Showing posts with label Scotish Ale. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Scotish Ale. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Spinnakers Three Way Review

I never like giving bad reviews. This review almost never left my desk, but then I thought of what  my beer friends would say. It was some kitten poster saying like "tell it like it is", "believe in your palate" and "you have a duty".  So, here it goes.

Not every beer is perfect. Sometimes brewers must take a chance and brew up something new. This is where the Hopscotch Scottich IPA steps in. It is touted as a Scottish IPA: a malty, caramelized brew with super galena hops. The super galena is a very high alpha/beta acid hop variety. This sounded really good in theory, but somewhere, things went wrong. What do I know, people on Untappd gave it 3.5 stars. However the word "interesting" shows up a lot with the experienced reviewers.

Hopscotch IPA = -2/10

The nose presented benign enough, only the faintest whiff of earthiness and caramel. Things started
off great, the earthy sweetness mixed with bready malts and a vague hop bitterness. Caramel was oddly absent, which is usual for a Scottish ale, but acceptable. Then came the wicked aftertaste: massive, tongue scraping slickness. Could this be a diacetyl bomb? Scottish strong ale do have some diacetyl, but not this much. Perhaps it was overenthusiastic use of a very bitter hop? Hard to tell. Mrs Left4beer made me dump it out because I just kept tasting it; trying to figure out what the off flavour was. Perhaps I got a bad bottle, if so, I wasn't the only one.

Taste +1
Aftertaste -2
Alcohol Content 0 6.4%
Value -1
Appearance 0

Glassware: Traditionally the difficult to find Scottish thistle glass. A pint glass or tulip would do in a pinch.

There must always be balance. Which is why the next beer has a good review. The strong Scottish Ale or "Wee Heavy" can be a thing of beauty. Rich and malty, with ample peat and dark fruit flavours. The Keg Tosser did not disappoint.

Keg Tosser = 8/10

Read the BJCP guidelines for 9E, Strong Scottish Ale, and it is all there. Deep malty nose with caramel, peat and mild fruit esters. Tick. A full and chewy sip delivers new tastes each time. with the first gulp, flavours of caramel, vanilla and peat rise up. Next time, you could be graced with dark fruits, plums or even pecans. Throughout it all there is a firm boozy sweetness to keep you focused. Excellent.

Taste +4
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content +1 8%
Value +1
Appearance +1 (I like the new label graphics)

Glassware: Traditionally the difficult to find Scottish thistle glass. A pint glass or tulip would do in a pinch.

Food Pairings: Contrast with beers sweetness with something sour. Perhaps a lemon/lime fish fillet or a grilled cheese and sauerkraut sandwich. Or use its sweet characteristic to calm spicy Thai food

Cellar: Generally not. But it would be a fun experiment. The malt flavours are complex and enough ABV to keep things safe.

I alluded to there being a third. If you are still reading, the Ogden Porter is an old recipe but still a good beer.

Ogden Porter = 6/10

Brown porters tend to be one of the calmer beers. The Ogden nose was a mild, but prepared you for the roasted and fruity flavours to come. Each sip was a simple and linear presentation of mild coffee, chocolate, blackberries and roasted whole wheat bread. Nothing overly harsh or outstanding anywhere. Some might overlook this beer with all the uber IPAs and imperial what-nots on the menu. This is sad, because the world needs serene, simple beverages.

Taste +3
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content 0 5.5%ABV
Value +1
Appearance +1 (always better at the source)

Glassware: Straight up pint glass.

Food Pairings: Nothing overly flavourful. I'm thinking of a grilled cheese sandwich. Actually, this might work with a peanut butter and nutella sandwich. Focus on mild roasted and slightly sweet flavours. A mild cheddar and hazelnut soup just popped into my mind.

Cellar: Nope.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Twisted Oak Scotch Ale (Phillips)

One of the best, and worst, parts about blogging is that there is no set schedule. The spring months are forgiving because brewing efforts are focused on lawnchair lagers and away from new seasonals. Thankfully hockey season is over so new bombers should be hitting shelves soon. I think Lighthouse has something coming out Thursday. Moon has the Berliner Heist and Phillips has something out called the Elsinore? Must be in the showcase pack.
Twisted Oak Scotch Ale (Phillips) = 7/10

Immediately one assumes this will taste like an Innis and Gunn bottle. Not true. While it does share the familiar vanilla, caramel and whiskey nose; the Phillips version is not as overly sweet. It is all there: the sweet toffee, burning whiskey, aromatic vanilla and tannic oak. Each mildly carbonated and warming sip fades to coat the tongue with slight vanilla and whiskey notes. This was pretty good, worth the price anyways. I'm remember seeing a few boxes left at Hillside liquor store.

