84. Trade Winds

Posted: January 13, 2011 in ale, International beer
Tags: , , , ,

Trade Winds

Company info:
Cairngorm Brewery Company
Inverness-shire SCOTLAND


Bottle size sampled: 500 mL

Alcohol: 4.3%
Standard drinks: TBC – Listed as 2.2 UK Units

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: Beer supplied by the good folk at Dunnottar Wine and Spirits

Label info: ‘Trade Winds, light golden in colour, refreshingly crisp with fruit flavours from the hop and elderflower on the nose. The cask version was the Campaign for Real Ales ‘Beer of Scotland’ in 2004 as well as Champion Speciality Beer of Britain 2004, 2005, and 2006.’.

What the label really means: Interesting! I am particularly looking forward to detecting the elderflower aroma.

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: It’s a bit too 1978 for me. It’s a very washed out old photo of a huge sailing ship. Baby blue sky lies behind, while the Cairngorm logo sits above the masts. Trade Winds is written in an old, block font, and the beer’s three gold medals sit to the left of the label. It’s not an appealing label by any means and it is far too dated for my liking. I get the point that they want a sea inspired label hailing the important trade winds that push wind-powered vessels across the seas. But let’s get a better shot, folks. Maybe a funky sketch of a ship, the logo made smaller and pushed to the side. The font could be improved, the gold medals made smaller (or removed). It wouldn’t take long. Think about it, guys.

I give it a label rating of 5 out of 10.

AROMA: Very enticing! It’s a citrussy wheaty aroma.


Taste: GLASS – Trade Winds pours a nice golden colour. It has an overriding bitterness that rules this hop infused ale. It’s tasty and quite refreshing. My only gripe with this beer is that perhaps the bitterness is a little too over-powering. The bitterness seems to take away from the overall tasting experience. Good but not great.

I give it a beer from glass rating of 6.5 out of 10.

Taste: BOTTLE –
Drinking this from the bottle makes the beer a little more bitter and a little more harsh. It’s not quite as enjoyable, but give me a few days at sea and I’d be clinging to this bottle faster than Captain Haddock can say ‘Billions of blue blistering barnacles’.

I give it a taste from bottle rating of 6 out of 10.

Song of choice: Try this along side ‘Sloop John B’ by The Beach Boys

Accompanying food: I would like to try this with a tomato-based pasta dish. I think it would soften the bitterness well and accentuate the strong sharp taste of the tomato.

Best season to appreciate: With its light colour and subtle citrus elements, this would work a treat on a hot Summer’s day.

All-nighter beer? No, not for me. I want something a little less harsh.

Other: Happy New Year, folks! Let’s see 2011 through with plenty of great beer and even more tom foolery than ever!

NEXT WEEK: The Famous Taddy Porter

  1. McLean not MacLean says:

    Any beer that goes with Sloop John B has to be worth tracking down. This is making me homesick for my ancestral home, Bonnie Scotland. “Call forth the captain ashore, I wanna go home.”


  2. Fran says:

    How much would it have cost if you hadnt gotten it for free?


    • Mason Hell-Cat says:

      I’m not too sure sorry Fran. I haven’t seen it available in Australia. I can find out how much it sells for in Scotland if that’s of any use?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s