Highland Brewing Co are a micro brewery based on Orkney, I got chatting to Lew on twitter and we arranged a little swap – some of his (and his dad’s) beer for some of my winter chilli chutney.
Before I knew it 4 bottles of rather tasty looking ale had landed on my doorstep waiting to be supped, the first of these was St Magnus Ale.
I believe St Magnus was once the king of Orkney who seemed to like a bit of scrap and ended up with his head cleaved in two (gruesome I know) after which a blind bishop fell on his grave and his sight was restored, this lead to Magnus being made a Saint, you can read more about the story of St Magnus here
It poured a lovely reddy amber colour with a good amount of carbonation and a thin bubbly head. The aromas weren’t massive but there was a nice floral hoppy note to them and a little bit of sweet toffee and malt. The body was really nice, not as bubbly as the pour suggested but it had a lovely mouth feel, light and refreshing.
Flavour wise I thought it was delicious, bitter, slightly hoppy with just a hint of malty sweetness, the finish was bitter hoppyness with a but of nuttiness thrown in for good measure, it lasted a decent while in your mouth before softening and fading away.
I thought St Magnus was really well balanced and deserves it’s “World Class Bitter” label. I could easily see my self sat drinking this on an evening in the pub after a long walk or a day out shopping with the missus, I’ve noticed that a few pus in Newcastle serve beers from the Highland Brewing Co so next time I am up there I shall be hunting them down.
A big thanks goes out to Lew (and his dad) for making and sending me the beer, I’ve since supped the rest of them (all of which were lovely) so the reviews will be coming soon.
You can follow Lew on twitter here or you can visit the Highland Brewing Company website here, They also supply a fair amount of beers to pubs in Newcastle so if you are in the area, check out this list for where has them on.