First Tasting: Strong Scotch Ale (Beer #26)

December 15, 2011 by Jack

The Scottish Wee Heavy I brewed about three weeks ago has been in the keg for about 10 days. I figured I’d give it a taste. As I was drinking it, I kept thinking that it just doesn’t taste ready yet. I didn’t realize that I only brewed it less than three weeks ago. For some reason I thought it was older. Knowing how young it is makes me feel a little better about how it’s tasting. It’s not awful in any way, but it seems rough. Time should improve it. But until I give it another taste in a month or so, here’s what I jotted down tonight:

Appearance
Deep red to brown. Cloudy. Off-white to light tan head that lasts a few minutes.

Aroma
Sweet deep caramel complex malt. Dark dried fruit (fig, dates). A touch of brown bread. Some alcohol. Yeast still present.

Flavor
Caramel malt. A touch of brown bread, but not overly molassas-like. Touch of smoke. Higher alcohols are rather rough. Starts somewhat sweet and finishes moderately dry. Pronounced bitterness. Still tastes green and yeasty. Hint of bubblegum on the finish.

Mouthfeel
Medium-full body with medium carbonation. Very warm on the finish.

Overall Impression
I’m having a hard time making heads or tails of this beer. It’s pleasant to drink, but it doesn’t seem complex enough to me. It has good body and lots of malt flavor. It doesn’t taste clean, though. I’m not sure if that’s because it needs more time to age, or if it didn’t ferment properly. I’ll have to reserve judgement until I can taste it again some time down the line.

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