Review: Charadail Pale Ale
Category: American Pale Ale
What they say:
The Isle of Eigg is known for many things, not least its eclectically embracing welcoming, that gigantic piece of volcanic magical Sgurr basalt and an independent tenor of the type feared by lairds and Rolls Royce’s alike. It seems high time that it was also known for its shit-hot, seat-of-the-pants beer.
Laig Bay Brewing Co. came about by circumstance as much as passion. Gabe was busy making sweet, sweet music across the known and unknown worlds with the folk supergroup Daimh; Stu meanwhile, was just back from teaching in High Schools in Liverpool then Manchester then Kathmandu with all the troubadourian, skullduggerous flourish that is demanded by the English language. And they both landed on Eigg and circuitously came-around to discussing beer while having a beer. And Laig Bay Brewery was born then and there on that night, under the craic of a beer (a blue can) and the constant dreich of the midges.
And the next morning what they remembered was a shared love of beer that leaves the taste buds remembering for days afterwards the true meaning of taste buds, and a desire to make such a beer. And determining that they should find this beer they made something that tasted a lot like pish, and determined to improve. And according to the Scottish Herald’s recent review – “These beers rarely make it off the island so if you see a bottle, get two” – we might have.
CHARADAIL PALE ALE (5.5%) Our best seller and little brother to the IPA, this is beer-for-beer-for-beer-for-beer’s-sake. An American Pale Ale rich in contradictions – potent but clean, hoppy with a malty-meatiness, dark but pale – that uses the magically rainbowly floral Cascade and the born-in-the-same-year-as-Stu’s-birth Perle hops. And did we say it was pale?
What I say:
From Aldi’s Scottish winter beer festival 2016
Malty and yeasty, crème caramel, toffee coated popcorn, mealy
Caramelised sugars and hops combine on the palate, a little malt and mealy/cereal and meatiness gives a good weight to the body, a nice balance of bitter, sour and sweet
Medium-long, a refreshing pine hoppiness and hints of cream & caramel syrup