Friday, 13 July 2012

A beer with a Whisky Tale

Old Worthy Scottish Pale Ale (5% abv, OB Bottled 2012 330ml)
Craft brewed beer from the Isle of Skye

A chance meeting on Twitter introduced me to Nick creator of Old Worthy Scottish Pale Ale. One of my many nicknames has been 'Old Worthy' and I was recently sent a sample of this beer to see what I thought of this, and to be honest I was really blown away with this.

Many years ago I drank a lot of real ale, loved the stuff and was always trying different ales drawn from handpumps in small country pubs, or better still direct from the barrel. However seven years working in the Far East with nothing but ice cold German style lager to drink changed my drinking style. I didn't really get back into the ale drinking upon my return to the UK and following a rugby tour to Ireland returned to drinking Guinness which became pretty much the only beer I drank.

So why Old Worthy? The term 'local worthies' references the whisky men who mischievously helped themselves to the distillery 'wash'; a from of 'beer' from which new make whisky spirit is distilled. The name Old Worthy references those daring and cheeky men.

Scotland has a long and proud brewing history. Long overshadowed by whisky production Scotland's brewing culture thrived during the 1800's with Edinburgh famed for it's mineral ales similar in style to those from Burton on Trent.

Scottish beer is now facing a revived growth, driven by pioneering innovations from Innis and Gunn (Beer maturation in whisky casks) and Brew Dog (quality craft brewing).

Old Worthy Scottish Pale Ale is a craft beer brewed on the Isle of Skye and at the heart of Old Worthy brewing philosophy is innovation through fermentation, 'Fermented for Flavour' is proudly written on the bottle label.

The Scottish Pale Ale is a twist on the famed India Pale Style - with a medium hop (Challenger hops) content compared to IPA, coupled with a small percentage of Scottish distillery peat smoked barley (10-15ppm) and mellowed with Highland heather honey.

So what did I think?
This is a balanced and refreshingly creamy ale with a biscuit maltiness, soft fruit hoppiness tempered with a rounded sweetness on the palate and then a soft lingering smokiness on the finish.

As I said earlier I was blown away with it. I had mine slightly chilled from the fridge and it really was refreshing and I loved the smoky finish, as they say 'It's a 'braw brew!'

1 comment:

Tom Thomson said...

when we were at the auchentoshan festival they had draft lager that had been in auchentoshan casks and also the auchentosh ale (matured in auchentoshan casks) both worthy of a try if you can find them