Monday, September 17, 2012
Exactly one week from today (on September 24), Smuttynose Scotch Ale will begin shipping for the first time in four years. Since 2008, we've heard a constant, yet subtle, din of voices trying to resurrect its thistled visage (I'm looking at you specifically, Martha).
If you're not familiar with Scotch Ales as a beer style, they're all about malt sweetness and smoke (at least in the US). This has lead to a common misconception that all ales brewed in Scotland fit this description, though a closer examination of brewing history shows that Scottish brewers have always brewed a range of styles, including IPA as well as other lighter and more subtle styles. History is interesting, but some details will always be forgotten; as such, you'd be hard pressed to find a traditional American-style Scotch Ale that doesn't use some portion of smoked malt.
Smuttynose Scotch Ale is still smoky, though we've substituted beechwood-smoked malt for malt smoked with peat, the "traditional" American choice. The change results in a softer smoke character that we prefer.
Another non-traditional aspect of 2012's Scotch Ale, is that it's a blend of non-barrel-aged and barrel-aged beer. Many moons ago, (all the way back in March), we brewed a small 30 barrel batch of Scotch Ale, which was then aged in red wine barrels for about six months, before being transferred into the main batch just before bottling.
As always, each wholesaler's Scotch Ale allotment will ship with their first order after the 24th. We will also have bottles for sale at Smuttynose, in addition to a small number of brewery-aged 2008 Scotch Ale bottles recently released from our stash. Feel free to stop by between 9am-4pm, Monday through Friday as well as during our tour hours which are Friday from 5:30-6:30 and Saturdays at 11am and 1pm.
The Stat Box
Starting Extract: 18.05° Plato
Finishing Extract: 3.1° Plato
Malts: North American 2-Row, Munich, Carastan, Chocolate, Smoked Malt
Mojo: Red Wine Barrel Magic
Yeast: WLP-001 California Ale Yeast
Batch Size: 200 barrels (6200 gallons)
Suggested Food Pairings: Mutton, smoked fish, empanadas and, of course, haggis. The malt character in this beer gives it the ability to stand up to spicy foods while the smoke character will pair well with other smoked flavors or with creamy desserts like flan.