September 7, 2012
Beer Thoughts: Bristol Scotch Ale
From the new Bristol Brewhouse Series comes the Scotch Ale in 22oz bottles. Clockin' in at 6.9% ABV this beer will promise to be a bigger rich and smooth relative to the flagship Laughing Lab Scottish Ale. The beer was released very recently and can be found at Bristol and at local liquor stores.
The beer pours a really nice dark brownish red with mahogany highlights. It's quite pretty, and the thick tan head is a nice touch too. The aroma is of caramel and toffee, some roast, reminding me a bit of a brown ale but sweeter smelling. So far so good. For flavor I immediately pick up chocolate malt, toasty-bready malts, with a nice caramelized bite. The beer is a tad thinner than I remember from other Scotch Ales, but that doesn't matter, it's smooth and creamy and I think that thinness proves to make the beer incredibly easy-drinking. Often Scotch Ales can be too cloyingly sweet and I can only handle a few sips, this one is surprisingly drinkable. There's a soft hint of smokiness in there with a subtle cigar note. Finally, I'd add that there's a nice earthy and toasted nut character to the beer that rounds it out nicely. The beer finishes with a subtle crisp hop bite but the caramel lingers through for minutes after you swallow. Really, this is a solid offering from Bristol, I'd be happy to buy this a few times over.
Drinking and Storing:
This brew is so easy to drink, but I really enjoyed pouring it into a nice tall glass, sipping it and contemplating it. I think it could work well as a party beer, or as a contemplative beer. I could drink the whole bottle alone easily. To be honest, I'd really like to see this beer aged for 6-12 months. It's a perfect fall and winter beer, but I think some age on it would pronounce the caramel and toffee notes.
Definite big recommendations all around on our end. Totally fun beer and a great job on Bristol's part here.
Where's the Beer From:
Bristol Brewing, Colorado Springs, CO.
I paid for the bottle, $5-ish.
- - -
Stay up to date with Focus on the Beer. You can receive email updates and join us on our Facebook page.