Cromarty / Tempest Cone Head

Formerly brewed at Cromarty
Style: Scotch Ale
Cromarty, Scotland
Serve in Thistle


on tap


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RATINGS: 18   MEAN: 3.89/5.0   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.59/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 222   ABV: 7.4%
bottled and cask, special
This year it was Gavins turn to head up to Cromarty to have a play on Craigs shiny new brewkit, so after a very early drive through the Scottish Alps, the scene was set for another fun day out making beer.
Whilst the use of copious amounts of hops seems to have become more prevalent in recent years, the inspiration for the 2013 collaboration brew was to use fresh seasonal ingredients to provide the flavour and aroma for the beer. In this instance, the answer was in the trees! Pinecones Chappy was rock papered out and had to squirrel up into the canopy to hand pick the freshest, juiciest cones he could find.
The foraged pinecones were then lightly toasted in an oven to open them up and release the pine oils with their earthy, woody flavours we were looking for in the beer.
As a genuine collaborative effort, with both brewers hands on at the brewery, on the fly calculations would have to be made. A final recipe still hadnt been decided, so the boys locked minds and decided on a rich, malty brew including oats, rye and other speciality grains, paired with newly cultured Ardennes yeast. A kettle addition of freshly grated nutmeg would bring a subtle spice to the beer. The pinecones would be loaded into the hopback to allow the unfermented wort to wash the flavour from the cones. After fermentation, further toasted pinecones would be added to the conditioning tank to enhance and improve the aroma and flavour (a process called dry-coning)
At 7.4% The 2013 Cone Head Collab is an innovative dark, complex Scottish beer with a Belgian twist.

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nulptr's rating

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
nulptr (114) - - APR 20, 2014
bb 15 Aug 2014 bottle. had this one before on keg (?) at cloisters... intriguing enough to give it another go. pours very dark, tan lacing, initial sips showcase the roasted cone which then gives way to treacle, syrup, molasses, dark fruits, hints of nutmeg and grass ... not a wee bit boozy but in a comforting, abt 12 kind of way. complex and rewarding.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
mr_h (5392) - Ayr, SCOTLAND - MAR 4, 2015
500ml bottle at home, from Good Spirits Company, Glasgow - citrus, pine and chocolate aroma, opaque very dark brown, good beige head, good lacing, chocolate, fruity, viscous, soft carbonation, very well balanced, easy to drink

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Stuu666 (12821) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - OCT 19, 2014
Keg at Cloisters. Pours deep brown, sweet, light sickly pine, chocolate roast.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
zacgillbanks (5078) - Tyne & Wear, ENGLAND - MAR 13, 2014
Bottle from Coppers, Newcastle. This inky black beer has ruby red highlights. It has deep, rich red fruit, chocolate and spicy fruit flavours with a warming, slight tart fruity finish. Rather like a Belgian Dubbel. Superb!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Beersiveknown (5275) - NORTHERN IRELAND - JAN 10, 2014
Bottle at home from appellation wine, dalry rd
thin cola brown with offwhite lacing. Loads of fresh pithy tangerine, cocoa, Zingy ginger, Belgian esters, full bodirdi, medium carbonatiob, sweet and zesty citrus hops, sweet milk chocolate, dry cocoa toasty finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
McNeillR (2301) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - JAN 1, 2014
Darkest mahogany, oily beige film head. Bright spicy lychee with a rich nutty treacle. Earthy and vibrant bark, brown paper bag dryness but oily overtones. Finish is odd roasted? Very sweet and slippable with a compost bitterness that catches up with you.

Bottle, Cornelius, Edinburgh

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
zimbo (956) - SCOTLAND - DEC 31, 2013
Bottle. Dark brown with some thin orange sparkle. Rich tan glossy head. Roast, Spice & yeast nose. Dry earth,leather, nut and some fur on the palate with a bitter end. Like Old Peculier but with less fruit sap and more edge.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
MalcolmTucker (924) - SCOTLAND - DEC 31, 2013
Keg @ cloisters. Dark brown with a thin head. Chocolate, roast, dark berry, wee alcohol kick. Smooth mouthfeel. Very good.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Scopey (14257) - Croydon, Greater London, ENGLAND - DEC 29, 2013
Bottle at home. It pours darkest ruby with a small light tan head. The nose is roasted malt, toast, coffee, liquorice, pine, dark fruit, spice, hay and candy. The taste is bitter-sweet, rich roast, toasted brown bread, coffee grinds, pine, resin, light spice, dark fruit, jammy berry, liquorice, candy and light alcohol with a bitter, roasty finish. Medium body and moderate carbonation. Really rather flavoursome. Good depth and well balanced. Very impressive stuff.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
AshtonMcCobb (6476) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - DEC 11, 2013
50cl bottle from Appellation Wines. Appearance - opaque black with a generous head. Nose - citrus and pine against a chocolate background. Taste - more citrus and pine, something medicinal like olbas oil, some earthiness in the background with crunchy honeycomb too. Palate - medium to full bodied, big challenging texture and a very drying finish. Overall - Im not sure this has the underlying nuttiness I would expect from Scotch Ale, probably closer to stout. Its also very complex but more complex than balanced - but regardless of that, its a good beer.

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