Taste +3
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content +1 6.8% but not hot
Value +1 pretty decent
Appearance +1 great label art and reasonable description of beer flavour

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Double Barrel Scotch Ale (Phillips)

Tasting a bomber release from Phillips is akin to opening a suspicious looking can of nuts. Either a snake will pop out and someone will snicker, or it will actually be full of tasty, roasted nuts. This brew was a pleasant surprise - no snake.
The Double Barrel was aged in both Tennessee whiskey and Cab Sauv barrels. Wood aging does fun things to a beer. In the short term, it adds hints of vanilla, smooths out the brew and imparts flavours from within the barrels.

Double Barrel Scotch Ale (2012) = 7/10

Influence from the barrels is apparent; notable peaty, oak, vanilla and nutty aromas are present. For a 7.7% ABV brew it is remarkably smooth and not warming. This is not a flavour powerhouse, nor is it cloying vanilla sweet like an Innis and Gunn. It had clement tastes of peaty malts, caramel, vanilla, cola and whiskey. The finish was slick and didn't overstay its welcome. I didn't mind it; it was better than last year. This review is in stark contrast to my compatriot's at Vancouver Beer Blog. I too would have liked to taste a more robust brew with longer contact with the barrels.

Taste +3
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content +1 7.7%
Value +1
Appearance +1 (nice steampunk label with good description of beer)

Other wooded reviews
Pike Entire Wood Aged Stout (2009)
Dogfish Head Burton Baton
Highland Cask Innis and Gunn

Friday, June 24, 2011

Wee Angry Scotch Ale

If I remember correctly, this was one of the first limited editions put out by Russell Brewing. The canned stuff was unimpressive but the bombers were very good.

Wee Angry Scotch Ale = 9/10

The nose was heavy on the malt side, with loads of chocolate, caramel and slightly roasted malt aromas. A sweet alcohol warmth burned the tongue clean to enjoy the full malt tastes. Did I mention it was malty? Ample amounts of roasted caramel and off-sweet chocolate. This in an anti-hophead beer; the long linger was all sweetness with minimal bitterness.

Taste +4
Aftertaste +2
Alcohol Content +1 6.5%
Value +1
Appearance +1

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Phillips Double Barrel

I like the wood. Wait.. that sounded really wrong.

Phillips Double Barrel Scotch Ale = 9/10

Ratebeer 3.64 89th percentile
Beer Advocate A-

Yup, this fluid hit the wood. There I go again. I meant the nose was oaky with vanilla and cherries. It was smooth on the tongue with good alcohol warmth (not burn) and a medium-full mouthfeel. The flavours of wood, vanilla, sherry and peat are very long lasting. Did I mention the alcohol warmth than morphs into a burn at the end?

Taste +4
Aftertaste +2
Alcohol Content +1 7.7%
Value +1
Appearance +1

Swan's Scotch Ale and Comedy Writing
Brooklyn Winter Ale and Historic Events
MacPelican's Scottish Ale

Friday, February 5, 2010

MacPelican's Scottish Style Ale

MacPelican's Scottish Style Ale

Ratebeer 3.19 62nd percentile
Beer Advocate B

I picked this one up at the Cook Street CBAW

Taste +3

The nose is faint with caramel malt. At least the taste makes up for it. There is big toffee malts with spices. It was a light to medium mouthfeel with a good alcohol tingle. There is also a slight roast and phenolic fruitiness. It was barely carbonated.

Aftertaste 0

It had an oddly clean ending that just vanished

Alcohol Content -1 4.7%

This was a surprise, usually Scotch ales are a bit stronger.

Value +1

It was not as good as Swan's, but was very drinkable.

Ingame Enhancement 0


Overall 3/10

It was a good Scotch ale but a little week in the alcohol department. Luckily it was not at the expense of flavour.

Swan's Scotch Ale

Brooklyn Winter Ale

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Brooklyn Winter Ale and Historical Events

Flavius: This is a great day in history.
Meterman: Right. I'm surprised you know about GM filling for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
F: What? That doesn't surprise me, who wanted to buy a hybrid Hummer anyways? No, today they announced Left 4 Dead 2!
M: I'm sorry but chainsaws and zombies is a little stale and overdone.
F: I like the idea of beating a zombie with a frying pan.
M: I'm sure your wife has lots of tips for your frying pan technique.

Brooklyn Winter Ale

Ratebeer 3.18 62nd percentile
Beer Advocate B+

Taste +3

The nose was a little more malty than I normally like; there is also a very slight clove spiciness. It is a full bodied beer which has a heavy presence of creamy, caramel malt. Overall it's a smooth sweetish brew with hints of bourbon and vanilla. The hops are understated and only give a slight earthy bitterness.

Aftertaste +1

There is a smooth fading of the sweetness.

Alcohol Content +1 6.1%

Value +1

It was an above average beer. I think this one was picked up on sale at the Fairfield BCLS for about $13 for a 6pack.

Ingame Enhancement +1

Left 4 Dead 2 coming in November. Who says zombies don't make a great Christmas gift?

Overall 7/10

The would be the prefect brew for someone who likes their beers on the sweet side.