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Address The Inn at Ardgour, Ardgour, Fort William PH33 7AA


Facilities - Scottish Beers

Ale is the general term given to most fermented drinks made from any botanical resource. Fermented drinks have been made in Scotland since the Dark ages. At an archaeological site on the Isle of Rhum, Neolithic remains dating from before 2000BC have been identified as the earliest heather ale. The first ales were produced by the spontaneous fermentation of natural fruit, honey and cereals. Over the centuries these flavours were refined using local indigenous herbs, fruits and flowers. The range of flavours is infinite: indeed probably every botanical ingredient was tried at some stage to flavour ale.

Hops were not grown commercially in Britain until the 18th Century during which "BEER" (hopped ales) represented less than one tenth of the consumption of ale. As Taverns and commercial breweries developed, Acts of Parliament began to standardise ale to beer; brewers were required to use only malt, hops, water and yeast. It was said that this was to eliminate the use of narcotic, stimulant and toxic plants but it also raised taxes from malt and generated income for the House of Lords who owned the hop farms.

The variety of ancient flavours has been forgotten - it's hardly surprising that most of today's beers taste the same, they are made with the same four ingredients. Rather than drinking a globally homogenised beer, we are trying to encourage you to try the flavour of the country from which it is made. Reflect on why people used local flavours, biodiversity is a practical solution, enjoy the taste of Scotland.

Heather Ale

Grozet 5%abv

From the Gaelic "Groseid". Since at least the 16th century Scots monks and alewives brewed indigenous drinks from cereals, wild herbs and ripe fruits. Tibbie Sheils green Grozet was immortalised by such Scots literati as Sir Walter Scott, James Hogg, The Ettrick shepherd and Robert Burns who considered it a most convivial drink. Brewed with lager malt, wheat, bog myrtle, hops and meadowsweet then secondary fermented with ripe Scottish gooseberries. A pale golden beer with a refreshing fruit aroma, clean palate, fruity wheat flavour and crisp finish. Recommended with light foods, pastas and salads.

Ebulum 6.5%abv

Black Ale: Introduced to Scotland by Welsh druids in the 9th Century, elderberry black ale was part of the Celtic Autumn festivals when the elders would make this strong ale and pass the drink round the people of the village. This recipe was taken from a 16th Century record of domestic drinking in the Scottish Highlands. Elderberries were used for natural remedies, to cure sciatica, other forms of neuralgia, influenza and rheu­matism, as they contain tannins and fruit-oils. 5%abv Ebulum is made from roasted oats, barley and wheat boiled with herbs then fermented with ripe elderberries. A RICII black ale with fruit aroma, silky soft texture soft Roasted flavour and gentle finish. Recommended with stewed and baked foods. 6.5% abv

Alba 7.5%abv

The name is Gaelic for Scotland. Introduced by the Vikings, spruce and pine ales were very popular in the Scottish Highlands until the end of the 19th Century. Many early explorers, including Captain Cook, used spruce ale during long sea voyages since it prevented scurvy and ill health. Shetland spruce ale was said to "stimulate animal instincts" and give you twins. Alba is brewed to a traditional Highland recipe from Scots pine and spruce shoots picked during early spring. Pure malted barley is boiled with the young sprigs of pine for several hours then the fresh shoots of the spruce are added for a short infusion before fermentation. Tawny brown strong ale with spruce aroma, rich Malt texture, complex wood flavour and lingering finish. Described by the Scottish press as "Light pale ale with  champagne"

Fraoch 5%abv

From: fru-och- Gaelic for heather" Brewed in Scotland since 2000 BC heather ale is probably the oldest style of ale still produced in the world. Brewed from an ancient Gaelic recipe for "leann fraoich" (heather ale). Into the boiling bree of malted barley, sweet gale and flowering heather are added, then after cooling slightly the hot ale is poured into a vat of fresh heather flowers where it infuses for an hour before being fermented in copper tuns. A light amber ale with floral peaty aroma, full Malt character, a spicy herbal flavour and' dry wine-like finish. Recommended With: Rich and spicy foods. Winner of two World Gold Medals 96/97, one of CAMRA beers of the year 97 and Supreme award at the Royal Highland Show, 1997.

The Isle of Skye Brewing Company (Leann an Eilein) Limited

Red Cuillin 4.2% ABV

Named after the mountain range on Skye; reddish-hued ale, slightly malty and nutty in character, smooth to taste. Made from pale ale malt, roast barley, crystal malt, Challenger and Fuggles hops and Skye spring water. The cask version of Red Cuillin has received many awards and accolades including being short-listed for Champion Beer of Great Britain 1997 and third place in Champion Beer of Scotland 1998. Only available on draught

Black Cuillin 4.5% ABV

A smooth, dark ale made from pale ale malt, roast barley, Challenger hops and Skye spring water.  The addition of rolled roast Scottish oatmeal gives an almost stout-like bitterness, which is smoothed out through the addition of a touch of pure Scottish heather honey to give a rich, full-bodied ale with a hint of chocolate. It is believed that this is the only ale, as distinct from stout, that uses rolled roast oatmeal as an ingredient. The bottled version of Black Cuillin is even smoother than the cask.

