Best Scottish beer

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1 CALEDONIAN 80/-

www.caledonian-brewery.co.uk

The definitive Scottish ale - the one served everywhere. Across Scotland, there is a variety of public houses. There are public houses that know how to respect and look after a real ale, and there are those that don't. If you find 80/- in its cask in a public house that knows how to look after its ale, you are in for a real treat. It will be a smooth, malty beer that sets a great yardstick for brewers across Scotland.

2 ORKNEY DARK ISLAND

www.orkneybrewery.co.uk

From the same brewery as the famed SkullSplitter, this dark beer from Orkney resembles an English porter. It's a bitter-sweet refreshment with a smoky aftertaste. Widely available in bars and off-licences, Orkney Dark Island matches well with red meats. Ideally, it should be supped at the Orkney Beer Festival in late August.

3 RED CUILLIN

www.skyebrewery.co.uk

Named after the Red Cuillin of Skye, this is relatively new beer to the market from the Isle of Skye Brewing Company. In 1995, two teachers from Portree High School started the brewery - now the company has five different beers and offers a selection of guest beers throughout the year. True to its name, Red Cuillin is a delightful red colour and has a nutty taste.

4 INNIS AND GUNN

www.innisandgunn.com

Originally discovered by William Grant & Sons, this ale is unique. The aim of the distillery was to make whisky aged in ale casks: however, the ale turned out so tasty after spending time in brand new American oak casks that they bottled it and now have a top-selling beer. The golden beer has its own specially designed glass so that ale connoisseurs can enjoy all the flavour.

5 BLACKFORD 1488 WHISKY ALE

www.tullibardine.com

From the independent Tullibardine Distillery in Perthshire, this whisky ale is a real treat for beer drinkers. The Blackford 1488 Whisky Ale is brewed with the same high quality ingredients as its whisky and matured in casks that previously housed whisky. Best drunk chilled - and Tullibardine whisky is the ideal chaser.