A beer named Independence? Now that’s something I just had to try. Not because I’m a fervent Scottish Nationalist, which I am, but also because it’s made by a brewery whose beers I’ve always quite liked whenever I’ve tried them.
The Inveralmond Brewery was founded in 1997 and is a family concern which is situated just outside the Fair City of Perth, Scotland. This is a beautiful part of the country which is more famous for whisky than beer, in fact Inveralmond is the only brewery in the area – the last one having closed sometime in the 1960’s.
They produce four cask/bottle conditioned ales which are sold across the UK. These are: Thrappledouser, Lia Fail, Ossian and this one, Independence.
Here’s what they say at thttp://www.inveralmond-brewery.co.uk
“A classic session ale with well balanced malt and hop flavours. Hints of fruit and spices give a fuller body than expected.”
This beer pours a light copper colour which is topped by a massive, billowing head of white foam that sticks around longer than a boring visitor and leaves a delicate lace pattern on the glass.
The aroma is malty and spicy with lots of caramel and toffee notes, some toastiness, a touch of butterscotch and plenty of bread tones. Not a lot of hop profile, perhaps some leafiness and a hint of spice.
It’s medium-bodied with a smooth, almost flat mouth feel. The initial taste is pretty bitter although I think this has more to do with roasted malt than an overabundance of hops. Toffee is the dominant malt flavour, although there’s a definite bready, doughy quality to it as well. There are hints of ginger, a faint, spicy orange note, and a caress of tea-like leafiness in the background. It balances out well, tending to turn a little dry in the finish, but there’s very litle aftertaste, leaving it somewhat flat and thin in the end.
At 3.8% ABV, you can safely drink a few of these and still remain reasonably sober (in theory), and it’s a decent enough pint, but nothing to set the heather alight. However, this is most definitely a session ale, and as such it does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s not very complex, but it’s well balanced and goes down easily. Not the most exciting beer in the world, but a pleasant enough brew that’s hard to find much to criticise – maybe the aftertatste is a bit disappointing, but that’s about it.
Would I drink it again? – As long as 100 of us remain alive…