I may have been slightly disrespectful to beers from over the border in the past years, saying they were all too malty, and sweet for my liking. Fortunately, a short spell in the North East, and a trip to the Scottish beer festival fettled that. They are good, and some are excellent.
Today I called in the Grove, and lo and behold they were 7 of the 9 beers on the guest pumps from our Caledonian friends. Split all across the country as well.
It was just a question of where, or what style to start with. Jaw from Glasgow are fairly new to me, I had come across 'Drop' before - a pale mid strength beer,and quite acceptable - but here I found 'Fathom'. A tasty, dark and very moreish beer. I am unsure whether it was a strong mild, or a weak stout, whichever it was very tasty.
Another dark beer, this time a milk stout. Fallen 'Chew Chew' weighed in at 6%. Sorry, but I preferred the Jaw beer. This was OK but seemed to lack something, especially for a beer of its strength.
The same cannot be said about the next on the list. I have had several beers from Alechemy, based in Livingston,(a bit like Scotland's version of Milton Keynes !), but this was a little different. Sorry, a lot different. A 11.5% barley wine. Monumental is what it says. But sadly again not to my taste. The pub board says 18m Rockside aged, but all I got was a massive alcohol kick, very little of the beer taste,or whatever it was aged in. However, before the residents of Livingston come down over the wall and lynch me, I also tried their 'Equinox Burst'. I think their 'Burst' beers are single hopped, but I have never come across Equinox. They are all 5.3% and this was interesting for a new hop, but ....
The last beer on the bar from the North Country was Ayr 'Fair Jennys Jig'. I have had their beers before and nothing has really touched the spot....till today. 4.4%, light and packed with hop, crisp and tasty. That is what stopped my second visit to Equinox, and my third.
So, if you are at a loose end, have a spare kilt and claymore, and fancy a beer from the old country, get up to the Grove. Only trouble is there is no 80/- in sight.