Described as ‘Scotland’s leading whisky expert’ by the Times and ‘the doyen of whisky’ by the BBC, Charles MacLean is a name that should be instantly recognised by any malt fan worth his salt. The Master of the Quaich has written more than a dozen books on whisky, won the award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Scotch Whisky’ in 2012, and even appeared in the 2012 Ken Loach film, The Angels’ Share. But it’s not his contribution to whisky we are interested in today – it’s Clan Brewing Company craft beer.

MacLean and fellow member of the Craft Beer Clan of Scotland and Master Brewer of Williams Brothers Brewing Co., Scott Williams, have worked tirelessly for more than a year developing these four unique beers. MacLean put his considerable expertise to use in selecting the finest used whisky casks from across Scotland’s famed regions. From there, Williams & MacLean set about the task of creating the perfect recipes to marry with the characteristics of the barrels and the precious whisky they had contained.

The aging process varied in length from just a few months to almost a year, instilling flavours vanilla, oak or sherry, until the Clansmen decided they had attained perfection. The results are intense, beautifully complex beers that pack a real punch at 8% abv.

Spruce Ale £5

A classic combination of two traditional methods of creating uniquely Scottish liquids: smoky peat on a sweet resinous full body. Smoky, fruity, intense, full-bodied. Aged in Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky casks for an abnormally long time.

Golden Ale £5

An elegantly complex ale carefully brewed to allow sweet malt and tropical fruit aromas to emerge, without overpowering. Finished in Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky casks adding subtle sherry and fruitcake to this delectable ale.

Red Rye Ale £5

Subtly peppery rye malt, warm fermented to increase its fruity character, offset by a blend of citrus dominant hops then finished for a lengthy period in Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky casks to create a wonderfully complex ale.

Imperial Stout £5

A rich, dark and intensely flavourful Imperial Stout, packed with burnt coffee and lemon scents, skilfully balanced by sweet sherry and raising flavours derived from a short period in Lowland Single Malt Scotch Whisky casks. A smoky, slightly acrid mouthfeel, and a long burnt finish.