After a long haul at work and rushing up and down the country for Christmas, New Year's Eve was a bit of a blessing, and a relaxing evening of watching films with the missus kicked off with a personal favourite in the form of Bristol Beer Factory's Southville Hop. I'd also managed to acquire a bottle of BBF's West Coast Red that they'd aged in Glenlivet barrels, thus giving me an opportunity to drink whisky alongside my beer, something that's definitely a favourite pastime when I don't have to work so much! On that note, The Kernel's Export India Porter was terrific alongside a dram of Mortlach 16.
The Nadurra (it means 'Natural') is a cask-strength version of Glenlivet that I first tried back in March at a tasting hosted by Phil Huckle. Phil recently made another visit to Nottingham which meant I got to taste a couple of excellent new Aberlour expressions in the 18 and the non chill-filtered 12, but the Nadurra also featured once again in the line-up, and a most welcome return it was too. West Coast Red is full of lots of fresh red fruit. I'm guessing it's all about good hop selection for this one but they've done a great job of making a hoppy beer without the usual tropical and citrus flavours and more sweet strawberry. Glenlivet is usually fruity and the Nadurra is no exception, and at cask strength the red apple flavours are strong and mouth-watering. Once the whisky is thrown into the mix with the beer it's like a fresh fruit salad, but with a lovely creaminess to it all, like raspberry meringue with white chocolate shavings on top - all very delicious!