1. Extreme Beer Fest tickets go on sale Sat, Sep 27 @ Noon EDT.
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Black Gold - Cairngorm Brewery Company, The

Not Rated.
Black GoldBlack Gold

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

21 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 21
Reviews: 15
rAvg: 4
pDev: 11.25%
Wants: 4
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Cairngorm Brewery Company, The visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
English Stout |  4.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
A Scottish stout with a wonderful rich dark colour. A smooth full bodied beer with subtle bitterness giving way to late sweetness and underlying roast barley hints.

(Beer added by: GreenCard on 06-25-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 21 | Reviews: 15 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of msondel
4.12/5  rDev +3%

msondel, Aug 28, 2014
Photo of proctah
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

proctah, May 29, 2014
Photo of Dave1999
4.19/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours pitch black with a nice big fluffy tan head.

The smell is milk chocolate, coffee and roasted malts.

The taste is milk chocolate, quite sweet, with some roasty coffee flavors.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and silly smooth. The carbonation is low.

Overall a great sessionable beer, packs a lot of flavor for its abv.

Dave1999, Mar 03, 2014
Photo of Schmoog
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%

Schmoog, Jan 20, 2014
Photo of GraduatedCashew
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%

GraduatedCashew, Aug 28, 2013
Photo of flyingpig
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From Tesco (£1.70 for 500ml):
Dark ruby, almost black and topped with a huge, foamy, dome-shaped head that is light brown and seems to get bigger the longer the beer is sitting.

Sweet with a few roasted malts to begin as expected along with some coffee and a nutty aroma too. Not the darkest stout on the nose with some nice fruit notes coming through too.

Sweet with the usual roasted malts and coffee with some chocolate and a few dark fruits as well and even a few hops coming through.

Light medium bodied beer, quite clean and almost watery with mild carbonation and a fair bit of bitterness along with a very slightly dry finish but nothing too severe with a good balance overall.

A little sweeter than I was expecting which was a pleasant surprise. There was a good balance and it was an easy to drink stout, the only real complaint was that it began to feel a little watery towards the tail end but other than that it was an enjoyable drink.

flyingpig, Jan 15, 2013
Photo of BILF
4/5  rDev 0%

BILF, Jan 14, 2013
Photo of mick303
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Colour is jet black, pours a heady foam of tan brown which recedes leaving a slight film and decent lacing.

Aroma has a lot of dark roast coffee, bitter dark chocolate, nuttiness. A lot of the roast malt comes through. Underneath perhaps some slight floral and fruity character.

Taste has got a good roast malt, with plenty of bitter coffee and chocolate. Roasted character is strong, but some nice underpinning flavours as well, apples, hay, all making it an interesting all-rounder. Nice complexity and overall stout profile.

Mouthfeel is moderate, drinkability is good, it isnt too heavy on the palate, rather a slight carbonation gives it a mild crispness. Dry on the finish.

A very nice, refreshing stout, not too heavy or overpowering on the palate, roasted and pleasant. Worth a try.

mick303, Oct 30, 2012
Photo of BlackHaddock
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

18th September 2012: Birmingham (England); mini-pub-crawl.

2nd pint of the evening was in the Wetherspoons pub called ‘The Brier Rose’. I enjoyed this immensely and found it to be far superior to its bottled version.

Same lovely dark ruby red body: this time the head stayed, a thick layer of tanned foam sat throughout the tasting.

Chocolate and coffee esters in the nose; carried on into the taste and then liquorice arrives to add extra flavours and balance. Malty molasses gave it some sweetness, which helped my enjoyment of the pint as I prefer the slightly sweeter brews to the hop bitterness some offer.

Richer and creamier than the bottle; this was a great beer and set me up for the rest of the evenings drinking.

BlackHaddock, Sep 25, 2012
Photo of djmitche
3.15/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a pleasantly full-bodied beer, with a tan, lingering head. It's as dark as you'd like, too.

