The brewery trip!


The Brewdog brewery.
Possibly one of the best beer days out I’ve had to date!
First, taking a look in via the new Brewdog brewery justoutside Ellon in Aberdeenshire.

To follow this, the main event was a trip to the current Brewdogbrewery in Fraserburgh.
The beginning of the tour took us around the surprisinglysmall premises where the beer is brewed. We were shown around the kettles, Mashtuns and Fermentation vessels as the staff feverishly worked on in thebackground. I was afforded a taste of some of the upcoming brews and they were all magnificent.

I was also given a very special taster of Sink the Bismarkstraight from the freeze which was an awesome experience.
While there I was also given the privilege of having a lookaround the barrel store where some of the most amazing things are still hiding!

The tour was finished off by a small question and answersession with the brewers who were all hugely knowledgeable and veryfriendly. 

All in all this was a great day out!

Keep an eye out over the coming year for some of the amazingbeers that are in the pipeline from this great Scottish brewery!
The main things to look out for are:
A new version of Punk IPA.
A new porter.
A Coffee and cacao stout.
A rye IPA.
And an Imperial brown ale.




Today I thought I’d attempt to write about a brewery that I’ve not tried before. This blog page as titled will be on beers by Haandbryggeriet from Drammen in Norway. The brewery was founded in 2005 by home brewers Jens Maudal, Rune Eriksen, Arne Eide and Egil Hilde. In December 2008 the brewery was upgraded and can now brew as much as 400 000 litres annually

The two beers which I’ve managed to get my hands on are Fyr og Flamme & Røyk Uten Ild (Smoke Without Fire). Both purchased at Dunnottar Wines & Spirits in Stonehaven.

I’m going to start off with the lighter Fyr og Flamme, the winning intepretation of Vuur & Vlam at the 2010 Borefts festeval, hosted by De Molen is an American IPA in style and 6.2%.

The standout part of this beer to me is the smell. Pineapple, mango, bitter hops and citrus. The smell holds no hint of alcohol.
There are no hops listed on the label of this beer and I’ve been unable to track down a list anywhere but my guess would be west coast hops such as Chinook, Amarillo and Centennial.
The colour is dark amber to orange with a large white head.
The taste is bitter hops, citrus and almost floral with a sweet finish. The taste isn’t as much of the pineapple and mango as I’d hoped.
This beer has a dry finish which is not unpleasant.
I’d rate this around 74/100
The second beer was one I’d been particularly looking forward to as I enjoy smoked beers, Røyk Uten Ild (Smoke Without Fire).
Instantly the room is filled with a thick smokey ash like smell eminating from the Bamberg smoked malt.
The only hop listed on the label of this beer is Amarillo which brings a little sweetness to this beer but is used in a way which alows the malt and body of this beer to be shown off to full effect.
The colour of this beer is dark brown to black with a tan head.
The taste is smokey and bitter chocolate. Some smoked beers can be found to be heavy but this one is light and easy to drink even at 8% there is no hint of alcohol.
This is a truely well constructed beer and a beautiful exapmle of how malt and not hops can be the star of the show.
I’d rate this beer 

Hello my name is Beastie!


Hello my name is beastie


Hello my name is Beastie is the sequel to the indomitable Hello my name is Ingrid.

This time instead of being made with Hjortron (Cloudberries) this beer is made with Brambles.

The double IPA is made using Citra and Bramling X hops mixed with brambles giving it a fruity sweet, aroma with the undertone of the earthy English hops incorporated into this beer.

The colour is amber to red attributed to the redness in the berry, with a small amount of head retention which is to be expected for a beer at 8%.

 The initial taste is bitter hops followed by a berry sweetness that is very pleasing reminding me almost of jam.


As the beer warms the tart taste of the berry pulls through with as slight waft of alcohol.

This beer unlike most IPA’s will settle with age becoming sweeter and highlights just how well this berry fits in to the IPA category providing sweetness but not to the point where it’s overpowering. On this particular beer a lot of credit must be given to the brewer who has shown a tremendous amount of skill and subtlety.
I love this beer 87/100

The Kernel – India Pale Ale Double S.C.C.A.NS.


Another blog based on an exciting brewery from the UK. This time it’s the Kernel who’s brewery is based a stones throw from the river Thames in London.

I’ve tried a number of their beers but I wanted to focus on this one as this is a beer is an illustration of how far British brewing come in a relatively short period of time.


The brewer has made made things a little easier by leaving us a clue as to which hops are in this beer.

SCCANS is an acronym for Simcoe, Citra, Columbus, Apollo and Nelson Sauvin. Some of my favourite hops so this was a beer I was very excited about!

This beer has a light almost delicate smell which doesn’t hint at the larger alcohol content of this double IPA. With nose containing some pine, citrus fruits and touches of grapefruit and orange. There is a grassy almost floral note but my residual thought is how clean and fresh this smells.

