The 85 IBU on the label is a measure of bitterness. It stands for International Bitterness Unit. That probably means little to most folk but when you see it printed on a beer label you can pretty much guarantee you'll be sucking in your cheeks on the first taste.
This beer is packed with taste and character, but there shouldn't be too many surprises for those beer drinkers able to read: the label on the back states that Conscience is "heavily late-hopped with Australian Galaxy and Ella hops giving citrus and mango notes with melon, pine and bubble gum undertones, leading to a long intensely bitter finish". For beer drinkers unable to read, the image of the twin hop buds should make it clear.
Unsurprisingly then, the aroma was heavily laden with hops. I found it pleasantly peachy with an orangy, biscuity staleness too.
Pouring was a pain. My bottle was heavily carbonated, and poured with a mighty head that was foamy and had an off-white tint. The beer itself was a dark golden brown, partly opaque. Very lively.
Taste: wow. They really weren't kidding, and though the nose offered unsubtle hints of what was to come, I really wasn't prepared for the punch this Conscience packed.
It has a very, very bitter, dry and lingering aftertaste, to the detriment initially of other flavours. The malt, the bubble gum, the citrus are there, but those first few mouthfills it was an unpindownable sweetness and an overhwelmingly hoppy bitterness that hit me. The advertised range of flavours do come through once your tastebuds pick themselves off the floor. I also got a big nostalgia for the Fruit Salad penny chews you used to get. That and grapefruit.
"Truely a beer for hopheads!" declares the label. Hard to disagree. This one's certainly not for beginners.