Saturday, 10 September 2011


European Beer Challenge #3 Scotland

  • Country: Scotland
  • Style: English Pale Ale
  • ABV: 4.5%
  • Serving Type: 500ml Bottle
  • Price: Slightly Pricey
I've never heard anything about this beer before, which is quite rare for me, and before picking it up I'd made up my mind it was a cheap New Zealand craft beer, from the name alone. After seeing that this was actually Scottish I decided it might be worth a try.

The relatively low alcohol content worried me from the start, as Scottish beers tend to be quite thick and prone to going quite stale without the presence of quite a bit of alcohol. This was always going to be an interesting brew.

The moment I poured this I knew this was a different style of Scottish brew to what I'd had before. The colour was a lovely golden colour, with a relatively low sudsy head which has absolutely no retention. It literally lasted 25 seconds at the height in the photo. This may be a sign that the carbonation is quite low, as I can't see any bubbles on the side of the glass. Not a bad appearance for the style, however more head would be nice.

The first whiff I get of this beer and I seriously begin to doubt this beers classification as a pale ale. It has a really malty biscuit like smell. There is also a strong smell of apples and citrus. A nice cut-grass and light hop ending. It smells quite appealling and I can't wait to get into this one.

After the fantastic aroma's on display, the taste really is a let down. There are some impressive peppery hops up front but this is replaced by quite an acidic and unpleasant apple taste. I'm not the world's biggest cider fan, and this to me taste more like a sour cider than a beer. The aftertaste tries to revive this beer but I fear the damage was already done. The sweet cream and honey after taste is nice but can't undo the damage I feel the strong acidity upfront killed this beer.

The name is clearly the only reason, I and the other guy in Dan's picked up one and decided to try it. This is the only reason (unless you like cider!) that anyone should try this beer. I'm actually quite disappointed as the Cairngorm brewery have an excellent start here, but just totally destroyed it with heavy handed acidity. If this beer was 6 or 7% it might have a better chance, as the alcohol would dull down the acidity, either way until the beer is improved its not worthy buying!

Remember it's always Beer O'Clock somewhere in the world!

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