Naughty Hildegarde

And she’s back in town! I can recall drinking this beer sometime last summer. Unfortunately, I neglected to take notes, so when it came time to acknowledge Driftwood’s contributions to Island brewing, I was unable to say anything about this seasonal specialty.

Luckily, its available again and I’ve managed to secure several bottles. I might just stock up too in case I get a hankering for a strong ESB during the rainy winter months!

But I digress… Named in honor of the venerated nun who’s written works contain the first mention of hops in brewing, the Naughty Hildegarde is a stronger and especially hoppy take on the traditional ESB. In fact, it would be more accurate to describe it as a cross between an IPA and an ESB. Given that bitters are typically lower in alcohol content and dry hopped, this might seem like a contradiction. But as someone who loves both varieties, I can tell you they go quite well together!

Appearance: A dark amber, similar to an IPA
Nose: Citrusy and floral, consistent with Cascade and Citra hops
Taste: An immediate contrast in flavors, smooth tawny malts giving way to dry hops and then citrus notes
Aftertaste: Citrus notes are lingering and combine once again with a tawny aftertaste
Overall: 9/10

A winner all around, like all of their seasonals I’ve tried! As I said before, the combination might seem odd, but in the end, the characteristics are faithful and balance out quite nicely. I recommend it highly, but keep in mind that it’s a seasonal. So get a dose of Hildegarde before she’s gone!

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