As regular readers will know I have a soft spot for Pictish brewery, almost everything they brew hits the spot with me and this this weekend I have been treated to three of their classics.
Their 'Brewers Gold' is always on at The Star, and often at other pubs in town as well and a the moment is in exceptional form. Since it is there all the time, I usually overlook it but after several encouraging comments I tried some and realised what I had been missing, a real winner. A single hop beer that many breweries brew, no one has reached the peak that Richard Sutton has achieved with his version. The same can be true of his 'Sauvin Blanc' that appeared on the bar at The Rat & Ratchet on Friday. Another single hopped beer, this time with Nelson Sauvin, it weighs in at 4.8%, slightly higher than the usual strength of session beers but this is a beer that just demands another,and another...you get the picture. It is not a typical Nelson beer, but uses the hop with more subtlety and with an appealing malt background to make a rounded beer with less harshness than is often the case with New Zealand hops.
This was followed on Saturday by their 'Stella' in the Star. Another light beer with a pleasant hop character, and another single hop variety beer. I must admit, I have never knowingly come across the hop before, but I will certainly be searching it out again. This time a more quaffable strength of 4.2% and again very moreish.The way Pictish use their hops never ceases to amaze and intrigue me, and this time I found a pleasant bitterness, but underscored with sweetness and again a very rounded beer. The hop itself does not possess the aggressive citrus notes often found in Southern hemisphere hops, coming from Australia rather than New Zealand, although still high in alpha acid at 15%. It gives a flowery, rather than fruity taste, but is none the worse for than. Definitely one to look out for in the future. It does have a drawback through, you feel a right prat ordering a pint of 'Stella', it goes completely against the the grain ! Nevertheless, guess what I will be drinking this afternoon ?!!!!