Black Metal Brewery


The Black Metal Brewery are an Edinburgh (Loanhead) based brewery. Founded in 2012 by friends Jaan and Pan they are currently brewing on Top Out’s 1000 Liter brew kit. They released their first beers in August 2014 and I’ve been able to get a hold of two of them from Alesela.


The first beer I tried was the Yggdrasil which to cut a long story short is an immense tree that is central in Norse cosmology, in connection to which the nine worlds exist. In this case it’s also a strong pale ale hopped with amarillo weighing in at 6.6%.

The beer is a deep cloudy orange colour with a thin white head.

The nose has hits of pine resin, orange and notes of fresh herbs. There are also hints of sweetness and a sligtly dry almost wooden note.

The flavour is a huge hit of resin and grapefruit pith. This is followed by notes of herb, malt sweetness and lemon.

The finish is very dry with a lingering herbal note. The beer is refreshing and very well balanced!


Next is Will-o’-the-wisp  is an atmospheric ghost light seen by travelers at night, especially over bogs, swamps or marshes. It resembles a flickering lamp and is said to recede if approached. In this case it’s a smoked juniper ale, which weights in at 6%.

It pours a dark reddish brown colour and is very hazy in the glass. The head is a thin white film across the beer.

The nose is initially a burst of sweet smoke, followed by hits of juniper and malt sweetness.

The flavour is very juniper forward with notes of sweet malt and citrus. This is balanced out by a dry smoked note at the end of the taste.

The finish is dry and slightly sweet. The balance of this beer again is superb.

For a very young brewery the balance of these beers are amazing and are very worth looking in to!

I was able to get mine from Alesela.



Strane – London Dry Gin (47.4%)


Continuing down the road of gin reviews I’ve picked up a bottle of Strane London Dry Gin made by Smögen Whisky AB who were founded in 2009 and based surprisingly enough in Smögen.

Having spent some of my childhood on and around Smögen and some of my family still stay there I guess it’s a place I’m familiar with. About an hour and a half drive north of Göteborg the island is a magnet for Swedish and Norwegian tourists.


The design of the packaging is simple with the Nordic flare for clean lines and a paragraph about the gin on the side of the box. This notes that the gin is made in a pot still over a live flame.


On to the gin.

The gin pours perfectly clear


The nose is pungent with juniper, coriander seed and candied mint. In the background there are notes of sea salt and pine. The nose finishes with hints of orange peel and lime.

The flavour is a burst of juniper and lime followed by mint and a sweet sugar note. The alcoholic strength isn’t as prominent as I’d imagined. There is a smoothness and balance from the herbal and citrus flavour which makes this very drinkable even neat!

With water:

The nose opens up and more juniper comes busting forward. The mint is much more prominent and notes of pepper and coriander seed. Notes of lime and lemon are in the background and hints of rose on the finish.

The flavour is juniper and lime on the front with lemon and coriander. There are hints of cumin and mint down the middle of the tongue. The finish again is very smooth and slightly sweet.

This gin is hugely complex but also very easy going. This gin is perfect for summer and has a great balance and refreshing flavour.

I purchased this from the Dufftown Whisky Shop but it is widely available.