The taste is warm and rasty, with substantial sweetness and a background of basuc hops. The nose follows this closely.

Others here have identified toffee. Perhaps, but I get malt sugars plus butter - not generally a good thing in a beer. Whether that's intentional, a defect, or a problem in serving, I don't know.

For all that, this is quite tasty and easy-drinking.

djmitche, Jun 13, 2012
Photo of WeissGary
3.88/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very good Scottish stout from an amazing brewery! Black Gold has quite a chocolatey coffee aroma. A soft coffee and chocolate tasting drink with hints of a bitter aftertone. Quite a flat bodied beer with a thin head which dissipates fairly quickly. Overall a fantastic beer, reasonably priced and easily found. This is a regular buy for me, I’d suggest checking it out if your into a nice heavy ale.

WeissGary, May 13, 2012
Photo of maxk
5/5  rDev +25%

maxk, Dec 20, 2011
Photo of Zimbo
4.15/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Awesomely super easy medium tan rocky head. In the the glass there is a surprising wall of black . Coffee, tobacco, dark chocolate black bitterness which is very earthy are all well integrated yet emerge disappear and emerge over the length of each gulp. Not at all aggressive but firm and engaging and almost sessionable.

Had this satiisfying brewsky originally on cask when it won best Scottish cask beer back in 2005 but by British bottle standards this really is a triumph.

Zimbo, Aug 22, 2011
Photo of lackenhauser
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Jet black-sizeable tan head that goes ratherquickly. Nice roasted and cocoa aromas. Somewhat nutty. Strong roasted flavors with a whisper of licorice. Nutty and toasted bread-like quality. Great grainy flavor. Nice body. A ton of flavor in a great low abv package. man I could do this all night in a bad way. Great scottish beer all in.

lackenhauser, Apr 16, 2011
Photo of kmacphail
4.18/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased a 500ml bottle from the local Tesco in Stornoway.

The beer poured a very dark brown colour with a dark tan head. This was sizeable at first but it faded quite quickly to a thin film with decent lacing on the glass.

The beer gave off inviting aromas of roasted barley, nuts and burnt berries. These followed through to the taste with a malty hit followed by the berries and nuts with a tingly bitter aftertaste.

This is described as a stout and it lives up to it's name, a nice thick mouthfeel; a man's beer. Slightly sticky with a refreshing bitter afternote. Not a typical Scottish stout as they either tend to either sweet or quite bitter, but the Cairngorm brewery have struck a good balance here.

I thoroughly enjoyed the beer, one of the best examples of Scottish stout I have sampled. Stout is not my chosen beer style but I would sample this again, however too much of a dinner in a glass to drink all night.

kmacphail, May 28, 2010
Photo of ThirstyBird
4.38/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on cask at NERAX

Appears deep brown with reddish highlights. Tan head lingers on top.

Smells of roasted malt, coffee, some nuttiness. The taste is full, Rich roasted malt, coffee, nutty, chocolate, caramel. Really good. Long lingering nice slight biter aftertaste.

Medium body on this one - one of my top three at the fest - very drinkable.

ThirstyBird, Mar 26, 2010
Photo of BDTyre
4.85/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I really like this. At first I picked up a bit of a sour scent, but another whiff revealed choclatey malts, brandy and toffee. The beer is ruby-black with a tan head that formed a mound at the top of the glass.

Rich, chocolate and toffee taste with an ever-so-light sour, winey taste. This just tastes beautiful. A very rich stout, with a complex and excellent taste.

A very good, sessionable ale. A great accompaniment to me Scottish sausage.

BDTyre, Feb 11, 2010
Photo of wl0307
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Coming in a 500ml brown glass bottle, BB 20 August 2009, served cool in a straight imperial pint glass. * Notes: the label says this "traditional Scottish Stout" was awarded "CAMRA Champion Cask Beer of Scotland 2005", for its cask-conditioned version of course.

