From Edinburgh comes Innis & Gunn, an exclusive-looking amber ale in a 33cl bottle. The unique selling point here is that it's aged for 77 days in whisky barrels which gives it a distinct oaky flavour as well as a scotch malt bitterness. This makes for a heady mix of strong flavours which I found a little overpowering, though there is a refreshing lightness at the back of the taste to stop it from taking over the palate entirely. Nevertheless, 33cl is enough of this one.
Of course, the Scots like their lager too, and the Harviestoun brewery make a fantastic one called Schiehallion. This beer has been very precisely crafted to just the right level of dryness and bitterness. There's a grainy complexity in the flavour too, making for a perfectly balanced lager. The same brewery make Bitter & Twisted which has a sharply bitter hops taste up front but again this is fine-tuned to keep it on the good side of tasty. The flavour is also tempered with a gentle lemony fruitness. Both of these Harviestoun beers are finely honed and plainly the work of people who know exactly what they're doing.
No run-down of Scottish beer would be complete without a return to an old favourite - Fraoch heather beer. There's really nothing else out there like this ale made from real heather. It's as easy to drink as any light ale or lager, but has an immesely complicated taste that defies description. Just try it.
I Hardcore You - *Origin: UK | Date: 2010 | ABV: 9.5% | On The Beer Nut: September 2010* "A while" is how long I said I would leave my second bottle of I Hardcore You back ...
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