Timed to coincide with the Sevens (where Scotland is currently ranked fourth, the Scottish Session is a rollicking celebration of Scottish culture, fashion, food and beer.

Except the beer did not arrive… As advised on social media, the delay was unavoidable [1] but Colin the Handsome yet Softly Spoken Proprietor is hopeful all the planned beers will be available on Friday (27 January 2017), though this cannot be guaranteed of course. For updates, follow Malthouse on social media (details at the bottom of the blog) – something you should be doing already.

While the beer is late to the hootenanny, [2] the new Scottish food menu and whisky specials launched on time. Because of my famed dedication to research and my readers, I donned one of my (many) Scottish rugby jerseys and headed to Malthouse to try a few dishes and a couple of drams.

In doing so, I joked to Ciaran the Iconic, Ironic and Intuitive Unit Manager “I hope I don’t get mistaken for a member of the Scottish Sevens team in this jersey.” Quick as a flash he replied “Neil, you would not even get mistaken for their water boy.” I had to concede that running and carrying water would be markedly out of character for me.

Onto the food, my dedicated crew (including two people who had never had haggis before) tried three excellent dishes.

Haggis and Black Pudding Pizza – Delivers what it promises and is delicious. I like a pizza where the closest thing to a vegetable is melted cheese.

Haggis, Tatties and Neeps – This dish is the best showcase of haggis as it is simply served in a bowl. There was some fighting at the table over the last crumbs. [3] Here is an expert tip – the tatties and neeps are even better when mashed together with your fork. This is how they are traditionally eaten.

Lorne Sausage Sandwich – Lorne Sausage is a spicy, square sausage named after Lorne Greene, one of the greatest actors of all time. [4] I have enjoyed a fair few Lorne Sausages over the years, and this was a fine example.

No-one at our table was brave enough to try the Deep Fried Mars Bar, probably Scotland’s most famous (and unhealthy) contribution to global cuisine.

After the feast, my thoughts drifted to whisky. Fortunately, Malthouse is running discounted prices on five premium and rare Scotches. I tried three of them, all in the name of science of course. The Scottish Session whisky selection consists of:

Alchemist Tobermory 16 Year Old, Island ($12)

Bladnoch 20 Year Old, Lowland ($14.50)

Glenlossie 16 Year Old, Speyside ($12.50)

Springbank 10 Year Old, Campbelltown ($10.50)

Ultimate 26 Yo Blair Athol, Highland ($16)

As expected, each was of very high quality. My favourite was the Alchemist Tobermory but it should be noted that I have a penchant for the Islay style.

There are also raffles to win prizes, including tickets to the Sevens. Wearing a kilt to McMalty ensures one free entry (and many envious glances). [5]

As a reminder, here is the anticipated beer list for when they arrive:

Tempest Brewery

  • Marmalade On Rye (9%) – Double IPA
  • Double Shuck Imperial Oyster Stout (11%)
  • In The Dark We Live Black IPA (7.2%)
  • Brave New World IPA (7%)
  • Bomber IPA (6.8%)
  • Drop Kick Me Jesus (5.2%) – Sour ale
  • Farmhouse Ale (5.1%) –Saison
  • Dios Mio Jalapeno IPA (6%)
  • Red Eye Flight (7.4%)

Up Front Brewing

  • Ishmael (6%) – American style IPA
  • Ahab (6%) American style stout  

Drygate Brewery

  • Orinoco (6%) – Breakfast stout
  • Crossing the Rubicon (6.9%) – IPA
  • Chimera (5.9%) – IPA
  • Disco Fork Lift (5%) – Mango Pale Ale
  • Seven Peaks (5%) – Single Hopped IPA

There will also be a “Hair of the Dog” special on Friday 26 February, Saturday 27 February and Sunday 28 February, days where the McMalty opens at the extra special time of 11am. The special is a Lorne Sausage Sandwich and a can of Irn-Bru (another one of Scotland famous or infamous contributions to the world of food and drinks. However, it remains the best selling soft drink in Scotland, ahead of Coca-Cola and Pepsi.

Next time, we drink to Commander Adama.

[1] Personally, I suspect the English – but then I always do.

[2] This word is Scottish in origin. It went to America with early settlers. This blog prides itself on providing education.

[3] Spoiler Alert: I won.

[4] The education here is not to believe everything you read on the internet.

[5] There were a fair few kilts last night but I expect numbers to swell as news of haggis, Irn-Bru and free tickets spreads.


Neil Miller

Beer Writer

Beer and Brewer Magazine

Cuisine Magazine

TheShout Magazine


Lift Up Your Kilt – https://www.facebook.com/events/1888943308005348/

Tempest Brewery – https://www.tempestbrewco.com/

Up Front Brewery – http://www.upfrontbrewing.com/beer/

Drygate Brewery – http://drygate.com/

Malthouse Facebook – www.facebook.com/pages/Malthouse/7084276173

Malthouse Twitter – www.twitter.com/#!/malthouse

Malthouse Taps on Twitter – www.twitter.com/#!/MalthouseTaps

Neil Miller on Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/#!/beerlytweeting