of Scottish shortbread.
The aroma promises a boozy treat packed with dark fruit and some overripe sweetness.
Complex, Layered Flavours
There are raisins and liquorice on top of big hunks of fruit cake and some oaky woodiness. The oak flavour brings out some natural, almost herbaceous flavours. At its deepest, there are some botanical flavours in there and it tastes fantastic.
It’s likely that these come from the addition of elderflower, meadowsweet and bog myrtle and these all add some delicious organic-tasting layers to the beer.
It’s an incredibly complex flavour profile that conjures up memories of lots of unctuous sweet fruit.
Smooth And Light (For a Big Beer)
For a 10% ABV beer it’s incredibly smooth. It doesn’t cloy and it actually feels relatively light in the mouth. There’s some mild silkiness but it has a creamy finish almost like a really good vodka without the burn.
While it’s still a wee heavy in style, the lightness of the body is an impressive feat given what must have been an eye-watering malt bill. It captures the stickiness of the flavours without getting stuck on the way down.
Isotope is definitely a beer to sit on and sip away at. Allowing it to slowly come up to room temperature is going to give you the full range of flavours packed into this beer.
The fruit cake came through more and more as the cold edge was taken off the beer. So much so, that at my last sip, I wanted to stick my fingers in the glass and mop up the last drops like cake batter from the bowl.
A Few Ways to Experience, If You Can
You could maybe match Isotope with an extravagant dessert that complements the flavours, perhaps a fruit cake with brandy cream, or a crème brûlée with layers of macerated dates and figs.
Alternatively have it as a companion to a nice single malt whisky. Or you could always just sip at it, enjoying it on its own which is how I experienced it.
This was a limited batch and the only keg in Sydney was at Bitter Phew and it’s now gone. That said, there are bottles floating around and if you know someone who has one, they might share it with you.
From: Hull, UK
Beer style: Wee Heavy
Pair with: On its own or with a rich dessert of dark fruit and cream
If you have tried Isotope, leave a comment below and share your experience.