"Red and Orange and Yellow and Green...blue and indigo and violet. I can drink a (scientifically correct) rainbow, drink a rainbow, you can drink a rainbow too"
I love the simple design on the black isle labels, textured and organic, like the beer itself, with a single spot of colour to distinguish between each. I decided to drink them in rainbow-colour order.
Red Kite Ale (4.2%) was up first. A ruby amber in the glass. It forms a good fluffy head which remains down the glass and has the typical earthy and slightly metallic notes you expect from English hops.In the mouth initially its sweet with caramel and shortbread, with a balancing bitterness following in behind, leaving a dry finish.
Goldeneye Pale Ale (5.6%) is golden blonde with floral, caramel and lemon notes in the aroma. Quite pithy but also sweet with an unplacable but not unpleasant vegetal note near the finish, which is also quite sherbety.
Yellowhammer (4%) is Black Isle's session pale ale. Burnished gold. Lemon and spicy malt nose. Slightly prickly carbonation. Bitter finish with lemon and biscuit malt.
The Blonde (5%) for some reason has a green spot, I guess the yellow had already been taken! Beautifully clear and pale gold with a fluffy white head.Nose is pineapple and yeast esters. Clean malt with a biting carbonation and just enough hops to balance. Kind of a hybridised lager and quite enjoyable.
Onto the big guns. Black Isle Hibernator oatmeal stout weighs in at a hefty 7%. Dark chestnut brown with thin beige head and roast barley/coffee nose. fairly prickly carbonation with roasted barley to the fore in the flavour with a smooth body and dry chocolate finish. Its deceptive and my 330ml bottle disappeared in no time.
Scotch Ale (6.2%) is a traditional Scottish style. Dark ruby with dense off-white head. Rich and fruity nose with a hint of licorice. Thick bodied, red berries, alcohol warmth, caramel sweetness. A triumph of malt.
My final beer for the day was the Porter (4.8%). Dark brown with ruby corona. sweet, slightly lactic roast barley aroma. Silky, bubbly body with chocolate and a sweet finish. A decent session porter, one of my favourite UK beer styles.
You can get hold of all of these beers from the brewery online shop and follow the brewery on twitter here and their brewer Col and sales chappy Chris.