Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Black Isle Brewery Blonde

Good evening all. Unfortunately there's not a lot to report for tonight's introduction, so I'll start talking about the beer I've chosen instead! I picked up tonight's choice from a wine shop in town that turned out to have a decent selection of bottled beers, so I'll no doubt be frequenting that place more often in the future. The beer in question is Blonde from Black Isle Brewery, a brewery whose offerings I've only tried once before in the form of Heather Honey Beer, a wonderful pale lager that I had at Tap East towards the end of last year. If that place wasn't so out of the way, I'd definitely try and go there more often as the cask and keg options always seem to be interesting. Anyway, back to the task at hand and, as always, review after the pic....

Blonde (4.5% ABV) pours a golden colour with a decent white head that dissipates to a thin coating over the surface of the beer. The aroma is very subdued, with subtle bittering/noble hops and some malt character in the background- very reminiscent of a lager. The taste is much of the same, with biscuit malt, grassy bittering hop flavours and a slight sweetness in the finish (but no bitterness). The mouthfeel is light and moderately carbonated, making the beer very drinkable. Overall, a fairly unremarkable beer from a brewery that seems to be able to produce significantly better offerings. Would be good as a session beer or as a break from fuller-bodied beers, but I don't see myself getting this one again anytime soon.

As a side note, I read on the Black Isle Brewery web site that this particular beer pairs very well with Laphroaig whisky. As I have a special bottling of Laphroaig currently on the go (11 Years Old from the McGibbon's Provenance range), I thought it would be wise to test this particular claim and see how well the two drinks complimented each other. What I found was the light flavours and subtleties of the beer provide a great platform for the whisky, with the Laphroaig taking on an almost Speyside-like sweetness and the medicinal, smoky flavours becoming quite subdued and partially masked as a result. Because the beer is contributing very little in comparison to the whisky, the two work very well together. Well, I couldn't just take their word for it, could I? Even as a brief aside, it was a very interesting exercise and I hope to be able to try more beer/whisky pairings in the future.

Until next time....

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