Thursday, 13 December 2012

Beer Advent Calendar Day 12- Dark Horse Brewing Company Scotty Karate Scotch Ale

Good evening all. I was unable to fulfil my commitment to the beer advent calendar last night (as mentioned in this post) and was simply going to combine the two days until it hit me how exhausted I am this evening, so as a change of plan I'm doing yesterday's post today and will be doubling up the beers on my next post; which, as it turns out, will not be happening until at least Sunday due to prior engagements this weekend. So, before the epic 4-beer review post in a few days, it's time for last night's cardboard door- Scotty Karate, a Scotch Ale from Dark Horse Brewing Company (Michigan, USA). This has garnered a lot of acclaim on the usual review sites, and it's also my first time reviewing/trying a beer from Dark Horse, so I'm definitely looking forward to this one. Review after the pics....

Scotty Karate (9.75% ABV) pours a dark ruby colour with an inch-thick beige head that settles down slightly but still maintains itself well over the course of the beer. The aroma is very light, with brown sugar, caramelised sweetness, red fruits, some light spice and some alcohol in the background that stings the nostrils on deep inhales. The subtlety of the aromas is quite startling at first, but it's actually quite nice to have a Scotch Ale that doesn't deliver loads of burnt/caramelised sugar immediately and lets the subtleties of the beer come through more. Light cinnamon and blackcurrant take over fairly quickly after the caramel sweetness has retreated, and soon after this the alcohol becomes the only significant aroma/sense that can be found. Fortunately, the taste delivers a bit more power and variety- caramel, brown malt, light spice, some red fruits and a light alcoholic hit towards the end of drinking. The whole thing tastes like a slightly sweet brown ale, with the burnt sugar fluctuating in intensity whilst the slightly darker malt flavours reside in the background. The alcohol imparts a slight tartness along the sides of the mouth during drinking, before punctuating each sip with a light hit to the back of the throat. The fruit flavours also amplify the aforementioned tartness and the finish is dry and relatively devoid of flavour, aside from some soy sauce and a bit of yeast extract. The mouthfeel is on the thick side and the beer is decently carbonated, and despite the almost double-digit ABV percentage the alcohol is only slightly warming and certainly doesn't prevent you from enjoying repeated sips of this beer. Overall, this is a pretty good offering with some nicely-balanced flavours, but unfortunately it lacks any significant power and so I personally wouldn't recommend it. Better examples of the style include Founder's Dirty Bastard, AleSmith's Wee Heavy and BrewDog's Dogma (new version).

Until next time....

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