Scots should stick to whisky.
Alright. It has been a while. A long while. Things have been busy, along with a few weeks travelling trough Iceland, Scotland, Portugal, and the Azores (which is still kinda Portugal, but not at all). The trip involved a lot of whisky, port, cider, and some pretty foul beer. Since then, a summer has passed, and writing this blog has gotten away from me. I’ve been brewing with friends, and tasting and trying everything I can. Firstly, I would like to sum up my trip. (Though it has been months, I’ll try to get the drinks down in some readable form.)
We started in Iceland, which doesn’t have much in the way of beer. Gull was the only available beer on the flight (I know, a flight is not often local beer, but it wasn’t a good start), which kinda seemed like Iceland’s equivalent to Bud or Blue. (Okay, I know nothing is as bad as Blue, but you get the point, right?) Regardless, if the choices on your flight are limited, just get the red wine. The other photo was Viking, which I don’t really remember. It was better than Gull, but not by much. (If the Gull was Bud, Viking is Canadian.) But come on, you’re in Iceland, so go drink some vodka, or some Brennivin. Next stop, Scotland!
Scotland was everything I wanted it to be. To be honest, the beer left me wanting, but the whisky more than made up for it. Up above, I had a Galleon of Gold Blonde Ale made from the Isle of Mull Brewing Company. Tennants is good, Innis and Gunn is great, but to be honest…most of the beers I had were pretty forgettable. Magners has some great ciders that I’ve never seen here, and Thatchers cider needs to cross the pond, but nothing else struck me. whisky, on the other hand, had me surrounded in a warm glow pretty steadily. That, and the stunning landscape. Seriously, who put all those waterfalls crashing down those glens?
The picture above was in a nice little pub in Stirling called Number 2 Baker Street. There was a good selection, with flights offered to get a good sampling. Ossian on the left, 4.1%, drink it warm. Belhaven IPA in the centre, 3.8%, served cold. and on the right is Deuchers, 3.8%, another to drink warm. The Ossian was alright, but I couldn’t tell you now what made it taste different from the others. Really, though, I’m not complaining. With that much whisky, you don’t go to Scotland for the beer.
After Stirling, we took a train to London for a quite stay until flying south to Portugal. We ate in Jamie Oliver’s restaurant in Gatwick airport, where I had their own craft brewed lager, Libertà. Nice hops, and a bit fruity, the Libertà was a very refreshing change from the beers of Scotland. This was a good, crisp craft beer. I don’t know if you can get it anywhere else, or just at the Jamie Oliver restaurants, but if you have the chance, give it a try.
From London we went to the Algarve in Portugal. (We ended up in Porto after that, in the countryside, and then flying to the Azores, all of which is beautiful, but has little or nothing to with beer.) All through Portugal there is Sagres, and there is Superbock. Superbock was alright, but I preferred Sagres. Both have a few different types, both have a brune, and I think Superbock has a stout. The Sagres was a good lager to have of a hot day at the ocean beaches. There aren’t any microbreweries, so the selection is the same from one end of Portugal to the other, including the Azores. All in all a great trip, with some new tastes and some amazing stories.