The Scotland Marketplace moved much closer to Ireland with the Rose & Crown Pub just ahead on the left. This is across from the steps up to the Canada retail stores.
Haggis, “real” or vegetarian is out and the scallop has moved to the Wine & Dine Studio this year. That means the Lamb Stew is new as we also lose the Glenfiddich scotches and BrewDog Punk IPA. *sad emoji*
Fresh Potato Pancake with Scottish Smoked Salmon and Herbed Sour Cream – $5
This is a returning favorite though the recipe for the potato pancake is different. Instead of being fluffier, rounder, and smaller, we instead have a flatter, more heavily spiced pancake that contrasts nicely with the chive-heavy sour cream. The salmon doesn’t fit in so well, but is high quality and works nicely as an independent part of the dish. Overall, it’s very good though potentially overpriced with the 75-cent increase over last year. That probably shouldn’t stop you from ordering one.
Traditional Scottish Lamb Stew with Neeps and Tatties – $4.75
The various stews never photograph particularly attractively and this year’s Lamb version is no different. But don’t let that sway you from strongly considering this dish, which is a particularly hearty portion with large mounds of mashed potatoes and turnips and several large bites of tender, flavorful lamb mixed in with carrots and onions. You might want to hold off on this one for a cooler evening, but it was one of the better new dishes and should be consistent throughout the Festival.
The Tipsy Laird: Whiskey-soaked Cake with Lemon Cream and Toasted Oats – $3.50
After having enjoyed this one immensely last year, we picked up this year’s iteration. Unfortunately, it was another Seafood Fisherman’s Pie situation, at least with what we were served on the second day of the Festival. Last year’s was fresh and natural tasting, while this year’s was dry and artificial – like it had been sitting somewhere for too long before being served. Hopefully what they hand you will be fresher, but it is on the small side for the money, particularly if the quality isn’t there. Last year’s was an 8, this year’s is more of a:
Citrus Thistle featuring Hendrick’s Gin – $9.50
The Citrus Thistle is one of the better cocktails at the Festival and unlike the majority that we’ve seen, isn’t an ounce of cheap booze poured underneath non-alcoholic frozen slush. It does pack a bit of a punch with the Hendrick’s Gin, but the citrus flavors help dull the taste of the alcohol while enhancing some of the pine and more subtle notes of one of the better mainstream gins. Anyone sampling cocktails should pick one up.
Innis & Gunn Irish Whiskey Aged Stout – $3.75 (Note that the below is a review of the beer from the Rose & Crown beer stand. For the beer offered at the Scotland Marketplace, see the comments below.)
Store price: 25 cents/ounce.
Festival price: 63 cents/ounce.
Value: Very good.
Innis & Gunn Original is one of the more unique beers at the Festival, though the United Kingdom just added it on draft year around. This 6.6% Scottish Ale has stronger vanilla and toffee notes than the bottle indicates with a serious oak-y finish and is particularly good on draft. Anyone that enjoys beer wants to pick one up.
A moment of silence for our departed Glenfiddich, please.