And so, once more, we return to the fantastic world of historic Scottish ale, courtesy of the Williams Brothers. I’ve already reviewed Fraoch, Kelpie, Ebulum and Alba, and the only remaining beer in their historical collection is Grozet. As I don’t want Grozet to feel too lonely, though, I’m also going to review Roisin in this post – while it’s not historical ale, it is a Williams Brothers expression.
I will let the Williams Brothers folk themselves explain to you how Grozet is made: “Brewed with lager malt, wheat, bog myrtle, hops and meadowsweet then secondary fermented with ripe Scottish gooseberries.” Sounds absolutely crazy if you ask me, and I’ve never actually had this expression before (it’s the only Historic ale that I had not tried prior to writing these reviews).
The nose… ahh, the nose. I do like a good bit of nose, and Grozet doesn’t disappoint. If Ebulum is autumn, this is summer; fruits, flowers, wheat, summer berry tea, citrus – could it be more summery? A gorgeous nose, though I did hope for more gooseberry (I love gooseberry, and you hardly ever get them). The palate shows some malt, fruity tea, honey sweetness, wheat and something tangy. Unfortunately the palate does let this beer down, and makes it the least interesting of the Historic ales, but if you have a chance to try a cold Grozet on a summer day, you won’t regret it.
The Roisin made these reviews largely because I find it funny, and sometimes that’s all I want from a beer (I love Rodenbach Grand Cru, which is ridiculously sour, just because it always makes me smile). Roisin is made using Tayberry, which is described by the Williams Brothers as a mix between raspberry and blackberry – since I’ve never had one myself, I’ll take their word for it. Sounds like a ruddy good berry to me, by the way.
My nose reports: sweet berries, light malt, hops, hay. Add to that the fact that it’s a peachy pink color, it’s so girly I feel like a bearded Marilyn Monroe just smelling it. The palate actually tastes a fair bit like a strawberry cider I had a while back, unfortunately I can’t remember what it was called, but with added hops. My one complaint is that Roisin is slightly thin, though I wouldn’t say watery, but it’s just about enough fun to make me not care.
Eye: Orangey straw
Nose: Fruity, summer berry tea, wheat, citrus and flowers.
Tongue: Malt, fruity tea, honey sweetness wheat and something tangy.
Eye: Peachy pink
Nose: Sweet berries, light malt, hops and hay.
Tongue: Strawberry cider, hops, unfortunately thin.