Hebridean Gold 4.3% ABV

This unique ale is brewed with porridge oats, which provides a beer of exceptional smoothness, with a deep and creamy head. Challenger hops provide it with a light aroma and a good "bite" of bitterness.

Broughton Ales Limited

Greenmantle Ale 3.9% ABV

The flagship ale of the Company, first brewed in 1980 by one of Scotland's most distinguished brewers - Stirling Gardner - after the Company was founded in 1979. It was greeted with great acclaim in Scotland. It is high quality country ale, with a pleasing bittersweet balance and a refreshing fruity palate. Hops used: Fuggles, Golding, and Target. Malt used - Maris Otter Pale Ale Malt.

Merlin's Ale 4.2% ABV

Named after one of two historical bards or muses made famous through the Arthurian legends of medieval scribes. It is a high quality, well hopped golden ale with a fine malt flavour, giving a mystical and attractive aftertaste. Hops used: Fuggles, Golding, Target, and Styrian Golding. Malt used: Mans Otter Pale Ale Malt.

Scottish Oatmeal Stout 4.2% ABV

Oatmeal Stout has been an old traditional drink in Scotland for many generations enjoyed both in Castles and Cotter houses, for its rich smooth flavour. Traditional country stout with a delicious roast palate it is nourishing, refreshing and satisfying. Hops used: Fuggles, Golding, and Target. Malts used: Mans Otter pale Ale Malt and Black Malt.

The Ghillie 4.5% ABV

A Ghillie is a true countryman, with a keen understanding of the wild life about him, and with an expert knowledge of the rivers and lochs in his charge. The Ghillie is a very appropriate and respected name for a high quality country ale, brewed from the water of the Border Hill bums feeding the famous River Tweed. The Ale drawn from old recipes, is copper coloured with a full malty flavour, and a distinctive spicy hop flower aroma. Hops used: Fuggles, Golding, Target, Hallertau.  Malts used: Mans Otter Pale Ale Malt, Crystal Malt.

Black Douglas 5.2% ABV

Sir James Douglas - later Lord James Douglas - who became known as "The good Lord James" was a tall, strong, well made man, with a swarthy complexion and dark hair - hence he was known as "The Black Douglas".  He was a loyal adherent of Robert the Bruce.  One of Scotland's bravest men, who helped guard our Scottish Borders merits Broughton Brewery commemorating him with one of its distinguished Ales. The Black Douglas Ale is typical of one that could have been brewed in a 14th century Douglas stronghold. A dark ruby ale, with a deep full and satisfying, yet refreshing flavour. Hops used: Target and Golding. Malts used: Mans Otter Pale Ale Malt, Crystal Malt, Black Malt.

Old Jock 6.7% ABV

A traditional Scottish soldier of the late 19th Century is depicted on the label wearing a Glengarry bonnet, with a highland plaid over his shoulder, held by a silver clasp set with a Cairngorm stone.

This robust ale seeks to represent the strength, fame and tradition of Scottish fighting men down the ages. A dark powerful ale of country origin, it is brewed from an old recipe to give a well rounded fruity flavour with a very satisfying finish. Hops used: Fuggles, Golding and Target. Malts used: Maris Otter Pale Ale Malt.

Border Gold Organic Ale 6% ABV

A pure material beer approved by The Soil Association. Produced from organically grown Scottish barley, organically grown hops from New Zealand and pure water from the Scottish Border hills. A light golden coloured beer, full of flavour and aroma, with a refreshing, clean pleasing palate and an excellent hop aroma and aftertaste. Premium ale for those who know and care about what they drink and eat.

The Orkney Brewery

Dark Island 4.6% ABV

Irresistible ruby port wine colour which begs a small taste but beware, you will be quickly hooked!  A classic Scottish beer of impeccable pedigree and a rich depth of character with a fruity nose with roasted malt notes and a 'mince pie filling' richness. An exceptionally smooth palate, with distinct chocolate malt to the fore followed by a crystal malt nuttiness, the finish if long, dry and nutty has a hint of hop.

Skullsplitter 8.5% ABV

An impeccably balanced higher gravity beer; the smoothness of which belies its strength. Guaranteed to raise fire and passion in all who drink it. An intense 'velvet' malt nose with hints of apple and alcohol esters. The palate has hops to the fore, followed by a satiny smooth mid tongue malt experience, leading onto a superbly rewarding long, dry finish with a hint of nut. Once swallowed gives a satisfying warmth, the flavours combine and linger, making for the utmost in drinking pleasure.

The Red MacGregor 5%ABV

A reddish tint in the colour is reminiscent of Rob Roy's hair. Very smooth with fresh, spicy hop notes and a full malt character. A first class mid-gravity beer for the discerning drinker. Very distinct hop flower nose with mellow malt undertones. The palate has rich satiny smooth malt, nutty crystal notes married to a full hop character with a rewarding hop finish. If the beer is young, the finish is mellow and smooth; if older, somewhat drier.


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