Theakston brings back a favourite, North Brewing’s new two

By Gary Lloyd

- Last updated on GMT

Latest products: beers from Theakston and North Brewing Co and a whisky is added to Macnair’s range
Latest products: beers from Theakston and North Brewing Co and a whisky is added to Macnair’s range

Related tags Beer Craft beer Cask ale Spirits Branding + marketing

Theakston is bringing its XB beer back to its core range after a two-year absence, North Brewing Co has released two new brews and Macnair’s unveils a 10-year-old blended whisky.

‘Masham’s best-kept secret’ to make permanent return

Yorkshire-based family brewer T&R Theakston has announced it plans a permanent return of its Theakston XB beer after a two-year absence.

The 4.5% ABV ale will be available to stock in pubs and bars across the nation from March 2022, following a return of licensee confidence in cask ale after the uncertainty caused by the pandemic, according to the brewery. 

Often referred to as ‘Masham’s best kept secret’, Theakston XB is a premium strength ruby ale brewed with Bramling Cross and Fuggle hops, boasting subtle rhubarb and apple fruit flavours. First brewed in the 1970s, XB is brewed in Masham and was designed in tribute to the classic English and Scottish ‘border’ style of beer and has quietly established itself as a firm favourite of cask ale enthusiasts.

Theakston XB is the last of the brewery’s core portfolio to be reintroduced following the ongoing coronavirus lockdowns and is to be reinstated at a time when pubs and bars are demonstrating cautious optimism over a growing return to normality.

T&R Theakston managing director Simon Theakston said: “We are certainly raising a glass to the permanent return of Theakston XB as we witness renewed confidence in the future of the hospitality sector from customers and licensees alike. As a beer that is strong in gravity with a low but complex hop character, Theakston XB was and remains an instant success.

“After the unique challenges of the coronavirus pandemic on the sector, we are delighted to now be in a position to permanently reintroduce one of our staple beers, and to continue to diversify the portfolio of handcrafted, legendary ales that we have built our almost 200-year reputation on.”

Double release from North Brewing Co

Leeds-based brewer and pub operator North Brewing Co has released two beers this week.

The first is a collaboration with Stigbergets Bryggeri in Sweden that joins its Triple Fruited Gose (TFG) range and uses raspberry, damson and lingonberry.

North said of North X Stigbergets 4.5% ABV: “We brewed up a TFG with a nod to Swedish fruits. It’s thick, it’s bright pink, it’s very juicy. We love it.

“You know the drill, our signature thick, slick and salty gose recipe made up of big doses of oats, ale malt, salt and a sprinkle of lactose is infused with all of the organic fruit puree.

“Raspberry is up first bringing its classic sweet, tart and earthy goodness. Next up is lingonberry, stepping in with a smack of drying sourness, heady fragrance and almost fluorescent hue. Finishing this triple-fruited affair we have damson. Rich, sweet and fleshy and rose aroma.”

Meanwhile The Karman Line is said to be a soft and fluffy double dry-hopped New England IPA. It is dry hopped with Vic Secret, El Dorado, Citra and Simcoe.

Of the 6.5% ABV vegan brew, North said: “A bouncy, chewy and smooth double dry-hopped IPA loaded with Vic Secret, El Dorado, Citra, Simcoe hops. A splendour of saturated fruit salad flavours of pineapple, raspberry and peach light up the forefront with a juicy squash of white grape and dank resin on the finish.”

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Blended Scotch whisky added to Macnair’s core range

Spirits house Macnair’s has added a 10-year-old cask strength variant to its Lum Reek whisky range.

The business, led by master blender Billy Walker, has brought Lum Reek Blended Malt Scotch Whisky range – the 10-year-old Cask Strength Batch 1 to its blended core range with an RRP of £59.99.

It combines single malt Scotch whiskies from Speyside and Islay with the resulting taste claimed to be a subtly smoky yet sweet favour profile. The aged whiskies are then blended together with GlenAllachie Single Malt. The spirit was then re-racked into specially selected Spanish Sherry casks, wine barriques and virgin oak casks for secondary maturation, allowing the whiskies to marry and additional characteristics to be attained from the wood.

Lum Reek 10-year-old Cask Strength Batch 1 has been bottled at a natural cask strength of 55.4% ABV.

Walker said: “Without a doubt, the most fulfilling element of my role is blending and developing new recipes, which enhance the taste experience of individual whiskies. MacNair’s Lum Reek allows me to think outside of the box and blend such a wide variety of single malts from across Scotland to achieve the profile I am looking for.

“Expect an indulgent amalgamation of dark chocolate fondant, vanilla pods, stem ginger and citrus tones alongside puffs of peat smoke – delicious.”

Macnair’s confirmed the whisky will be available to the trade, primarily in whisky bars.


If you have any new products that are being released to the on-trade, email the details with high resolution images before Thursday at midday for potential inclusion on Friday’s article to tnel.yyblq@jeoz.pbz​​​​​​​​​​​. 

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