A recent cruise around Scotland and the Orkneys, the Shetlands and the Danish Faroe Islands gave the writer the chance to run a beer tasting of twelve local brews purchased. The tasting team of six was equally split with three of each gender and all the ales were tasted blind, with marks out of 10 given.

Top choice, with 39 points out of 60, was Edinburgh Gold from the Stewart Brewery, a golden ale with a healthy ABV of 4.8% and a bargain price of £1.99 for a 500ml bottle in Edinburgh supermarkets. Very close behind, with 37 and 36 points respectively were two light and clean-tasting beers from the Foroya Bjor brewery at Klaksvik in the Faroes, their Organic Light at 2.8% ABV and their Pilsner Light at 2.7 ABV, both costing £3 for 500ml bottles.

Also scoring well was the Mary Queen of Scots Pale from the Loch Leven Brewery at Kinross Scotland at 5% ABV and 35 points (£4/500ml) the Simmer Dim Light Golden from the Valhalla Brewery on the Shetlands at 4% ABV and 33 points (£3/500ml) and the Scapa Special from the Highland Brewery at Orkney Mainland at 4.4% ABV and 32 points (£4/500ml)

Thanks to cruise company CMV for lending us their nightclub on the Astoria for the tasting, and to tasters Karen, Margaret, Pauline, Andy and Paul.

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