Music and beer have always gone together, though very few breweries can say they put music at the heart of what they brew.

One exception to this is the young Edinburgh outfit Black Metal Brewery, co-founded by Estonian brewer and bass guitarist Jaan Rätsep.

Jann and his brewing bandmate Pan, aka Ronue, have built their brewery on an uncompromising commitment to metal music. Their beers, like the extreme sounds, are big, powerful and leave your head in a spin.

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Jaan calls them liquid soundtracks, and in the past couple of years their distinctive look, high ABV and great taste have won them the loyalty of legions of rock fans and live music venues, such as Glasgow’s Ivory Blacks. Their labels look like album covers and reference metal-friendly Norse mythology; they were designed by Welsh tattoo artist Sean Parry.

Black Metal operate from the southern outskirts of Edinburgh where they share a space with Top Out brewery. Jaan, who hails from Tallinn, grew up in Moscow and studied in Leeds and Edinburgh, explains that it was a random meeting with Top Out’s head brewer Michael Hopert that persuaded him to ditch the PhD in plant-induced resistance and fulfil his brewing destiny. That he and Michael shared a similar love of metal music no doubt helped set him on his true path.

They’ve now just released another two headbanging beers, the weakest of which is 7.9%. (All their beers come in 500ml bottles.) Earlier this year, Black Metal launched the beers at Edinburgh’s Kilderkin where the bar was turned into a beer-soaked altar dedicated to heavy metal, and where despite the drunken raucousness there was zero trouble. It was, Jaan says, a night of “total debauchery with no bad outcome”.

Four Great Beers by Black Metal Brewery

Will-o'-the-Wisp juniper smoked ale (6%)

Black Metal’s “weakest beer” stands out for its unusual flavours and strength of character. Smokey, herbal with plenty of malt notes, the flavours in the aroma continue through to the tasting where the distinctive juniper slowly but surely emerges. Smooth and medium bodied, the smokiness makes it hearty rather than heavy.

Blood Revenge rye stout (6.6%)

A belter of a beer that hits you with a power blast of sweet malt, treacle and spices. Kicks off with a brief tart hit, then flavours of vanilla, chocolate and toffee apple, before a long, dry and bitter finish. A smooth sweetness and heaps of hops help hold this deep, dark and ably-bodied beer together.

Gates of Valhalla oatmeal pale ale (7.9%)

Pours the colour of gloaming, with an aroma of oats, spices and soft fruits. A rich, layered and medium bodied beer, Gates of Valhalla is powerful but not aggressive; lively yet smooth; strong though delicate and complex. After an epic journey involving gooey caramel, sweet red apples and grapefruit, it finishes with an easy-going bitterness.

Jotunblod oatmeal rye stout (8.1%)

A reek of chocolate truffles, coke and charcoal, this is a smooth, creamy and luxurious dark brown beer. Superbly well rounded, its flavours spill out into one another: the chocolate, the coke, but also big hits of vanilla, black toffee, sticky malts and sweet coffee. Some booziness and fresh sourness towards the medium bitter finish.