Thursday, October 4, 2012

Scotch Ale

I love scotch. Scotchy scotch, scotch. Here it goes down into my belly. -Anchorman

Come on, who doesn't. Today I wanted to get into the scotch and Scottish ales. Both of these are types of malty pale ales that don't have a ton of hops, traditionally made across the pond.

It happens to be one of my favorite types of beers, so today I decided to go big. Triton and Bier both released their versions, and I scored a growler or two.

Triton made McQueenie's (Smoked) Scotch Ale - on the right
Abv 5.3%
30 IBUs

This bad boy poured a dark brown to black with very little transparency. The head lasted for about a minute before it disappeared leaving just whisps floating across the top of my beer. It has a smoky smell, letting you know something out of the ordinary is coming. The initial taste is sweet, malty goodness, but then you get something different, smokiness.

It actually reminded me of the peat flavor of some scotch whiskeys. Although I did think this was a stand up beer, the smoked flavor was a touch overwhelming  as you started on your second or third. It was a neat idea and I give the guys over at Triton props for giving it a try. Go try them out. I give this beer a 3.5

At Triton they also had a cask version of this (picture on the right). It upped the smokey flavor and added a very good oaky note. The carbonation was obviously lower than the standard beer on tap, but totally worth trying if they still have it in when you stop by to visit. I preferred the cask ale over the tap. If you are going to go different you may as well go big with it.

Bier made Scottish 60 Shilling. (I will be reviewing their 80 Schilling when it comes out next week) - on the left

The Schilling scale exists because at one point in jolly old England you could buy beers with different amounts of alcohol. The higher the octane, the higher the cost. Sixty Schilling was pretty much the standard everyday beer.

This pours dark brown. It smells sweet and tastes it too. When I had the first sip, I thought that the beer was a bit lack luster, but as you get into the glass there are a lot of redeeming qualities. The flavor is quite good even if a bit less in your face than a Wee Mac (by Sun King) or the McQueenie (above).

It has a light maltiness that you could drink on for hours. The consistency is more like a standard ale than the heaviness of a porter. The finish is just hoppy enough to cut the sweetness. I will say there was more complexity then I originally gave it credit for. Thank God I got a bullet, so I could sample a few glasses before coming to a conclusion.

Give them a try. I give it a 3 and anxiously await their 80.

All this talk of scotch, and I think I need the real deal, looks like a Glen kind of a night...

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