In my ongoing efforts to sample all the beer that Deeside Drinks Emporium has to offer I had a few more fine ales over the weekend. From America we had Liberty from the San Francisco based Anchor brewery. Closer to home was an 80 shilling from Strathaven called Old Mortality, named after the Sir Walter Scott novel of the same name. Lastly there was a bottle of Trade Winds from the consistently excellent Cairngorm Brewery.
I really should start taking notes or something when I’m drinking these, though I think that might distract me from actually enjoying the beer. Guess there’s a limit to how much of a geek I want to be when I’m sampling new drinks. So I’m afraid you’ll just have to put up with me enthusing about what I’m buying but without the specifics on what the flavours consist of. Depending on your opinion of how well I’ve done with my descriptions previously that might be a good thing I suppose!
Liberty was a light ale with bags of flavour and turned out to be one of the most pleasurable beers I’ve tasted for a long time. I liked the dinky little bottle with the shiny red cap as well (even if the small size meant I only got a half pint out of it). I’ve heard a lot about the buoyant state of craft breweries in the US but haven’t gotten around to trying any yet. On this evidence I’ll need to try more.
I loved the name of Old Mortality and I basically bought the bottle because of the story on the back. It explained that the beer was named after the book by Sir Walter Scott, who in turn named it after a man who went by that nickname and used to go around the country maintaining Covenanter graves. It explained that he met Old Mortality in Dunnottar Kirkyard in Stonehaven and, always a sucker for anything that links to my hometown, that was enough to persuade me to try it. Unfortunately the beer wasn’t as good as the story. Darker than I was expecting but not too bitter, it was certainly drinkable and a fairly decent drink but it was nothing that would have me hurrying back for another bottle any time soon.
Trade Winds is a reliable favourite. Light and refreshing with a slight citrus kick it’s a beer I’ve been a fan of for a few years now. Easy to obtain and brewed close enough (near Aviemore) to satisfy my pointless snobbery about local produce (it really doesn’t matter as long as the product’s good and it’s heart is in the right place, but still, given the choice between one item from the north east and one item from England I’ll choose the one from around here every time), I always plump for this if I see it available. Thankfully it pops up quite often in a few pubs around here.