Over the course of my beer drinking “career” I have sampled many different styles, with plenty more to find, and there has always been one I’ve avoided: scotch ales. I have nothing against a good glass of scotch with a few ice cubes, a little water, or neat, to pass an evening. I have nothing against a good ale to pass the evening either, so what could be the harm in mixing the two? On a road trip several years I first encountered a scotch ale and I would have been better off drinking straight gasoline. Thinking it was a fluke, I had another version of a scotch ale with a similar effect. After two bad experiences you’ll be asking, Avid Reader, why I would go back for a third try. Well, three is the magic number and it is a charm, so I decided to get over my fear to see if I had a genetic disposition against scotch ales. The results may shock you.
The name alone drew me in for this one, as I could picture someone with an English accent sneering at someone. I took it home and let it hang out in the fridge until the time was appropriate. The other ales I had tasted were light in body with a strange bitter, high malt concentration taste that made me gag. I was relieved to see this one pour out a thick brown caramel color and noted it weighing in around 8.5%, which was higher than I expected. Without wasting too much time or Chex Mix, I picked up the glass and took a healthy swig.
First off, this could have been a regular brown ale with some molasses flavor riding around and a lot of malt to back it up. There was some bitter that I picked up on and the aroma wasn’t overpowering. To be honest, I was expecting to drink pure fire in a pint glass and was surprised to find this one quite enjoyable. Maybe three was the charm or maybe the Chex Mix help cut out the bad parts.
Despite all of that, this was a good brew and I found it hard to put down. The higher alcohol content helped smooth out some of the flavor on the back end and I didn’t mind it as much as anticipated. If you happen to be looking for something a little different than a normal scotch ale, then I would suggest giving this one a shot, it might surprise you.