As I mentioned a few days ago, I got a few beers sent to me by my friend David in San Diego, including AleSmith’s tribute to Tony Gwynn. Additionally, he sent me a few beers from Ballast Point, another top brewery in San Diego. While they’re getting pretty well known for their flavored IPA’s, I haven’t had much variety from them. I thought having a Scottish Ale from them might be a little different, plus, I love the name of this beer (as I think it’s a tribute to a line from So I Married an Axe Murderer). So, after a work happy hour, I made dinner and cracked open this beer.
Location: Poured into a goblet style pint glass at my home in Bloomington, IL.
Numbers: 5.8% ABV, 22 IBUs, ~150 Calories
Appearance & Aroma: Brown in color with some reddish-ruby hues when held up to the light. It didn’t have much of a head on it when I poured it, and it pretty much just had a creamy ring around the edge of the glass the entire time. It has a lightly malty aroma with faint hints of nuttiness, almost like a brown ale.
Taste & Feel: The body is light-medium and the mouthfeel is a bit watery. The flavor up front is like a dark caramel or toffee maltiness, but not with much backbone or richness. The flavors become slightly richer in the middle with a little bit more sweetness. There’s some earthy bitterness in the finish, although the maltiness is the most prominent. The maltiness and bitterness last briefly in the aftertaste.
Food Pairing: The flavors in this beer are mostly caramel malty, and I think it would be a great complementary pairing with BBQ, particularly with a sweet sauce. I think it would also go great with foods supplemented with breads, such as a burger.
Overall Impression: I liked the malty flavor, but wished it would have had a little more body and solid richness behind it. It’s probably a bit more approachable of a beer for a novice craft beer drinker, but I like Scottish ales that have more maltiness. Overall, it wasn’t bad, but fell a bit short for me.