Tag Archives: Windswept

Beer of the Week – Windswept Tornado

Every week throughout 2017 I’ll be running the rule over a Scottish beer that I believe deserves a little more love and a lot more credit. So it’s time for another recommendation of something to seek out and add to your drinking cupboard as soon as you possibly can. With around 150 breweries in Scotland at the moment there’s always something new and interesting to seek out – so sometimes the best beers can get lost in all the noise.

Noise is no bad thing of course, but in between the arrivals and the constant trying of new things sometimes you need to take a step back and revisit (or discover) a classic. And when it comes to hops, Citra has for the last few years been one of the must-haves in any brewers’ arsenal. So one of the most unheralded exponents of its use is without doubt a worthy addition to your beery schedule. I’m talking about the mighty Windswept Tornado.

40. Tornado (6.7%)
Windswept Brewing, Lossiemouth
Style: IPA
330ml bottle

Pick it up here:
At Windswept’s online shop (as individual 330ml bottles)

Tornado by name, and Tornado by nature (even though the beer is named after the aircraft not the weather phenomenon). It hits you with a big slug of oily, pithy citrus that also carries with it that US-payload of crystal malt. If you told me this was brewed in Colorado instead of Moray I would have believed you. There’s caramel, toffee and pine and the near-7% ABV comes through on the finish. All said, Tornado is one of the most underrated IPAs in the country, no question.

Beer of the Week Series:
1. Fyne Ales Highlander
2. Swannay Old Norway
3. Broughton Old Jock
4. Traquair House Ale
5. Tempest Easy Livin Pils
6. Cromarty Brewed Awakening
7. Fallen Chew Chew
8. Black Isle Hibernator
9. Isle of Skye Red
10. Harviestoun Old Engine Oil Engineer’s Reserve
11. Orkney Skull Splitter
12. Windswept Wolf
13. Kelburn Dark Moor
14. Alechemy 5ive Sisters
15. Loch Ness Light Ness
16. St Andrews Eighty Bob
17. Harviestoun The Ridge
18. Orkney Dark Island
19. Williams Bros Seven Giraffes
20. Cairngorm Black Gold
21. Strathaven Craigmill Mild
22. Black Isle Red Kite
23. Spey Valley Spey Stout
24. Top Out Schmankerl
25. Cross Borders Braw
26. Williams Bros Midnight Sun
27. BrewDog Kingpin
28. Fyne Ales Hurricane Jack
29. Deeside MacBeth
30. Drygate Ax Man Red Rye IPA
31. Swannay Orkney Session
32. Fallen Platform C
33. Black Isle Porter
34. Top Out Altbier
35. Black Metal Gates of Valhalla
36. Fierce Beer Cranachan Killer
37. Loch Lomond Southern Summit
38. Tempest Old Parochial
39. Williams Bros Profanity Stout

Beer of the Week – Windswept Wolf

Time to kick off the work shoes and lace up those drinking boots as it is another Friday – and that means another chance to shine a light on an unsung Scottish beer that deserves to be in your cupboard or fridge (or cupboard, fridge and then glass). The series has reached the twelfth iteration so with the first dozen complete it is time to head to the far North-East of Scotland and the small town of Lossiemouth. There you’ll find the Windswept Brewery and a hugely under-rated Scotch Ale.

I didn’t set out to catalogue all of the Scotch Ales in this country, but that seems to be what is happening – maybe it’s a testament to how they fly under the radar or how little I actually drink them (both of which are a crying shame) but in revisiting the offerings of breweries like Windswept these are the beers that stand out. And in the case of this beer in particular, that really is the case. The twelfth in my series of Beers of the Week is the truly exceptional Windswept Wolf.

12. Wolf (6.0%)
Windswept Brewing Co, Lossiemouth
Style: Scotch Ale
330 ml bottle

Lossiemouth is a town that revolves around its relationship with the RAF, so it’s no surprise that two former pilots are behind this particular beer. Al Read and Nigel Tiddy opened a 10BBL brewery in 2012 and have gone from strength to strength since, with their range increasing ever since. Wolf is a fantastic beer and one that firmly sits in the ‘armchair sipper’ box – with a welcoming aroma of deep, dark stone fruit, leather and liqourice. The flavour is lovely, bittersweet and with sherry, oak, booze and prunes in there as well. With a long warming, spicy aftertaste it is not just one of the most under-rated beers in Scotland, but the entire UK.