The colour is amber to light orange with a foamy white head that stays well, this beer is aesthetically pleasing.

The beer has a slightly stronger pine taste than the smell led me to think and paired with some citrus taste leading you to think of little orange and lemon. It’s a beautiful balance of sweet and bitter with some sugar and finished off with some tropical fruits. This has no hint of the alcohol that this beer contains.

Full mouth feel is bitter and has an almost syrup quality.

An excellent beer from start to finish, this one has a great balance to it and goes down wonderfully. The alcohol is there but well hidden and the bitter pine and fruit flavours work very well together without overpowering you.

I’d rate this beer around 83/100


Alesmith Yule smith summer…..


I indulged myself yesterday and bought a bottle of Alesmith’s summer incantation of their holiday beer YuleSmith the ingeniously titled YuleSmith summer.

Alesmith’s most popular seasonal ale, YuleSmith is brewed twice a year in two different, yet similar, styles: For summertime, it’s an Imperial/Double IPA.

This beer is a pretty generic west coast double IPA crammed full of hops but this about as far as things go for me.
The beers pours a hazy yellow colour with a cream coloured head.
The nose is citrus and pine pleasant but nothing outstanding.
Like many IPA’s there is a lot of citrus and slight pine in this beer. I feel they have leaned more towards bittering hops maybe Nugget, Centennial or Chinook and due to the amount used this beer seems slightly out of balance.
From Alesmith I’ve come to expect a very high standard of beer and I’m not sure that this meets the grade? The beer sits on your tongue and the bitterness shows just how far out of balance this beer is. A thick almost coarse mouth feel adds to the awkwardness of this beer and isn’t really a fit and would benefit from less oat or wheat and the use of some darker grain mayve some roasted barley?
This is a beer I’d wait to try again in 2013 as this years brew is fairly disappointing for an Alesmith beer.
I’d give this beer 45/100.

San Diego Scotch Ale Launch


After a fantastic afternoon I was ready for the launch of San Diego Scotch Ale a collaboration between Brewdog and Ballast Point. The beer it’s self is made with Challenger, First Gold & Amarillo hops and then aged in whisky casks with raisins soaked in Ballast Point Rum.

The First thing that strikes you about this beer is the presentation which is sublime.
This beer for me is designed to age as I feel the spirits out weigh the beer at the moment. The beer will grow into it’s billing after around six months becoming what I would imagine to be a richer fruitier beer which will play to all three aspects of it’s compilation.
The colour of this beer is amazing a chestnut brown to almost auburn.
The nose for me is peated whisky with a touch of rum and raisin ice cream.
The mouth feel is full on and slightly oily but an even balance for the 11.9%.
The taste is a wallop of booze namely whisky followed by raisin and dark malt and not at all unpleasant.

The beer I would rate at 78/100 with the proviso that it would age to somewhere in the high 80’s.
Brewdog’s beer launch was understated but fitting for a beer that will grow into it’s self.
In tandem Brewdog also released the Belgian style IPA White noise.
The colour of this beer is almost banana yellow and cloudy with an almost spruce or forest green and grapefruit nose.
The beer it’s self is a blend of a sweet west coast IPA and a Belgian white ale to my mind giving the beer the fruity character of an IPA which goes hand in hand with the coriander and clove expected from a white ale making this extremely refreshing if more suited to summer.
My rating of around 76/100.
I’d like to thank all the Brewdog Aberdeen staff for their hospitality.

Post 1 – Cromarty Red Rocker



My name is Magnus I’m a beer fanatic based in Aberdeen Scotland.

This is my first attempt at what would resemble a blog. In my head this was probably a lot easier than it’s turned out.

In this blog I’ll be rating Beers, Bars and Brewery tours.

I guess the best way to do this is to start with the beer / brewery that excites me most at the moment. That being The Cromarty brewing company ( They are based about 25 miles north of Inverness and are producing some of the most exciting beers in Scotland at the moment.

The beer that I’m going to baptise my review with is their “Red Rye Hop Extravaganza” Red Rocker:

Deciphering this beer is made a lot easier for me as they’ve put the specifications of all ingredients used on their website the hops used are Summit, Columbus, Cascade, Nelson Sauvin.
The infusion of US and New Zealand hops works really well in this beer giving a slight gooseberry tang to the tropical fruit nose you’d expect from the US hops. The mouth feel is oily the initial sweetness of the tropical fruit fades into bitterness which is accentuated by the rye. The beer drys but that is in no way unpleasant.
This beer would be fantastic with grilled meat or goes extremely well in a meat and potato pie!

Craig Middleton is doing a fantastic job delivering beer all over the UK to thirsty folk as far south as London. An amazing job and a big thanks to him.
I’d rate this beer 81/100.
Any coments on how this blog could be better or any amendments I need to make please get in touch!
Next time I’ll be blogging from a bar just south of Aberdeen.