kramer (5510) - Sunbury, Pennsylvania, USA - JUN 24, 2009
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
25 oz bottle, via TheCheeseMan. Pours a slightly hazy brownish amber body with a small beige head that ran to a thin ring. Big thick malty nose with just a touch of peat, some noticeable alcohol, and light cocoa liquor. A light hint of marshmallow? The flavor is sweet up front but fades to a slightly grainy, heavy, roasty, lightly peaty finish. Tastes a little murky to me really. Mouthfeel is full, a little clingy, with soft fizzy carbonation. A lingering huskiness. Overall, pretty good, but it didnít hit the sweet spot for me. Too much husky chaff flavor.
malrubius (2242) - Springfield, Vermont, USA - JUN 22, 2009
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
750 ml in pint glass. (Címon, thistle? Relax. Drink a beer.) Dark reddish brown with lasting dense amber head and some lace. Roasted brown sugar freshly turned earth aroma with hint of alcohol. Very toasty caramelized brown sugar flavor with nicely subdued dark red fruit (avoiding the cough syrup flavor that plagues bad scotch ales) with mild coffee bitter finish. Full body and creamy mouthfeel. Much better than expected. Some scotch ales are so sweet I canít drink them. This one is balanced and especially robust. Excellent.
nickd717 (3782) - San Francisco, California, USA - JUN 22, 2009
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle shared at a BeerAdvocate tasting - thanks Mark! Pours a ruddy dark brown color with a beige head. Aroma of caramel malt, dark fruits, and a hint of smoke. Flavor is sweet and malty with lots of caramel and toffee with a little cherry, scotch whiskey, and smoke/roast. Really smooth and full palate with a somewhat dry finish. Great Scotch ale.
dmschefke (576) - Macomb, Michigan, USA - JUN 21, 2009
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Thanks to northernbrews for sharing this. Pours a nice dark brown with thick tan head. Aroma of caramel malt, dark dried fruit, bread, and spices. Flavor is quite nice with a bit of sweetness and chocolate to top it off. Mouthfeel is slick, but finishes dry. Very nice and looking forward to the bottle I have in the cellar.
BOLTZ7555 (2999) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - JUN 21, 2009
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle acquired via TampaBrew...THANKS AGAIN GARY!!! Crimson and mahogany pour into the glass producing a creamy eggshell head. Quite sweet with notes of brown sugar, alcohol, chocolate, alcohol, dark fruit, alcohol, and caramel. Although the 8.5% isnít extreme, the other flavors couldnít overcome itís impact. More creamy than most of the style. Expected more.
mattmc1973 (478) - Sterling Heights, Michigan, USA - JUN 21, 2009
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Shared at Kuhnhenn Summer Solstice. Thanks northernbrews! Poured into a snifter, red/brown with off-white head. Aroma of rich sweet malt, chocolate, dark fruit, peat, and booze. Taste more of the same, rich and tasty! Medium mouthfeel. Very nice scotch ale.
FlacoAlto (4045) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - JUN 20, 2009
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
A solid pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces a three finger thick, nicely amber tinged, full amber color. The beer is a dark amber color that has a concentrated redness to it. When held up to the light the beer shows a nicely concentrated, red, ruby color. The beer has an interesting note to it up front, it is quite sweet with an almost cinnamon like character to it sweetness; almost reminds me of a deeply caramelized, cinnamon sweetened red-hot. There is a touch of toasted grain underneath the sweet aroma. Perhaps this is a bit too cold (though it is at 50ļF / 10ļC), a quick stint in the microwave has me noticing a bit more caramel character rather than straight sweetness, some berry like fruit character as well as more toasted malt character. Actually the sticky sweetness has now all but disappeared. The aroma started out a bit on the simplistic side, but it does get a bit better if you really let it warm up, though it still doesnít quite have the complexity that I was hoping for.
This is sweet tasting with a thick, chewy body that easily tames the sweetness, which definitely is not cloying. The beer finishes with a touch of warming alcohol as well as a chewy, whole grain toastiness, and a deeply caramelized malt character. A bit of caramelized, marshmallow character is in the middle and the finish has a hint of roast grain that adds just a hint of bite to balance a smidge of the sweetness. This does have some salty smokiness to it as well, which is quite subtle and I would guess is not from any actual peat smoked malt. This has a touch of fruitiness to it with mostly a raisin-like note that likely is contributed by the malt character. While the sweetness is not too much in this warmed up beer, it does still have a candy like note to it with all of the caramelized specialty malt character floating around in this beer.
In hopes of cutting the sweetness I have taken to eating an overly sweetened brownie, this does tame the beers sweetness, but actually brings a touch of tartness out in the beer. It does accentuate a touch more of the light roast character, a slight bit more smokiness, as well as bringing out more of the toasted malt character.
Not a bad beer, I must admit that I got a bit too caught up in excitement around this brewery, my expectations of grandeur where probably a bit too much, but I was expecting a lot more from this beer. It doesnít quite have the complexity and balance that I really want to see in a great example of the style. Really my biggest complaint here is that the beer has a bit too much sweetness; it does need some sweetness, but if it was a touch drier it would really allow a lot more complex malt character to come through. A touch more age might round this out a bit though; six months to a year might see this beer peaking. I am still quite excited to try other beers from this brewery, they seem to be doing some really creative things.
JCB (3999) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - JUN 18, 2009
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bomber shared by ucusty at the Carolina Crew gathering - thanks, David! Nice looking pour, dusky and copper colored with a full head. Campfire aromas blend with sweet malts, a nice touch. Thinnish body and mellow carbonation. Sweet candy emerges in the flavor, with bready malts and toffee coming to the fore. A shame there isnít more smoke in the flavor, as thatís what I found most distinctive and would have bumped it up for me. Still, a very solid brew and Iíd like to try it again.
emacgee (4457) - Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA - JUN 18, 2009
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Thanks to ucusty for sharing. Pours a dark copper brown with a thin yellow tan head. The nose is sweet, caramely, malty, some spice, phenolic, alcohol, mild peat, bubblegum, nice sweet malt character. The flavor is malty, caramel, sweet, peaty, more hop than Iím used to in a Scotch. Palate is hoppy with a peaty finish.
Jonte (1413) - Gothenburg, SWEDEN - JUN 17, 2009
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle. Thanks to gnoff. Cloudy brown colur with a beige head. Aroma: malty, roasted, licorice, hops, mint/menthol, maybe just a light fruitiness. Taste: malty and roasted, very salty and peated with notes of licorice, salmiac, coffee, hops, mint/menthol, dark chocolate. Smooth and full bodied mouthfeel. I would have liked a bit more sweetness and fruitiness.