Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Fyne Ales Naughty and Nice ales

Fyne Ales Naughty and Nice ales 5.2% 

Fyne Ales Naughty and Nice
Fyne Ales Naughty and Nice
Christmas is a magical time for beer-lovers, with breweries up and down the country bringing out festive specials, from barley wines and spiced porters to heavily hopped golden ales that smell like a hillside of pine trees.

Fyne Ales, based a few hundred metres from the Loch Fyne oyster bar, have just released this year's festive perennial, Holly Daze, a pleasing hearty amber ale. However, it's their devilishly delicious twin releases that deserve a place in your fridge this Christmas. Fyne's Naughty and Nice black and white ales are pleasingly punchy, distinctively different, and give glad tidings of things to come as Fyne's £2m brewery expansion moves nearer to coming online.

Fyne Ales Naughty Black Ale has a sharp spicy and smoky aroma, and pours a luxurious deep black with a hint of bloody red. This is one for drinking with plum pudding. It starts with rich, sweet malts, then hits you with a rush of bitterness. Its sharpness pushes it towards whisky ales territory, though its spirited tartness isn't as pronounced as your typical whisky beers. Naughty is chewy and tarry, with a strong burnt flavour, with complex hints of winter berries, cherries, prunes and dried fruits.

The Nice White IPA couldn't be more different. The light citrus and pine aroma carries with it a hint of yeast, and it pours a lively, exciting light golden. A caramel malt sweetness tickles you at first but this is followed though by buttered popcorn then melon and apricot before giving way to a big hop blast and a long, lingering bitterness.

Both are brilliant, come in at 5.2%, and served in 330ml bottles.

A version of this review appeared on heraldscotland.com

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