Real Ale: Isle of Arran Dark – Arran Brewery

A traditional “Scottish Heavy” style beer with a full malt flavour and a deep bitter finish.

arranI received one or two ales for Christmas, ok more than two, and one box had a wide selection of ales from across the UK. This is my first ale from the Isle of Arran Brewery, and this dark beer had a good chance of being a winner from the moment I poured. It comes out almost black, but at 4.3% it isn’t too heavy. It’s actually a dark browny red when held up to the light, and it has a bit of caramel in the taste and is very earthy. There are no floral or fruity flavours to it, at least to me, although it is described as having a bit of that in the nose. This malty ale does have a little bit of a bittersweet finish, and it is balanced just right for me. It is definitely a smooth drink and it won Europe’s Best Dark brown and World’s Best Dark Brown at the World Beer Awards in 2012.

Fairly uncommon on other brewery websites, but a very good idea, the Arran website suggests the type of food it should accompany, anything with a stronger flavour as this is quite mild but still tasty.

I’ve never visited the Isle of Arran, in fact I’ve never been to nearby Glasgow, but both seem like grand places to visit. The brewery was originally set up in 2000 and has changed hands a couple of times but in the last few years has been prospering and expanding with new beers, increased production and some other cunning plans. Take a look at their website for all the latest news and of course, their online shop, for their beer.