Friday, 15 April 2011

SkullSplitter and developing my taste in beer.

Up to now, I’ve been having quite a nice time on my Beer odyssey. I’ve been going into pubs and buying beer and justifying buying more expensive beer with the thought ‘I am a beer blogger’ and they feels good. Almost as good as someone who has just has a baby and justifies everything they say and do with ‘I am a mother.’ However, it’s unlikely that I am going to start using the phrase ‘as a beer blogger’....unless it’s as an excuse for a heavy night out.  
            So I’m having quite a nice time touring around different tastes from Scotland. There is a lot here and I feel a lot of it is unsung, yes with the exception of a few breweries everything could be regarded as rather dated. Never the less it’s good and perhaps we could at times look past the packaging and be surprised by how good something is. This is precisely what I was thinking when I picked up Skullsplitter.
            SkullSplitter is a barley wine and I’m told a very good example of a ‘wee heavy’ and has a rather fearsome gentleman on the front of the bottle. I’m not going to lie if I saw him in a bar I’d probably approach him...I digress. I poured it into a Glass and immediately I am punched in the face by the smell of caramel and molasses and sweet sticky dark fruit.  When poured it’s a lovely dark colour with a creamy bubbly white head. It looks lovely, although slightly sticky looking... I should have seen this as a warning sign. My first mouthful of this was as if I had put a spoonful of treacle in my mouth. I couldn’t taste anything else except caramel and I have to confess...I nearly spat it out. I’m told a lot of people like it but I have to say this wee heavy isn’t for me. It’s simply too sweet, a couple of mouthfuls later and I had made up my mind that I wasn’t going to be finishing the bottle. But hey, not all experiences are good experiences and i learned something about my taste in beer. Next blog will include something from the Madcap brewery.


Wednesday, 13 April 2011


It’s been a while and from what I hear some of my loyal friends are feeling rather neglected. It’s been a long week since last I blogged, I’ve been sitting exams and making plans on how to spend my summer. Which as you can imagine hasn’t left a lot of time for drinking beer or blogging. Luckily I finished an exam on Monday which of course left plenty of time for drinking beer. Today, I’m reviewing St Mungo by West brewery which is situated on Glasgow Green and available from my local pub in Dundee, Drouthys.
            St Mungo, named after Glasgow’s patron saint is a lager beer, All of West’s Beer is brewed in accordance with the Reinheitsgebot, which is the German purity law making West unique in Scotland. The Brewery itself is defiantly worth a visit and is defiantly what should be considered as beer from Glasgow unlike another unmentionable lager which Glasgow is famous for. West itself is stunning and to my mind really is what Glasgow is about multicultural and fashionable, this is the City that boasts one of the UK’s most famous art and music schools and the likes of Mackintosh and Alasdair Gray yet it does so in a modest understated way and this is what WEST seems to me to be about. It’s just so honest, and I like it.
            St Mungo sits in the Glass, and boasts a lovely bubbly head and a golden Amber liquid and it smells sweet and citrusy. This doesn’t disappoint on taste it’s a light refreshing beer with a little bitterness which is not unpleasant and it’s something I can certainly imagine drinking in a beer garden in the summer or indeed in a cosy bar in the winter. Personally I think it stands up well to food and last time I drank it while eating quite an interesting salad with bacon and black pudding with a creamy black pepper dressing. It’s not a beer you can chug back, but at 4.9% it’s certainly very drinkable and refreshing.
            Contrary to my last two blogs, I do not like every beer. It is however difficult as somewhat a novice to criticise a beer, or even say I don’t like it! Next time I will attempt to put into words how I feel about Skullsplitter and why it’s just not the beer for me.
Until next time,

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Lomond Gold and Navigating the World of Blogging

So, It’s been almost a week since my premier blog hit the world wide web and since then I have been looking at it with a sense of fear and trepidation. Within 24 hours I had four followers! (Thank you very much, I hope that I will not disappoint) Since then I have been ‘hard’ at work thinking about what to do next. Yes, I promised Lomond Gold which of course will follow. This week I tried cooking with Beer, I made a goulash using Traquair Ale, yes it’s not innovative and yes beer in stews of any description is not a new thing but it was very tasty and I shall write on that soon.

This week I revisited Lomond Gold which, now isn’t hard to get hold of It’s from the Bridge of Allan Brewery, The Brain child of Mr Douglas Ross, which along with it’s visitor centre where you will no doubt be entertained by the wonderful decoration and the even more colourful staff, who if your very lucky may even sing to you. Bridge of Allan Brewery boasts a unique location full of historical importance and their range of beer truly encompasses the heart of Scotland.  I’m reviewing Lomond gold, which as I’ve previously stated is a favourite of mine. No prizes for guessing what the outcome of the blog will be.  Lomond Gold once poured into the glass looks sublime, it delivers exactly what it promises a clear Gold beer with quite a pleasant head, that is of course if you do not allow my flatmate to pour it into a glass. The beer smells lovely, hoppy yet clean and lemony and doesn’t disappoint on taste. It leaves you with a what I (not yet quite caught up on the lingo or jargon of the Beer bloggers world) would describe as a round mouthful of beer. I am told that this is called ‘mouthfeel , something which I cannot yet bring myself to write about still feeling somewhat a rooky. I will however be reading other peoples blogs and possibly a few publications, if anyone knows of anything which will help me on my beer odyssey please feel free to recommend it. Overall, the beer leaves me feeling content and happy and it’s something I may even try as a glaze with salmon, but I’ll keep you posted on that. 

Tonight I am popping down my Local, where I will be strictly in the name of research sampling St Mungo from West at my Local ‘Gastro Pub’, I will of course keep you updated on how that goes. 

Öl for one and Beer for all                                               


Tuesday, 29 March 2011


I have always loved beer, from the adverts on television to the way it made my father giggle, beer was always something i was interested in. Who doesn’t remember the Budwiser frogs or the Carlsberg adverts ‘so good the Danes want it back’ or do they? It wasn’t until very recently in the past four years that I realised there was another world. Of course there were ales but this was mostly associated with a vision I had in my head of alchemists brewing beer in cloaks farmers with a bottle of ale and block of cheese and those old men with nasal hair and glasses at beer festivals. My first encounter was the Bridge of Allan Brewery 1st year of University in Stirling. Here I tried a raspberry beer which was the most wonderful thing and it’s safe to say that I’ve never looked back! After that in quick succession came the Williams brothers, Harvieston, BrewDog and Wychwood.
            Recently I’ve become more interested in American Breweries and food pairing with beer, we’ve all heard about ‘wineing and dining’ but what about ‘Beering and Dining’? Food that’s eaten with Beer shouldn’t be limited to just scampi crisps, pork scratching and lard sandwiches. I will use this blog to explore that, so there may be some cooking and I have to say I’m incredibly excited about that too! My first blog will be coming up soon and I’ve decided to go back to my roots and will be reviewing Lomond Gold from Bridge of Allen Brewery.