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Beer Club 25: Scotch Ale

Scotch Ale Beer Club

This month’s Beer Club is brought to you by the rich, malty, sweet beer known as the Scotch Ale. Admittedly not a favorite style of mine. These beers are generally quite sweet, full-bodied, and usually not shy with the alcohol. They often have a long boil which creates some caramelization. That adds sweetness, body, and probably a little color.
We had the same format as the last Beer Club. The brews were ordered by ABV and everyone wrote their top 3. 5 points for a first place vote, 3 for second, and 1 for third. We had 14 beers all together. Two of them are not pictured because other folks brought them. Let’s get started!

14th: Pelican MacPelican’s Scottish Style Ale, Big Sky Heavy Horse, Hale’s Barrel Aged Wee Heavy, Orkney Skull Splitter, Silver City Fat Woody

These beers received no votes. The Big Sky Heavy Horse was actually a favorite of mine, but just couldn’t quite make it on my top 3. Most found the oaking of the Hale’s and Silver City to be over-the-top. Of course, in a tasting like this, it sticks out like a sore thumb. The Pelican was the only beer not technically a Scotch ale, but an export style Scottish ale, and was light and pretty unspectacular. The Skull Splitter had the most noticeable alcohol and was off putting to some.

9th: McEwan’s Scotch Ale, Silver City Fat Scotch Ale

The unoaked Silver City was donated and got a third place vote from me. Someone enjoyed the McEwan’s, which also got a third place vote.

7th: Boundary Bay Scotch Style Ale

A Bellingham classic got 3 votes. 2 third place and a second place vote. It was a go-to beer when I lived up there, and held up well in the tasting.

6th: Pike Kilt Lifter

Another local brew and another classic. This beer actually received a first place vote and a third place vote. It’s always interesting to see a standard hold up well.

5th: Oskar Blues Old Chub

Old Chub was on my ballot, as well as 4 others. I particularly like the balance of this beer. It’s not too sweet and cloying, and the alcohol is well hidden.

4th: Bellevue Brewing Scotch Ale

A growler of this was generously donated, and it’s a good thing, too! Fourth place is not too shabby for a new little brewery in our backyard. This beer got 2 first place votes and 2 third place votes.

3rd: Traquair Jacobite

It’s not considered “world class” for nothing. This coriander infused Scotch ale received 2 first place votes, and a second and third place vote.

2nd: AleSmith Wee Heavy

The AleSmith is our second place beer, but it actually received more first place votes than our overall winner. This was my first place. The balance on this beer is remarkable. It really was the show stopper for me. Delicious.

1st: Traquair House Ale

And our winner is the Traquair House Ale! This is their flagship beer and really is the classic example of the style. 2 first place votes and 4 second place votes.

This was one of the most challenging tastings that we’ve done. The beers really do become cloying after awhile and considering the ABV, we had all palate fatigue. It was a great night, and we got to try a few beers that the host brought out after the tasting. Lots of great beer! Next month we will be diving into Oktoberfest beers.

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