Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Clachaig Mocha Stout - "It does what it says on the tin"

Recent visitors to the bar may have noticed a new beer on the handpumps  - a Clachaig Mocha Stout, the result of a collaboration brew with Fiona & Euan at the Loch Lomond Brewery.

Originally it was intended to be the latest home brew project, but finding the time always proved difficult. So when those folks at Loch Lomond suggested they give a hand, it was too good an opportunity to miss. Besides, any day away from the office is a good day. Why a mocha stout? Simply because that's what was tickling the taste buds when deciding what beer to brew next. Three of our favourite vices, beer, coffee & chocolate, in one glass. What's not to like?

So, it was an early morning start for the drive down to Alexandria at the bottom end of Loch Lomond, arriving to find Euan had already got the kettle on. No early morning cuppa followed though, he was simply making sure we'd plenty of hot water for the first stage of the brewing process.

First things first, we started by raiding the grain store for the various malts needed for this brew. A job made much easier thanks to the fork lift truck.

Unfortunately, neither Apple or Google have come up with a scratch 'n'sniff app, so you'll just have to take our word for it... the aroma from the mash was superb. Hints of roasted coffee and chocolate aromas were already coming through from the mash, though these from the various malts, rather than actual coffee or chocolate additions which would come later.

"What goes in, must come out". No fancy high tech plant here. Beer is still brewed the good old fashioned way. Hand crafted you could say.
"So. How do we get the spent grains out then?"
Next thing I know, I'm reminded of that scene in The Good, The Bad & the Ugly, with Clint Eastwood lobbing a shovel at Eli Wallach...
"You see, in this World there's two kinds of people my friend,.. you dig!"

Aroma hops are added at "flame out", and the hot wort is cooled, filtered and transferred to the fermentation vessel where the yeast is left to do its work. Here too, come the last additions, as roasted coffee grounds and cocoa nibs are added towards the end of fermentation.

Once fermentation is complete, it's off the the conditioning tank to allow the flavours to mature, before being racked into casks for the journey to Glencoe. A few more days final conditioning in our cellar, and it's time to taste the result.

Our verdict? We got what we were looking for, and it "does what it says on the tin". Rich coffee and chocolate flavours much in evidence, without overpowering the beer. But, of course, if you really want to know how it turned out, then there's only one way to find out. Pop in for a pint.  

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Scottish Wines!

Cairn O' Mohr are now in their 30th year producing wines from their winery in East Inchmichael, which is just east of Perth. These are not your traditional wines as unfortunatly our climate does not allow us to grow vast vineyards of different grape varieties. Instead Cairn O' Mohr have used local Scottish Fruits typically grown within 20 miles of their winery. So you can't get much more local than that.

Our only concern when first trying these fruit wines were that they would be to sweet. But they are not Cairn O' Mohr have managed to balance there wines very well so it is all to easy to enjoy a few glasses.

We decide on a mixture of two whites, two reds, two rosés and two sparkling. For the white wines we chose the Goseberry and Elderflower wine and the Spring Oak Leaf. The Spring Oak is probably the most "wine" like of the bunch. The rosés are the very popular Raspberry wine and the Strawberry wine which is an award winning wine. The reds are the Elderberry wine defintly one to try if you are a fan of Port and also their Bramble wine. Finally on the bubbly front we have their Sparkling version of the Strawberry wine and if you are driving but fancy something a bit special why not try their Premium non alcohlic Sparkling Elderflower drink which has won multiple awards in the last four years.

All the wines are available by the glass and bottle apart from the bubbly stuff which is only available by the bottle. We also have two of their Ciders on draught as well which are worth a try if you like drier ciders.

