Scotland has some excellent breweries and here’s what I thought of bottles from Tryst Brewing, Williams Bros Brewing and Colonsay Brewery.
I know little about Tryst Brewing except they are based in Falkirk and need to streamline their website. Carronade IPA uses Washington State hops and gets its name from the canons (or “smashers” in the parlance of Nelson’s navy) that were cast in their thousands by Carron Iron in Falkirk back in the day. It’s hazy corn cob yellow in the glass with a nose of honey, preserved lemon and dried orange. It drinks rich, lovely and mouth coating. Notes of fresh orange, slightly floral with lively yeasts. Flavourfull and very drinkable means I certainly will be trying to get to know Tryst better. Score 7.5/10
I must admit to already being a fan of WB, but their Grozet is a bit of an unusual beast; brewed with wheat and cold stored with gooseberries. To the eye it’s iced tea with a thick foathy head and the aromas are just humming off it: green melon, pink grapefruit, fresh cut grass, wet warm wood sauna… oh god I’m salivating already. Quick to my lips! Oh it’s super fresh pink grapefruit, key lime pie with smooth peach texture and flavour. But there’s more on the finish: fragrant elderflower and peppery rocket. Loved this vibrant characterful Grozet, it’s utterly gluggable and sings “sunny summer festival” at the top of it’s Alloa-ite lungs. Score 8.75/10
The Colonsay Brewery based on an island of the same name in the Outer Hebrides (off the west coast of Scotland) claims to be the smallest island with it’s own brewery in the world. Their 80/- “Scottish” Ale gets its name from the days when stronger beers were taxed at 80 Shilling a barrel and is dark cola in colour with a root beer foam. There’s dark syrup, dark malts, woody mushroom, fig and wet wool on the nose. Tasting it, I can discern some chestnut, weak coffee, bitter herbs and hints of dry chocolate. It’s all a bit ho hum though. Shame. Score 6/10