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Leapbeer Review #186 Heather Ale by Salt Spring Island Ales

This marks a new semi-local brewery to the leapbeer blog. I was overjoyed when I read Salt Spring Island Ales tweet about their beers being ordered to Campbell River, where I live.

The bottle describes this beer like this. “An ancient brew dating back over 4000 years, Heather Ale is most often attributed to the Picts of ancient Scotland, who are said to have drunk Heather ale for courage before going into battle. Growing in abundance on the moors of Scotland & Ireland, heather flowers lent flavour to the regions’ ales before the introduction of hops. Salt Spring Island Ales is proud to pay homage to this legendary brew. Infused with local heather flowers, and a sparing amount of hops, our Heather Ale has a mild floral & honey aroma, a slight mead-like charachter & light hop notes to produce a crisp finish.

This beer looks great, it pours to a transparent amber colour with a thin white head. It smells quite floral from the heather. There’s a real hit of it. I also smells slightly of sour, malt and honey. When you sip this beer my initial thoughts are that it is crisp and sweet. There is a lot of honey and floral characters to this beer. It is a very delicate flavour to this beer. It dances lightly on your palate like a butterfly flitting about on flowers. The beers flavour is so delicate that I don’t think it would be easy to pair. If you would I would make sure it was something with mild flavours that play off the sweetness of the heather and honey. I would think pairing it with a light white fish or a simple salad would work well. When I drank it I had to put it down as I was eating a spicy chicken curry dish that completely overpowered the beer. They note that there is light hop notes, but they are indiscernible to me. This is the 2nd Heather beer I’ve had so far on the leapbeer journey, and in my opinion the better of the two.

Leapbeer #186 is Heather Ale by Salt Spring Island Ales

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