Personally I am so proud of how our team here at Cromarty has gone from strength to strength and worked so so hard to get us to where we are now. With the brewery already going through five separate phases of expansion this basically equates to having increased capacity in one way or another once every year. The latest was the addition of our fully automatic bottling line and the installation of external fermentation tanks since space has run out inside the brewery. The bottling line which we have been running for a year now has dramatically improved the freshness and shelf life of our bottled products and allowed us to gain confidence in supplying a wider market. And to top it off our next stage (a new store & warehouse) has just been granted planning permission so we can look forward to maintaining our stocks as well as increasing our barrel aging capacity.
With all that, we feel it a great honour to release our fifth anniversary ale – a Russian imperial stout aged in port pipes once used for the final maturation on a special Highland whisky. The beer was brewed by combining two separate (and very full) mash run-offs into the one kettle volume. This meant a very long and tedious brewday but we felt the rewards were going to be awesome and after a year of aging in the port pipes we were happy to discover this was true. It pulls you in with an inviting aroma of caramelised sugars, dark fruits, port and whisky, a massive silky smooth mouthfeel and a finish which reminds you’ve drunk something special. This luscious beer is big and bold yet soft and warming.
We have also released our collaboration with fantastic Highland clothing brand By Sea By Land. With this we have decided to look at collaboration from a different angle in which we thought seasonal clothing would pair harmoniously well with a seasonal beer release. Starting in winter and at the time of Christmas we decided that Christmas trees would be the best ingredient – especially down to the fact they are grown everywhere in the local area. A dark rye saison was the base – something a bit different but should provide that required backdrop for the unusual ingredient. A winter beer that is complemented with a winter clothing item – woolly hats! And what a superb job Ed and the team at By Sea By Land did of them too. The awesome bottle label was done to match the woven patches of the hats.