Friday, 21 April 2017

South Lochaber Defibrillators

A bit late but better late than never. As you possibly know we were raising money over FebrurayFest for Defibrillators in Glencoe, Ballachulish and Onich. With all the raffle tickets bought and items sold through our yard sale which is still on going. You can see what is still available here. (Any money continued to be raised through the yard sale will be split between the three villages for maintance of the defibrillators) We managed to raise an impressive £2010.60.
Handing over the money to Ann Marie Cameron, Seceratry of the Onich Community Council
In Glencoe the Defibrillator will be outside the Ambulance Station, The Defibrillator in Ballachulish has already been installed and is at the Medical Centre. In Onich the defibrillator is to be installed inside the old red phone box outside the Onich Store and Cafe.
Handing over the money to Bill Strachan, Chair of the Patient Participation Group
Thanks to everyone who has bought raffle tickets and this year items from our Yard Sale in the last 4 years, our Big Winter Raffle has raised £8180 for a variety of causes including the Glencoe Mountain Rescue Team and to set up the Glencoe Mountain Avalanche Transceiver Park, and the local villages public access defibrillators fund.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Recipe for success

Planning the Brewers & Suppliers evening following the success of last years event was always going to be a challenge however, like all successful recipes if you start off with the very best ingredients you can't go far wrong. 

Recipe for success
  • Fill a cellar full of the best from Scotlands ale & cider brewers
  • Add a generous helping of the freshest local seafood
  • Blend together with the finest collection of local musicians
  • Assemble a hand picked selection of brewers, distillers & food producers. 
  • Serve with a smile & warm hospitality from the cream of Clachaig staff 
Shiny new casks
Ales & Ciders were arriving all week from all over Scotland with deliveries coming as far as Orkney & Shetland.

Cellar preparation

As well as our regular local brewers we invited some new faces from Fyne Ales,
Lerwick Brewery and Alechemy Brewing
Fresh from the sea

Fresh seafood & the best of Lochaber produce from Letterfinlay Specialist Foods
helped our chefs prepare some tasty offerings. Well done to Garry and our kitchen team for the excellent buffet.

Hungry Brewers
The gathering tucked in before their evenings 'work'. A blind tasting of all 10 ales. Great fun reading all the comments & scores -  some of the best however, are unfit to repeat here.

leave room for pudding
The Wurzels enjoying a cider...or two
Tony from Strathearn Distillery was busy doing the rounds sharing copious drams of his own whisky, rum & gin during the ale tasting, apparantly it all helped cleanse the palate.

Merlin from Cairngorm, he's a real wizard you know
Filling up before the ale tasting

Congratulations to Harry from River Leven Ales for being voted the best beer on the night by his fellow brewers with his River Leven Dark Ale.

Raffle swag

Huge thanks to all the brewers & suppliers for their generous raffle gifts which helped raise £257.00 for Glencoe Mountain Rescue Team.

This is a local pub for local musicians
Our local regular session musicians turned up in fine form and entertained the gathering for the evening. They certainly earned their prawns & scallops.

A Bevvy of Brewers.....or whatever the collective noun is!
So, there you have it folks. A great night in true Clachaig style. I have it on good authority that there were a few sore heads in the morning but lots of compliments too and already looking forward to next year.

And finally a huge shout to team Clachaig for the excellent service.
See you all next year!

Friday, 31 March 2017

Last night we had our second Brewers and Suppliers night. A great night was had by all who attended. We would like to thank Alechemy Brewing Cairngorm Brewery Cairn o Mohr Real Fruit Wines Lerwick Brewery Loch Lomond Brewery Letterfinlay Specialist Foods Orkney Brewery River Leven Ales Isle of Skye Brewing Company Strathearn Distillery Strathaven Ales TBS Coffee Thistly Cross Cider and Williams Bros. Brewing Co. for all coming along and the raffle prizes they donated. We managed to raise £257 for Glencoe Mountain Rescue Team.
Also Congratulations to Harry from River Leven Ales for being voted the best beer on the night by his fellow brewers and suppliers with his Dark Ale. Finally a big thank you to our Kitchen team especially Gary who put on a incredible spread for the night.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Refurb at Riverbank

Hot on the heels of giving Oak Tree Lodge a complete overhaul, we're now well on with giving Holly Tree and Cherry Tree Cottages at Riverbank Holiday Cottages the same treatment.