A: pours a black colour with a decently frothy tan head that settles to a thin cap to last throughout the drink.
S: a lively aroma full of dried black plums and roast walnuts dominates the nose; a closer sniff reveals the predominantly dark chocolate malts and roasted malts as a solid backbone, providing a thick malty aroma but neither cloying nor oily. The fruit-malt mixture is very enticing for a British (be it Scottish or English...) Stout.
T: sweet nutty dark malts caress the taste-buds with a really smooth-textured bitter-sweetness, against a lightly sour dark-fruity undertone and an enticing flow of earthy hoppiness. Almost herbally/licorice-ly bitter-sweet in the finish, with occasional chewy/dry-ish hints of both roastiness of malts and bitterness from hops, while more aromatic undertones stay deep down the palate.
M&D: although this bottle is apparently filtered and perhaps pasteurised, the texture remains very smooth on the carbonation side against a light+ body and a delicious but not quite complex flavour profile. All in all, I like this Stout for its integrity and a mild profile, which makes it a quaffable one in my book.

wl0307, Mar 09, 2009
Photo of mdagnew
4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle bought from The Vintage, Antrim...

Poured deep black with only the slightest hint of brown around the edges when held up to the light... mocha tan head poured pretty big and thick then faded slowly to thin covering... some good sticky lacing coats the glass throughout...

Aroma - Deep chocolate notes, roasted malts, light smoky traces, dark treacle sweetness, quite strong nuttiness, some creosote hints, sugary black coffee, some peppery notes, cardboard traces...

Taste – Nice, quite sweet, chocolate maltiness... nicely roasted malts - not too much bitterness... milky / creamy notes, some rich fruitiness (black cherries, some blackcurrents), faint smoky hints, toasted nutty sweetness, light dustiness, some burnt dark brown sugar sweetness, nice pepperiness...

Feel - Pretty smooth and creamy with just a little spritziness coming through... pretty full bodied... A very drinkable stout at just 4.4% - could happily quaff a few of these in an evening...

Overall - A very good, nicely balanced and very drinkable stout... definitely recommended...

mdagnew, Jun 25, 2007
Photo of foamer
3.25/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On cask @ Guildford Arms, Edinburgh

Pours black with a slight ruby hue. Nice creamy tan head which leaves a goodly amount of lacing all the way down the glass.

There was a faint hint of sweet and roasted malts in the nose, but nothing which really stood out.

The taste was an initial roasted malt followed by a most unusual sweetness. Now I've have some sweet stouts before, but nothing that tasted like this. It was a huge diacetyl butterscotch wallop with hints of toffee and nougat. The best comparison I can come up with is the inside of a Crispy Crunch. Not sure whether I like it.

Nice smooth creamy and heavy mouthfeel.

I'm not sure about this beer. It certainly was not what I expected. On the borderline of being too sweet. Perhaps it'll work as a dessert beer, but certainly not a session beer. But, how many stouts are? The jury's still out IMO.

foamer, Jan 05, 2005
Photo of GreenCard
4.45/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: beautiful dark brown, opaque in the glass, nice big spongey layer of tan foam, good head retention, some lace

Aroma: faint wisp of molasses, roast, crackers, burnt caramel, malt, wee hint of diacetyl, coffee, hazelnuts

Flavor: scrumptiously balanced maltiness and roast, mildly sweet and bready, a bit tangy, dark chocolate, finishes dryish with an inviting aftertaste of malts and coffee

Mouthfeel: medium-full body, fine carbonation, silky texture

Overall Impression: Based on Wildcat and Stag, I was ready to write off Cairngorm as just an "OK" brewery. This "Scottish Stout", however, has really increased my opinion though! This is a fantastic stout with a perfectly balanced flavor. Sweetish at first, but dry in the finish. Highly recommended! It's a new offering from them, so availibility is probably limited still.

GreenCard, Jun 25, 2004
Black Gold from Cairngorm Brewery Company, The
88 out of 100 based on 21 ratings.