Pick it up here:
At The Scottish Real Ale Shop (as individual 330ml bottles)

Beer of the Week Series:
1. Fyne Ales Highlander
2. Swannay Old Norway
3. Broughton Old Jock
4. Traquair House Ale
5. Tempest Easy Livin Pils
6. Cromarty Brewed Awakening
7. Fallen Chew Chew
8. Black Isle Hibernator
9. Isle of Skye Red
10. Harviestoun Old Engine Oil Engineer’s Reserve
11. Orkney Skull Splitter

Scottish Real Ale Festival 2013 – the beers

SRAF13_1

As the craziness of the city-wide Independents’ Festival continues, and (for me, at least) the debauchery of the Beer Bloggers’ Conference is yet to start, in between, nestling like the older, wiser chick in the nest, we have CAMRA’s Scottish Real Ale Festival. Truly, at the moment there is as much beer in Edinburgh as anyone could possibly want – from 3% Golden Ales to 15% barrel-aged whatnots infused with icantquiteputmyfingeronits. Beer-Town, UK. For a week, at least. Anyhow, the SRAF still pulls in the crowds, with a hugely loyal following checking out what’s new in the world of cask ale – and the continued use of the Corn Exchange has worked wonders for the festival, giving it that space that people, beers and cooling pythons really, really need.

As I wrote in the preview post, the number of Scottish breweries exhibiting at the festival has risen for four consecutive years – showing the growth of the market here. In fact, back in 2010 there were 32 bravely shipping their casks off to Edinburgh; this year, 48. Trying new things is, for me, the very best thing about beer festivals, so in the time I had out at Slateford it was with this in mind. First up, Scaur O’Doon from our good friends at Ayr Brewing Company. It was a great opener to the festival, perched on the plastic-topped table as the hall filled up on a Thursday lunchtime. Next up, Loch Lomond Brave Hop Amber – a 6% dual-fuelled beer (there’s a black version out there, but not at SRAF this year). An absolute belter, bitter orange and with a great lasting hop edge to it.

Following that, Tempest’s new Unfermentalist, which packed (as ever with Kelso’s finest) a whole load of lemon and lime zinginess in there; then it was on to one of the newer Scottish producers – Windswept Brewing’s APA. This was another of the beers of the day, for me – a great bitter caramel, roasty amber ale. The final two beers on my lightning SRAF visit were Hector from An Teallach – always go for at least one stout, even amidst blazing sunshine – and Elixir’s Jump the Shark, a 7.4% lychee and pink peppercorn effort that was pretty much incredible. Not a huge amount of pepper there, but enough of a trace to set the lychee humming. Another corker from West Lothian’s finest.

As these (and many other) beers were going down, the announcement came through on the Champion Beer of Scotland results. In third place for 2013, Highland Brewing Co with St Magnus – yet again Rob Hill getting into the top three places – with Cairngorm placing second with Black Gold; Scotland’s most under-rated stout coming up with the goods once again. The winner, however, and Champion Beer of Scotland for 2013, was announced as Fyne Ales Jarl. Being unashamed FA-fans here at the BeerCast, we can only say it’s about bloody time. Jarl changed the game north of the border when it came to Citra beers (we first discovered it at the 2010 SRAF, shortly after it was launched).* It’s absolutely deserving of the accolade – many congratulations to Tuggy, Jamie and the team.

*Classic BeerCast quote – “The addition of the Citra hops elevates Jarl over Caledonian Surf Sup on points.”



The Scottish Real Ale Festival is being held at the Corn Exchange, New Market Road, Edinburgh from Thursday 11th July to Sunday 14th July (the first time the festival has opened on both days of the weekend). Opening hours are 12pm-11pm Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and 12:30pm-4:30pm on Sunday. Entry is £4 for CAMRA members, £6 for non-members, but keep hold of the glass given out and you can get free re-admission over the other days. Visit the official website to keep up with any amendments to the beer list.