Friday, 9 March 2007

Beer O’Clock – A flower from Scotland

Beer O'Clock madness here in St Patrick's week from an obviously deluded misplaced Scotsman, who claims to write for RealBeer.Co.NZ - Ed.

I know it is my imagination but I am sure I can hear the distant call of bagpipes on the Wellington wind. There is Six Nations rugby on this weekend which always gets me a bit patriotic and misty-eyed about the land of my birth: Scotland. They are playing Ireland at some ungodly hour of the weekend and I’m sure it will be the greatest comeback since Culloden [it should be pointed out that Scotland lost at Culloden, beginning a sporting tradition that continues to this day - Ed.].

Unsurprisingly and with the Beer O’Clock deadline looming, today’s topic is Scottish beer. Now, I don’t actually drink a great deal of beer from Scotland. Traditionally, Scots have favoured much darker, hearty, warming ales which are only lightly hopped. My preferences on the other hand are more towards much hoppier beers.

Some beer writers of the English persuasion
have insinuated that Scottish beers did not use many hops because they were expensive to import. This is as foul a calumny as the claim that the Scots didn't built Hadrian’s Wall to keep out the English. (With neighbours like that, who wouldn't?)

There is a Scottish beer newly arrived in New Zealand which bucks the malty trend though. Hoppy India Pale Ales are becoming more popular with Scottish brewers and consumers, and Belhaven Twisted Thistle IPA is now on the shelves of many supermarkets and stores.

Twisted Thistle is a fine, well hopped, modern IPA. It pours a hazy copper-orange with a lovely herbal, grassy, piney nose. The body is full enough to support a bitter-dry finish.

The perfect pint when defending your “wee bit hill and glen…”

Cheers, Neil.

LINKS: Belhaven
Society for Beer Advocates (SOBA)

RELATED: Beer & Elsewhere


  1. This India Pale Ale goes well with haggis. Especially if the haggis follows suit and is spiced with a touch of curry powder.

    Fusion, I believe they call it.

  2. I had this beer recently, and it really surprised me by just how fruity it was. Really surprising, big pear and plum notes. Was my bottle bad? If so, it was bad in a wonderful way. :)

  3. Scots didn't built Hadrian’s Wall to keep out the English. (With neighbours like that, who wouldn't?) Wasn't it the Romans built it?

  4. It's a little know fact that the picts actually built it... to keep hops out.



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