Weird Whisky Mac

WhiskyMacI can remember drinking versions of Whisky Mac almost from early childhood, we always had Stones Ginger Wine in at Christmas and of course the odd bottle of blended Scotch (no chance of single malt in those days for us) and as I had the odd experiment, (as you do), whisky and ginger seemed perfect partners.
I seem to recall it being a big hit with my brother, in fact when I mentioned this to him recently, he actually asked me to bring him a bottle. I left open-mouthed and in somewhat of a daze as he is a dedicated drinker of Carling Extra Cold and him wanting to try beer of any other kind is something unheard of, rare as rocking horse shit no less…
Anyways enough reminiscing, getting up to date, I love a good ginger beer but sadly rarely ever get one. The stuff in the supermarkets is generally utter dross unless you are lucky enough to stumble across Robinsons Ginger Tom, sweet syrupy ginger alcopop is probably a more fitting description for most. So when I heard that Michelle at OffBeat had crafted a new ginger beer called “Unhinged Ginger” if course I was interested. When I heard she’d barrel aged some in Glenfarclas casks I was EXTREMELY interested.
IMG_5219It was then I had my first stroke of luck, the last cask of it was shipped to my local pub. It was delicious, in fact I recall the cellar-man texting me as he tapped it, goading me as I had to wait another day.
The second stroke of luck came I’m the form of my first visit to Firsty Friday, OffBeats monthly open session. There on the shelves were bottles, bottles and more bottles, something quite new to the brewery and among them Weird Whisky Mac, I made purchases with great haste..
I’ve tried a few at home now and actually think it suits the bottle, it’s probably a serving temperature/carbonation so maybe it would work on keg to, especially in the summer months. On the first sniff of the glass you get the briefest hint of honey followed by soft whisky notes. This is quickly replaced by aromas of freshly chopped ginger root.
After such a big ginger thwomp up the hooter your senses tell you this is going to be hot, harsh even, but it’s not. It’s actually cool, spritzy and refreshing, in fact you could be forgiven for even being slightly disappointed, this is a 6.1%abv beer but drinks like a low strength session pale. Do not be fooled though, this is a wolf in a big Scottish ginger sheeps fleecy coat.
That cool fresh drinkablity remains throughout, but as you drink warm ginger flavours begin to creep back up from deep within your belly, hitting the back of the throat and spreading across the tongue like a liquid tartan electric blanket, all the time without any cloying sweetness, it’s quite dry and bitter, just as it should be.
Och aye!

Ginger Spice!

This weekends drinking took on an unexpected but cracking Asian twist in the form of two outstandingly different ales, Black Death by “Fallen Angel” and Grandma’s Weapons Grade Ginger Beer from the Cornish outfit “Wheal Maiden”.

Black Death Naga Chilli Stout – Fallen Angel Brewery

The Sussex micro-brewery “Fallen Angel” produce this interesting little brew which comes with it own health warning in the form of these tasting Notes:
“WARNING!!! This is an extreme beer containing the world’s hottest chili, the Naga or Death Chili, rated at 850,000 Scovilles. By consuming this product you agree to exempt Fallen Angel Brewery from all after effects.”
Having tried their Fire In the Hole Chilli beer a few weeks ago which was quite hot (spicy) I was intrigued as to how this super hot stout would compare. We split the bottle into six glasses and served it chilled as advised. The general consensus was not great I have to say, it does have a quite vinegary smell to it to begin with. Now not having ever tasted a Naga chilli it’s difficult to be objective over this as both the smell and taste could be an accurate reflection on the Naga itself. Personally I liked it although probably only as a one off, if I was to describe it as anything I’d say it had a taste of spicy blackberries!
Overall not a particularly great reaction from anyone but don’t let that put you off, if anything I’d say try the Fire In The Hole, this has the chilli burn to it, but has a much fresher taste of green chilli.
Lots more going on at fallen angel and well worth a look:

Not sure where it is stocked by I sourced mine from “Beers Of Europe”:

Grandma’s Weapons Grade Ginger Beer – 5% – Wheal Maiden Brewery
I originally heard about this on “Oz & Hu’s Raise the bar”, I love ginger and it immediately caught my attention, “a fine fiery hot ginger beer that has a good alcohol content, I need some”. Putting a request to the landlord of my local, I was pleasantly surprised to see a pump clip on the bar some weeks later. This is the second batch and I believe there a few more waiting in the cellar as it has become a bit of a hit with the pub regulars.
To describe it, it is a cloudy white colour and pours with a slight fizz but no head.
Great ginger aroma, but is surprisingly sweet, fruity and very refreshing to drink which makes it extremely dangerous as it slides down far too easily. There is of course a lovely warming ginger finish which lasts but is in no way too much, the balance is perfect.
Made fully from natural ingredients it is described by Wheal Maiden Brewery as being “gingery, fiery hot and alcoholic. There are some great tasting notes on the website below and ideas about different way to drink it amongst other things. Try it it’s a revelation.

If your quick and local you can find this at The Bulls Head in Burslem (Stoke on Trent).