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Archive for the ‘Scotland’ Category

Site: http://www.brewmeister.co.uk/

Dunkel, 5%

A Scottish take on a German dark ale, with high carbonation, limited hopping, and a gentle finish. Initial flavours are sweet and a bit fizzy, but this settles down into a fairly mellow beer with good flavour. Additives such as coffee and chocolate can be tasted in the beer, adding richness to the flavour. I find it ironic that, even though they are suing these additives, they still market the beer as conforming to the Deutsches Reinheitsgebot (misspelled on the bottle), even though these would be strictly prohibited (and even a classic Dunkel would generally not conform to original standards). Nevertheless, it’s a pleasant enough beer, good for a slightly cooler day, but still light enough to drink with ease.

Overall score: 6.0/10

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Site: http://www.williamsbrosbrew.com/beerboard/bottles/fraoch-heather-ale

Heather Ale, 5%

A heather flavoured ale, made without hop. Pale yellow colour and slightly cloudy with a fine white head. As you might expect for an ancient beer style, in particular without any hop, it’s not particularly bitter, instead having a floral spiciness which lingers on into the aftertaste. Sweetness is quite well controlled, giving a light and easy to drink beer. At the same time, I don’t quite find the heather enough to give the beer much depth in the flavour – it seems quite watery, and doesn’t hold my attention. Pleasant enough, but I won’t be particularly looking out for it again.

Overall score: 6.0/10

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Site: https://www.scottishbordersbrewery.com/

Blonde, 3.8%

A fresh and hoppy blonde ale, with fine white head and little retention. The bottle proudly claims that this is the only scottish beer where the barley are grown on site – the website is down, so I can’t check where they are malting said barley, but it is used to good effect. The primary flavours of the beer are coming from the light sweetness of the malt, together with a sturdy dose of hops, mainly for aroma, but with well controlled bitterness nevertheless. The sweetness fades fairly quickly in the mouth, leaving a dry and crisp finish to the beer. Another very good beer for a summer’s day.

Overall score: 6.5/10

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Gooseberry & Wheat ale, 5%

Site: http://www.williamsbrosbrew.com/beerboard/bottles/grozet

A mildly fruited wheat beer, low carbonation and a pale golden colour. The fruit flavours in this are quite subdued, only really coming in the early aroma, before being dominated by the sourness of the beer and the bittering hop. Otherwise the early flavour is not particularly crisp, but is fairly easy to drink. Not an extraordinary beer, but I’d be willing to have it again.

Overall score: 6.0/10

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Site: http://innisandgunn.com/our-beers/favourites/original/

Oak aged beer, 6.6%

This is a sweet and aromatic beer, with a toffee colour, restrained hopping, and little head retention. The first thing that hits you is a sweet beer, but with the specifically malt characteristics masked by the aromas coming from the oak. There’s a definite vanilla and rich honey flavour, and the hopping is only just at the level to cut through the sweetness, leaving a well balanced beer. The aftertaste continues in the same way, with some slightly tart characteristics coming in, but still a fairly sweet finish. I’d be very happy to have this again.

Overall score: 7.0/10

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Site: http://www.deesidebrewery.co.uk/

Lager, 4.1%

A sweet and malty lager, with a full mouth feel and limited bitterness. Little head and retention. For a lager, this is quite a big tasting beer. Hop flavours are detectable, and the beer is somewhat bitter, but there’s not a lot of floral aroma. Instead, you get a sweet and malty beer, with honey-like flavours dominating. The aftertaste is where the bitterness comes out, and while not particularly crisp, it ends on a dry enough note to keep you wanting more. Some peculiar fermentation aromas are detectable, but the main flavour is strong enough to cover them up. Judging this as a lager, it just all seems a bit too heavy, without the sharpness that you expect from a good Pilsner. On the other hand, I could happily drink a pint of this during a lazy afternoon.

Overall score: 6.0/10

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Site: http://standrewsbrewingcompany.com/beers/

IPA, 5.0%

A moderately hoppy British IPA, with fine white head and good retention. Initial flavours are somewhat sweet, with enough malt to give a well rounded mouth feel, but without a particularly malty flavour. Aromas are hop driven, as is the aftertaste, which is reasonably crisp and bitter. This lies fairly firmly in the category of British responses to American IPA, in that it’s not low alcohol and has plenty of hop, but is still a well balanced beer. I’ll be looking out for this one again.

Overall score: 7.0/10

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