Brewery: Harviestoun Brewery
Style: English Old Ale
Other Notes: Ale matured in whisky casks for a full two years. Special twelve year old reserve barrels – Highland Park
Brewer Description: (from bottle) This unique, tenth anniversary edition is aged for a full two years (three times longer than normal) in casks formerly used to mature Highland Park’s legendary 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky, allowing even more whisky flavours to imbue the ale. Let’s toast a decade of barrel-aged brewing – Slainte!
My rating: 3
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.61
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.5
Intro: A 330ml foiled and capped bottle, bottle no. 09925, bottled in October 2017, and best before end of February 2021. Poured into a snifter glass.
Appearance: A clear dark brown colour with pretty much no head and only very sparse spotted lacing.
Aroma: Chocolate, whisky, raisin, fig, wood, caramel, with light peat and smoke.
Taste: Watery, whisky, roasted malts, chocolate, raisin, caramel, fig, dried fruit, with light roast and smoke.
Mouthfeel: Light bodied with soft carbonation.
Overall: My first impression was that the body was so light that it drank like watered down whisky. It was better after it warmed as the complexity and roastiness came out and balanced the wateriness to the point that it was ok and drinkable. I easily preferred the Special Reserve 21 version though, but I am looking forward to trying the other varieties. A heavier body would have improved this.
Brewery: Black Isle Brewing Co.
Style: English Golden Ale
Other Notes: Malts – Lager Malt, Wheat Malt and Crystal Malt. Hops – Chinook, Citra, Cascade, Pacific Gem, Simcoe and Nelson Sauvin
Brewer Description: (from bottle) Aroma – slight grapefruit, candied peel, tangerine. Appearance – pale golden yellow, clean white head. Flavour – freshly squeezed grapefruit & zest, slight pine.
My rating: 3
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.75
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.7
Intro: A 330ml bottle with a best before end date of 24th April 2018. Poured into a Lost Abbey teku glass.
Appearance: A clear golden colour with a just less than two finger frothy white head that had good retention and left lots of nice lacing.
Aroma: Grapefruit zest, candied sugar, light caramel and mandarin peel.
Taste: Grapefruit flesh and zest, pine, citrus peel and light candied toffee.
Mouthfeel: Crisp, light bodied with moderate carbonation.
Overall: A nice relaxing easy to drink session ale.
Style: Rye Beer
Brewer Description: (from can) Jack Hammer has been single handedly ripping it up for quite some time. Now, the definitive bitter and twisted IPA, has spawned four Hammer Head off-springs. Rye Hammer is the fourth of our super-charged hyped up hybrids. Rye and American hops unite in an agricultural superpower. A grapefruit harvest of citrus melts away to sticky roasted caramel and rye warmth, all resting on a malted backbone. Then the Hammer Head’s trademark bitter finish reasserts its authority. Catch the Rye Hammer – a bitter sweet protagonist.
My rating: 3
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.53
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.4
Intro: A 330ml can with a best before date of 10th December 2017. Poured into a Lost Abbey teku glass.
Appearance: A golden orange colour that is lightly hazy with lots of extremely fine floating sediment, a two finger white head that dissipates fairly quickly, but left some nice lacing.
Aroma: Orange, mandarin peel and grapefruit with hints of peach, pineapple, pine and malt.
Taste: Very bitter grapefruit, citrus rind and citrus peel followed by mild pineapple, peach and apricot. There was hints of caramel and the alcohol does come through at times. Finish was bittersweet, although definitely more bitter than sweet.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.
Overall: This was ok, but a bit harsh through its bitterness and the alcohol that comes through.
Brewery: BrewDog x Beavertown Brewery
Style: American Imperial Stout
Other Notes: Hops – Chinook and Magnum
Brewer Description: (from bottle) Coffee and Cigarettes. A perfect percolation. Blacker than a Milan Espresso. This smoking gun of a stout gives you both barrels. Smoky peat, roasted coffee and bitter chocolate on the nose. Big espresso and molasses on the palate with subtle notes of coconut, vanilla and raisin. Coffee and Cigarettes – for those of us who want to stay up late and drink beer.
My rating: 4
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.94
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.8
Intro: A 330ml bottle with a best before date of 12th March 2022. Poured into a snifter.
Appearance: Black in colour with a half finger mocha head that dissipated quickly except for parts that clung around the glass and sparse spotty lacing.
Aroma: Chocolate and roasty coffee with hints of oak, charcoal, whisky and smoky peat.
Taste: Sweet, smoke, peaty whisky, plum and raisins with only hints of the roasty chocolate and coffee that I got in the aroma.
Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with light carbonation.
Overall: This was not at all what I was expecting. The roasty chocolate and coffee that was so evident in the aroma was completely overpowered by the strong barrel character of peat and whisky such that in a way, it didn’t feel like an Imperial Stout. That’s not to say that it wasn’t good, but it would definitely help if you enjoy peat like I do. The result seemed like an easy to drink peated whisky minus the kick.
Brewery: Tempest Brewing Co.
Style: Scotch Ale
Other Notes: Barrel aged Imperial Scotch ale. Hops – Waimea
Brewer Description: (from website) Nostalgia and Celebration in a bottle. Raise a glass to the art of barrel aging with this rich, complex imperial scotch ale aged in Craigellachie barrels. Smoke, stone fruit, and caramel blend together on the palate with warming hum of whisky.
My rating: 3
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.64
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.4
Intro: A 330ml bottle with a best before date of 28th December 2018. Poured into a snifter.
Appearance: A cloudy brown colour with quite a bit of small to tiny sediment, a thin tanned head that dissipated quickly and some sparse spotty lacing.
Aroma: Sweet, malty, caramel, dark dried fruit, wood with some light smoke and alcohol.
Taste: Roasted malts, caramel, wood, vanilla and smoke. There is some whisky character, and light sweet dark dried fruit, mostly prunes and raisins.
Mouthfeel: Full bodied with light carbonation.
Overall: I find that not many beers taste better than its aroma, but this beer falls in that category. The sweetness coming from the aroma kind of put me off a bit. But this was not the case when I tasted it as the barrel character was clearly the main attraction (smoke, vanilla, wood) and it was a good thing (for me), that the sweetness of the dried fruit was only in the background.