You have to love the fancy packaging. When you can only buy the bottles at the brewery, however, I guess you have already attracted the audience. The packing tape is a very nice touch. Eleven bucks for a six when you buy two. On tap at many finer brew bars in Ontario.
This is a really good beer. I thought when I started writing these reviews I would have a hard time thinking of anything to write other than "this is a really good beer" - but it is. It is not overwhelming, it is balanced, it is fresh, it's interesting and its flavourful. That is "really good" to me. So, the details. It pours dark mahogany, the head resolving to an active rim of small bubbles, it smells of both chocolate and smoked malt, but not strongly of either. In the mouth those are the two strongest flavours the first nicely giving way to the second. There is also a lot of honest grain and a good clean yeast palate, a basic British ale with some apple fruitiness. Where you think it might all be big, instead it is fairly restrained and subtle though solid. The water is very clean and makes me wonder if it is from a well on site. The hops are restrained, twiggy rather than green and may be supported with some black malt for that traditional Scots edge.
Some unhappier advocatonian reviewers wish it pumped up one way or another but for me to find the 6.25% in this light a beer is fairly masterful brewing. They may be thinking of a style like we find in a smoked porter. One top rater say she or he finds notes of bacon - this is not far off given the slightly oily feel that might mean a bit of oats in the mash and that easy smokiness. Does that make it breakfast beer?