Review #23 Harviestoun Orach Slie (Glenfarclas cask aged Schiehallion) 82/100
In my opinion, there is no better way to improve the palate and aroma of an already good beer than by leaving it in an ex-spirit cask for a few months, and that is exactly what Harviestoun do best. For this beer they have produced a lightly-hopped version of their Schiehallion lager and left it to rest for a while in Glenfarclas casks. For those of you who aren’t clued up on your distilleries, Glenfarclas is a distillery which for a long time has consistently produced some of the finest heavily sherried whiskies to come out of Scotland, so before I opened this bottle I had high expectations.
Out of the bottle and into the glass the Orach Slie pours a rich, golden honey colour with the slight haze, producing a light yet lively head.
On the nose the Orach Slie produces light aromas of honey, heather creme brûlée with delicate floral notes.
On the palate it is very delicate with not an overpowering level of carbonation. Initially I am greeted with very light grassy notes similar to that produced by Saaz hops and minuscule amount of bitterness. Even though this beer is a reduced hop version of the Schiehallion, hop bitterness has been toned down by the sweetness provided by the cask. Moving on from the initial hop notes, the sweetness from the cask creeps in producing notes of honey, sticky dates and fruitcake finishing up with notes of lemongrass.
This is a lovely beer, perfect if you fancy a beer on the lighter end of the spectrum but with a bit more complexity than a standard lager.