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

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Moon Double Review - Le Sang and Bulldog

Maybe I am reading too much into this, but I don't remember hearing about the release of these two beers. Perhaps the need for the press release is dead. Has it been replaced by Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Will a brewer's social media follower list reach enough beer drinkers that outside help is not needed? What does this mean for blogs/websites that deliver beer drinking news? Perhaps I am thinking too much about this; shut up and review the beers.

This first beer had very little to say about it on the Moon Facebook page; "beer named after the View Royal Fire Department and inspired by a collaboration cask of Smoke & Fire. Its a sweet, lightly smoked malt base with just a hint of hop peppers in the boil". So it is sweet Scottish ale with light peppery spice?

Bulldog Belgo Scottish Ale = 6/10

With most Scottish ales the nose is fairly tame of peaty/smoked malts and caramel sweetness. The Bulldog delivered with a bit of prune richness in the aroma. Without any further surprises, this ale was a balanced mix of mild caramel, peat, dark fruits and dried apricots. This syrupy sweetness was layered upon an earthy hop bed with a spiciness of unknown origin. It left a chewy residue similar to a Mackintosh Toffee bar that you found in a potted plant. Very nice, I should have brought the bigger growler.

Taste +3
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content +1 7%
Value +1
Appearance 0 (for minimal press and little info on beer)

Glassware: Definitely a Scottish thistle; preferably cleaner than mine.

Food Pairings: Would bridge a dish with roasted or caramelized rich flavours, perhaps a pan seared pork chop with caramelized onions. I was thinking about a BBQ portabello mushroom burger with Branston pickles. The sweetness would calm a spicy dish. How about some flame broiled chicken with fiery Jamaican jerk sauce?

Cellar: Nope

This was the real purpose of my visit. There are three little words that makes Mrs. Left4Beer's heart go pitter-patter: Moon sour ale. I was instructed to go to brewery and not to return without a couple of bottles. This beer had an eventful life. It lingered in port barrels, mingled with black currants before getting a dose of Brett then stuck in a corked bottle.

Le Sang Du Merle = 9/10

The nose eludes to quick tour through sour town. The tour starts at the crossroads of black currant and tart vinegar. Next is a stroll into the land of tannic currants, sweet raspberry vinaigrette with a slight funk cameo. The tannins provide a dry pucker which is enhanced by the slight Brett character. This sensation just keeps going to a dry finish far in the distance. Sour beers never describe well to those who have never tried one. Well done.

Taste +4
Aftertaste +2
Alcohol Content +1 9%
Value +1
Appearance +1  (very elegant and simple hand stamped labels)

Glassware: A tulip or snifter would work well to trap the inviting sour and tart fruity aromas.

Food Pairings: Nothing, just enjoy.

Cellar: With the addition of Brett and complex wood notes, this is certain one to put in cellar for 2 years minimum.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Highland Challenge (Lighthouse)

Sometimes reviewing a beer is hard. Beer geek bloggers love to rave about the biggest, brashest and most obscure beers. If the beer spent 16 months aging in 16 different barrels, we want to try it. If the malts were hand picked by the brewmaster, the resulting brew must taste better. Rare cat shit coffee beans always produce a better beer.
No one gives a crap about the everyday beer. The lagers, mild ales and common pints are always sneered at. This is where the Highland Challenge come in. The Highland Challenge is not a flavour powerhouse, nor is it going to make you regret not buying two six packs. You are not going to line up for your allowable allotment. Take it for what it is: an 80 shilling Scottish ale.

If you look at the style, this not an exciting category. The word 'low' appears too many times to count in the BJCP style guidelines. Please don't confuse this with the familiar strong Scottish ale - a more exciting brew. The Highland is session like at 4.4% ABV. So what did the beer prick think? I get to use my favourite phrase in this review!

Disclaimer: This was a gift from the very nice people at Lighthouse Brewing - thanks Wade. However, a favourable review cannot be bought with a six pack of beer. If a keg of Switchback IPA were included, the answer might change.

Highland Challenge = 3/10

This beer might be considered boring. It is, from a certain point of view. The nose is faint of caramel, fruits and floral. Sniff reallyyyy hard and you can pick up a slight earthly/peaty smell. If you have a cold, it might not work. Each sip is a thin with a slight slick buttery mouthfeel. This is appropriate for the style - I love that phrase! A sessionable gulp is rewarded with a light fruitiness and mild caramel flavour. Then comes the medium linger of earth, butter and toast. It is all just a little bit sticky. That being said; I have gone through three beers while doing this review. I find myself wishing I had put the whole six pack in the fridge. While this may seem like an unfavourable review, it - in fact - is not. Most likely this is the secret favourite beer of a few people, perhaps supertasters. For those who like a sessionable low hop ale, this is the one.

Taste +2
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content = -1 4.4%
Value +1
Appearance 0 (no fun artwork)

MacPelican's Scottish Ale