The Bruery 11 Pipers Piping – Scotch Barrel Aged

Every time I have a Scottish Ale, I remember how much I enjoy them. This beer is no different.

ABV: 13.2%

Style: Scottish Ale

Trivia: According to, “Scottish-Style Ales vary depending on strength and flavor, but in general retain a malt-forward character with some degree of caramel-like malt flavors and a soft and chewy mouthfeel. Some examples feature a light smoked peat flavor. Hops do not play a huge role in this style. The numbers commonly associated with brands of this style (60/70/80 and others) reflect the Scottish tradition of listing the cost, in shillings, of a hogshead (large cask) of beer. Overly smoked versions would be considered specialty examples. Smoke or peat should be restrained.”

Random: It’s been a long time since I’ve had a Scottish Ale. They’re getting harder to find.

The beer poured with a thick, one finger, light tan head. It dissipated slowly and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was very dark in color and almost black, with no carbonation visible. The nose was huge. It was filled with oak and peat and some burnt brown sugar as well. The taste was equally large. It started with peat and smoke and went into brown sugar and toffee. There was a lot of booze on this one and it was bordering on too much. There was some maple syrup too. The body was medium thickness and had a decent amount of carbonation. The finish was lengthy and smoky. I enjoyed this beer a lot and would have it again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Odell 90 Shilling Ale

The day that we were flying back from Colorado happened to be the day of a snowstorm. We managed to have a four hour delay and got to know Denver airport really well. We both ended up doing a lot of work at the airport, but stopped to have dinner before we flew home.

ABV: 5.3%

Style: Scottish Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “BRITISH CRYSTAL AND CHOCOLATE MALT, PERLE AND NUGGET HOPS. 90 Shilling is our smooth and complex flagship beer. A medium-bodied amber ale with a distinct burnished copper color and a deeply pleasant aroma. The name 90 Shilling comes from the Scottish method of taxing beer. Only the highest quality beers were taxed 90 Shillings. We think you’ll find this original ale brilliantly refreshing, and worth every Shilling.”

Random: Odell has really nice merch.

The beer poured with a half a finger of white head. It dissipated quickly and left a moderate amount of lacing on the glass. The body was perfectly clear and mahogany in color. The nose started with some herbal notes and quickly transitioned into biscuity and caramel malt. It had a slight nuttiness to it as well. The taste was very similar to the nose, except the malt came through first. It had the same caramel and nutty notes, but also had a slight note of clove. Some herbal hops came through as well. The body was on the thicker side with lots of carbonation. The finish was lengthy with caramel malt and cloves. I enjoyed this beer and would definitely have it again if it received distribution to Jersey.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Three Floyds Robert The Bruce

One of the things that I noticed when living out of a hotel was how much I missed my washer and dryer. I do enjoy doing laundry, plus I have an irrational fear when traveling that I will run out of clothes, although the longer I stayed out there, the fewer clothes that I would bring out there. This was a beer that I bought at Hop Yard 62 to bring back to the hotel room, since I was trying to have as many Three Floyds beers as possible.


ABV: 6.5%

Style: Scottish Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A full-bodied Scottish-style Ale with a well-rounded malty profile and roasted biscuit-like notes.”

Random: This comes in at 24 IBUs.

The beer poured with a half a finger of thick, beige colored head. It dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the plastic cup. The body of the beer was a dark sienna color and clear with moderate carbonation visible. The nose started with cola and quickly went into sweet, caramel malt, toffee, brown sugar and some molasses. The taste was definitely malt forward and followed the nose. The cola note was more subdued than in the nose, but the sweet, brown sugar and molasses notes followed next. It had some prunes and dark fruit as well. The body was on the medium side with moderate carbonation. It had a lengthy and sweet finish with the malts. Scottish ales are typically not my favorite style, but I thought this was a solid one that ended my night. I would have this again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Port City Tartan Ale

This is a beer that Val brought me back one of the times that she went to DC. I’ve had a few other beers from Port City and they’ve been decent. Let’s see what they can do with a Scottish Ale.


ABV: 5.5%

Style: Scottish Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Alexandria’s two Scottish founders, Captains Philip and John Alexander, inspired Port City’s Tartan Ale. Scottish beers in the 1800’s were taxed on their strength, with the strong and better quality beers costing more. Customers developed the habit of asking for them by the tax ratings, or shilling names. The 80-shilling style was one of the stronger types that could be purchased, containing 4.0-5.5% alcohol. The 80-shilling beers are traditionally malty, without much hop character, as hops did not grow in Scotland and were expensive to import. Tartan Ale has a deep, copper-color and is produced in the 80-shilling style. It offers a slightly fruity flavor that complements the luscious malty roast caramel flavor and faint hop aroma. The limited production Tartan Ale is our Spring Seasonal beer.”

Random: I love having a natural fireplace instead of a gas fireplace. It’s more messy, but I love the smell of it and hearing the sound of it.

