Beer / Review

Caledonia Ales

The Scottish craft beer scene is booming, with sales continuing to grow, and newer names like Brewdog thriving all over the world. Tennent Caledonia, creators of the ubiquitous Tennent’s Lager, have decided to get in on the action, creating a new range of three bottled beers, brewed at its Wellpark Brewery in Glasgow. Last month, I was lucky enough to win a bottle of each to sample.

Caledonia Ales

Tennent Caledonia’s new bottled beers

The bottle labels look quite old fashioned but classy in cream and gold, with a different bright flash of colour for each of the three beers.

Lager has never been one of my favourite drinks, even though my dad has always enjoyed a pint of Tennent’s at the weekend! To my tastebuds, the ‘Double Hop’, a citrus hopped lager, is a massive step up from that. Smooth with just enough fizz, it has a much fuller flavour, with more hoppy bitterness.

Outpost IPA is influenced by Tennent Caledonian’s early pale ales, and has a strong malty flavour, with more bitterness than the lager, as you’d expect in an IPA. I’ve become a fan of IPAs recently, but the lack of fruitiness in this one means it sadly won’t be added to my list of favourites.

The well-named ‘Hop Scotch’ was my favourite of the three. It’s aged in oak whisky barrels adding more complexity and slightly sweet flavours, and I found it more smooth than the other two.

It’s nice to see that Tennent Caledonia are about more than just a pint of draught lager! I haven’t spotted the 500ml bottles in any of my local supermarkets yet, but they have been announced on sale in Tesco and Co-op from March. Cheers!


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