This time last year I was settling into the Scottish lodge that became home for ten of us over the Christmas week, we’d made the 600 odd mile journey up from Sussex to Inverness and along with my husband, brother and best mates, it was to be one of the best damn weeks ever. Ever.
The run up to Christmas has spurred lots of memories from that week and a boozy Scottish ale seems an appropriate partner for the mental wanderings. So, for Day 3 of the #12beersofxmas I crack open a 330ml bottle of Traquair House Ale, 7.2% –(bought as part of the Boak and Bailey Brew Britannia mixed box from Beer Hawk)
It pours with a fizz, a tight off-white head forms and gives off aromas of warming oak and fruits; dates, plums and sherry soaked raisins. A dark ruby-brown, this classic Scottish ale gives up figs, plums, dates, a nostalgia trip; waterfalls, lochs, pine trees, a crackling open fire…and an oaky warmth is developing.
A hint of caramel and vanilla, smiles, laughing until my stomach hurt, playing badminton over the stairs, successfully roasting my first turkey (the size of France), losing the stuffing, making gingerbread…the beer warms and reveals a real depth…driving around Loch Ness on Boxing Day, breath being taken away by the most stunning scenery I’ve ever scene….
being close to my best friends and oh, those sherry soaked raisins are back…a sadness when it was time to leave, a bitter-sweet finish, warmth.