Monday, 28 January 2008

Fyne Ales Highlander

The Fyne Ales brewery was set up in 2001 using the redundant milking parlour in the traditional farm buildings at Achadunan, Cairndow, Scotland.

The first commercial brew was on St. Andrews day that year. The design for the brewery and the impact which the brewing makes on the locality are arranged to have as little environmental impact as possible.

Water is sourced from a burn above the brewery overlooking Glen Fyne and the head of Loch Fyne

Highlander is a strong traditional ale with intense malt flavours and a citrus hop aroma. A smooth beer with a well-rounded, distinctly moreish appeal. Deeply golden amber in coulour with an off white head, Highlander is very pleasant to the nose and to the palatte. Fruity notes mingle with gentle spices creating a harmonious blend of flavours finishing with a dry ginger hit in the throat. Smooth and malty, this is indeed a fine ale from Fyne Ales.

  • ABV 4.8%

Saturday, 26 January 2008

Kelham Island's Bete Noir

The term bête noire (IPA: /ˌbeɪtˈnwɑr/ or [bɛt nwaʀ]; French for black beast) refers to someone or something unwanted or even hated, a pet peeve or strong annoyance.

The unicorn featured on this pump clip is hardly reminiscent of the legendary black beasts roaming the moors. And why would Kelham name an ale after a pet pieve? Maybe this ale was a beast to brew.

It is not a beast to drink, however. It is smooth and creamy. Heavy on the caramel and richly malted with a suprising bouquet on the nose that reminds one of an old fashioned sweet shop. Parma violets and bonfire toffee mingle with butter mints and warm freshly made fudge.

Black throughout with a creamy head and deceptively drinkable.
  • ABV 5.5%

Monday, 21 January 2008

Slaters Top Totty

Slaters Ales - formerly known as Eccleshall Brewery is a very successful family run brewery which was established in March 1995 in its original premises behind the George Hotel in Eccleshall by Ged and Moyra Slater.

In an effort to meet increasing demand from customers for their award winning beers, Slaters took the unprecedented decision to move to new premises in 2004. With a blank canvas and ten years of experience, they built the current operation from the ground up and are now operating in a state of the art brewery producing some of the finest beers in the UK today. Slaters have seen production capacity increase three fold from 10 barrels to 30 barrels during the last two years.

Slaters have employed a clever play on words when naming this ale.

The original meaning of Totty is as follows:

Tot"ty, a. [OE. toti. Cf. Totter.] Unsteady; dizzy; tottery. [Obs.or Prov. Eng.] Sir W. Scott.

The modern meaning is well known:

Totty noun Brit. informal girls or women collectively regarded as sexually desirable.

Both meanings derive from the same source - Tot. Which as we all know is an alcoholic drink.

  • ABV 4.0%
Tasting Notes: Top Totty is an award winning ale - SIBA Gold Award 2006. One taste and you can see why. This ale is good from the top of the glass to the bottom. Pale in color with a light foamy head, Top Totty is crystal clear. A well balanced alchemy between complex hop notes and a rich malt create a refreshing drink with a dry finish. Brewing excellence shines through in each mouthful but the hops are not obvious and I think that is the key to this ale's success. Not flowery like many pale ales and an eminently quaffable session ale.
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