So it's pretty freezing outside and the weather isn't showing many signs of warming up, so must be stout time! This is the first new beer this year, there are many more to come, and it was brewed by Gordon who is the newest member of our brewing team.
This new seasonal beer was brewed in our small brew-house, where our creativity can run riot now our shiny new 40 barrel brewery is up-and-running. Clachan Dubh (Gaelic for dark village) is a mellow, easy drinking stout with spicy hop flavour and zesty aromatic edge.
In addition to our house base malt – low colour Maris Otter – we’ve added a decent quantity of Munich malt for extra malt complexity and dark crystal (240). No stout is complete without some roast character, which comes from Chocolate malt, Roasted Barley and some Brown malt to give its distinct bread-crust flavour and characteristic dryness in the finish. Oat malt and Flaked Barley give the beer a silky mouth feel and extra body.
Our burgeoning hop selection presented ample options for a classic stout. The final selection was transatlantic in nature. Pioneer (UK) was selected exclusively for bittering due to its mild mannered nature with a proportion added at first wort. Aroma hops: Mount Hood (US), for its herbal spiciness; Bramling Cross (UK) for its berry like flavour and spiciness; and judicious use of Bullion (US) for a zesty aromatic edge.
Our water supply, which runs off the glen above our breweries (how good is that – free water!), is very, very soft. The mineral content is virtually non-existent. This is brilliant for brewing pale ales but is a bit of a challenge for brewing dark beers. Gordon dabbled with our water treatment to shift the flavour emphasis toward a mellower roasted-malt flavour.
Look out for Clachan Dubh hitting bars this week in cask and let us know what you think.