Beer Review Black Cuillin

Last night I dreamed I went to Mander…oops, copyright infringement alert.
Take 2:
Last night I dreamed I went ‘over the sea to Skye’ and tackled some of the Black Cuillin. Not surprising really, as the previous evening I slipped on my hiking boots and scrambled up to the pub where I had a pint of Black Cuillin from the Isle of Skye brewery.

The Isle of Skye Brewery was founded in 1995 by a couple of teachers from the island’s high school in Portree.
They use only natural ingredients with NO additives, and their ales are either bottle, or cask-conditioned. Among these ales are Red Cuillin, Young pretender, and this one, Black Cuillin. These ales are widely available in both pubs and shops (in Scotland anyway), but they also do a roaring trade in mail order.  

Black Cuillin is brewed with roasted oatmeal and heather honey, which gives it a rather unique flavour. Pale ale malt and Challenger hops are also used. It’s like a work of art.
“The dark one, brewed with rolled roast oatmeal and honey. It takes its name from the world reknowned mountains of the Isle of Skye, and is a unique strong flavoured dark ale.”

BLACK CUILLIN pours a dark, almost black colour with some reddish tinges, and is topped by tan-coloured head foam which initially billows, but soon shrinks back to a wispy film which only leaves moderate lacing.

The aroma smoky, peaty and quite earthy, with a flourish of floral hops, and some plummy fruitiness. There’s a noticeable sweet, roasty malt tone, and a faint hint of licorice.

It’s full-bodied, with a rich and smooth mouth feel, and only a moderate carbonation. The initial taste is roasty, nutty and malty, with a certain graininess from the oatmeal. Again, it’s peaty, smoky and earthy, before a herbal bitterness from the hops forces its way through, along with a more fruity profile. It finishes on the bitter side, but not overly so, and it leaves an increasingly sweet aftertaste.

• The Verdict •

At 4.5% ABV, this is a very nice session ale. The colour, and indeed the texture, are somewhat reminiscent of a stout, but it’s not. It’s smooth, very easy-to-drink, and is fairly complex without getting complicated. It’s a nice, unassuming ale that hits all the right spots.

Would I drink it again? – Yeah, that would be cuill…


1. Skye Black | Isle Of Skye Brewery | BeerAdvocate
2. How to stick with your diet when traveling
3. Isle Of Skye Brewery | Isle Of Skye, United Kingdom … – BeerAdvocate

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