Both cottages are due for a bit of a decorate, but we struggle to do things in small measures, and so it's turned into a little more than that. The aim is to bring the cottages bang up to date with a fresh new look which, combined with the exclusive riverside location on the fringes of Glencoe village, will make them the perfect holiday retreat.

Holly Tree Lounge - cupboard removed to make things much more spacious

Cherry Tree - Harled walls covered over and a complete top to bottom overhaul
New floor coverings, new bedding and curtains, completely new bathrooms, and some new furniture are common themes. In addition, we're making the lounge in Holly Tree Cottage much bigger by removing a cupboard in the corridor and modifying the entry door into the kitchen / dining area. The result will be a much more spacious living dining space. The patio door is also being replaced, allowing for ease of access to the lovely riverbank area.

Cherry Tree - New wet walling for the showers

We're also getting to grips with the gardens and improving the access to the river side. It's an absoloutely stunning spot, hidden from the rest of the world. A great place to sit by the river with a beer from the fridge and watch the ducks float by.

Cherry Tree - Ready for the sink

Holly Tree Bathroom - but no bath!

Holly Tree bathroom - completely stripped

Holly Tree bathroom - even the floor is replaced

Holly Tree lounge - the remains of the cupboard about to go

Holly Tree Lounge - a hint of the sense of space with the new configuration

How many toilets?

Cherry Tree Lounge - mind the carpet!

All being well we'll be finished in about a fortnight and ready to roll for the rest of the season. Watch this space or sign up to our eNews and/or follow Clachaig on Facebook.

Better still, visit our Clachaig Holidays web site and book your self catering holiday in Glencoe for summer 2017.

Big Winter Raffle 2017

Each year during Februaryfest we pledge to raise as much cash as we can for worthwhile local causes. This year we’re concentrating our efforts on the provision of defibrillators for the local communities of Glencoe, Ballachulish & Onich. 

Throughout the month our staff have been busy selling tickets for our Big Winter Raffle. Not many folk escaped Katie & Ann Marie who were present during all four lectures, the gin & whisky tastings and on busy Saturday nights. Our frontline team were also on hand to twist a few arms. The swag room this year was bursting at the seams with a cart load of beer, cider, whisky, accommodation, gear, food and activity vouchers along with t-shirts, umbrellas and golf balls galore all up for grabs. 

To give an extra boost to our fundraising we cleared out the attic and held a Yard Sale providing a great opportunity to bag some Clachaig (& Grog) memorabilia

We are very grateful to our sponsor Mammut who pay for the Winter Mountain Safety Lecture Series and also a big shout to our suppliers and local businesses who get right behind our fundraising efforts with incredibly generous products & activities. But the real heroes are our customers & guests who donated generously once again and dug deep for their hard earned cash.

So a big 'Thank You' in no particular order to: 

Mammut UK
Letterfinlay Specialist Foods
Ice Factor
Holroyd Gallery
Dragons Tooth Golf Club
Cairngorm Brewery
Loch Lomond Brewery
Thistly Cross Cider
West Brewery
Strathavon Brewery
Orkney Brewery
Glencoe Mountain Resort
Gordon &Macphail
J M Breckenridge 

Not forgetting Karl from Glencoe Photography for taking the snaps
Ann Marie and Will for assisting with the draw

Special thanks to the lecturers:

Andy Spink
Dave Anderson
Rich Parker
Mike Pescod

 We are still counting the pennies but we have raised over £1700 so far.
.....and the winners are!
Top prize - Rab sleeping bag. cosy cosy!
Careful what you wish for Jess
Will is always good to his mum!
Its all downhill (skiing) from here!
Beer in a bag
My neighbours look chuffed with their haul....must call round
Merlin casts a winning spell
Brolly, whisky & golf sport?
Art attack
Wow!.....suddenly this lucky lady had lots of new friends
Nice!...that will help with the bar tab
You can get a lot of smoked salmon for £50
£50 to spend at Nevisport....and there's a sale on!
 18 holes of golf - he's never been so happy
Well done Ann Marie & Will
And the band played on. Great tunes from HoRo

See you all next year