They say…

Des de Moor
Best beer and travel writing award 2015, 2011 -- British Guild of Beer Writers Awards
Accredited Beer Sommelier
Writer of "Probably the best book about beer in London" - Londonist
"A necessity if you're a beer geek travelling to London town" - Beer Advocate
"A joy to read" - Roger Protz
"Very authoritative" - Tim Webb.
"One of the top beer writers in the UK" - Mark Dredge.
"A beer guru" - Popbitch.
Des de Moor


Fyne Jarl

ABV: 3.8%
Origin: Cairndow, Argyll & Bute, Scotland

Ales Jarl

Cask golden ales are now as ubiquitous in Britain as traditional bitter, and most, it’s sad to say, make for relatively bland, if refreshing, drinking. One of the ways some of them are marking themselves out is by leaning towards the US style of pale ale, particularly in their choice of hops, engaging new drinkers looking for more flavoursome beers without alienating the old guard of real ale quaffers.

I tasted a handful of very good examples of this trend in 2011 but the one that stays in the mind most is Jarl, launched as a summer seasonal in 2010 by one of Scotland’s most impressive and improving small breweries, Fyne Ales, established in 2001. The apparently immodest brewery name is justified as the beer is made in farm buildings in a picturesque setting at Achadunan, overlooking Glen Fyne and the head of Loch Fyne, with water drawn from a nearby burn.

Jarl’s name commemorates the Norse earls that once occupied much of Scotland, but its flavour profile is highly contemporary, making good use of the new Citra hop. It’s a very pale clear yellow beer with a fine white head and a striking kiwi fruit aroma, well supported by broad creamy notes. The drying palate retains the fruity note, with more exotic fruit flavours like lychees and the bitter zest of pink grapefruit. A very bittering zesty finish also reveals lovely sweet fruity malt beneath, with peppery notes emerging.

It’s a delightful example of its type, with so much more complexity than the average one-note hoppy golden ale. I sampled it in fine condition at the Pot Still specialist whisky bar in Glasgow, which I’m pleased to see is also now offering a much improved beer selection in a city that’s becoming a seriously good place to drink.

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