This beer poured with less than a half a finger of white head that dissipated almost instantly. It left no lacing on the glass, but left a very small crown on top fo the body. The body itself was clear and deep mahogany in color. I couldn’t see any carbonation due to the color of the beer. The nose was very sweet and had a bit of malt and caramel. Toffee came through next with peat and smoke. The nose was fragrant and inviting. The taste had a certain grainy spiciness that was followed up with nutty malt and an almond extract taste. I wish it had a touch more sweetness to balance it out. The body was too thin with moderate carbonation. It was a quick finish with peat. A bottle of this was $2, which came to $.17 per ounce. This beer was disappointing. I wouldn’t have it again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Tater Ridge

One of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving is the sweet potatoes. Every year, we do sweet potatoes with raisins and apples and a bourbon glaze that I love. For years, my sister and I would fight over the leftovers. Now that I’ve written this, I’m having a craving for sweet potatoes. This beer uses potatoes in it and is also brewed in collaboration with the brewer’s alliance from the city that Sierra Nevada just built their new brewery in. I definitely have to make my way down there and see that. Anyways, let’s see how this one was.


ABV: 7%

Style: Scottish Ale

Trivia: This was brewed in collaboration with Asheville Brewers Alliance.

Random: This twelve pack has really been hit or miss so far. I’ve read a few other blogs and they seem to feel the same way.

This beer poured with a two and a half finger tan head that dissipated slowly. It left lots of lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, dark mahogany color with very little carbonation visible due to how dark the beer was. The nose had some notes of sweet, toasty malt. The taste was a more intense version of the nose with sweet malt, toasted bread with a touch of peat and smoke. What I didn’t get was any influence from the sweet potatoes. After a few sips, some light nuttiness came through as well. It had a thicker body with moderate carbonation. The beer finished with sweet malt and toasted bready and lingered. This was a decent beer, but again, it wasn’t amazing, which was a bit of a letdown.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Brooklyn Winter Ale

Another day, another snow storm. Today’s wasn’t so bad. We only got about 2 inches on the way to work. It was enough to be annoying, but not enough to go into work late. At least it was the powdery stuff that’s easy to get off the car. Anyways, had this one awhile ago. Let’s see how it went.


ABV: 6.1%

Style: Scottish Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “When the days grow short and the beach recedes into our dreams, we need a very nice beer to get us through the long winter. Based on the satisfying malty ales of blustery Scotland, Brooklyn Winter Ale will have you looking on the bright side of things. Rich Scottish malts bring deep bready flavors to a beer with a full copper color, a round, smooth palate, and brisk hopping that pulls the sweet malts into balance. See – things are looking up already!”

Random: I’m watching “Third Watch” and Sara Ramirez is playing a guest star on this episode. Bonus!

This brew poured with a one finger, cream-colored head that dissipated quickly. It left no lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, mahogany color with low carbonation visible. The nose was very nutty with some caramel sweetness to go along with it at the end. The taste had some sweetness to it as well, almost like caramel apples. There was a touch of peat, but it was very subtle. Some spice came through with a touch of cinnamon. I really enjoyed the taste. The body was of moderate thickness with low carbonation. The finish was long with sweetness and hazelnuts and a touch of cedar. This was definitely an enjoyable winter beer that I would have again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Innis & Gunn Oak Aged Beer

For Christmas, my father went to his local liquor store and picked me up a bunch of beers that had ratings over 90 points. He doesn’t keep track of what I’ve had, but always manages to pick out some winners. This happened to be one of them that I shockingly haven’t had.


ABV: 6.6%

Style: Scottish Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “This is our flagship beer, the one whose discovery led to the formation of the company back in 2003. Since then we’ve won a string of awards for Original, most recently a third consecutive Modern Monde Selection gold award. Like the world’s great wine and whisky makers we strive for depth of flavour, complexity and mellowness in every beer we produce. Innis & Gunn Original typifies this approach. Its lengthy 77-day maturation imparts flavours of toffee, vanilla and oak that perfectly complement the beer’s backbone of luscious malt and fruity hop notes. The oak helps to give Innis & Gunn Original its appealing colour and also mellow the alcohol character, so although the beer is 6.6%, it’s very smooth and easy to drink.”

Random: My newest series that I’m watching is Rome: Engineering an Empire. So far, so good.

This brew poured with a three finger, white head that dissipated slowly, yet left no lacing on the glass. The body was a clear orange color with lots of carbonation visible throughout. The nose was huge with some oak and toffee and vanilla as well. The taste was just like the nose, big. I got lots of oak with toffee and vanilla following up quickly. A touch of hops came through but were quickly tamed by the oak. After a few sips, I got some caramel as well. The body was on the medium side with heavy carbonation. The finish was long with warm oak. I really enjoyed this one. I could see why this one is so popular. I would definitely have this one again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Innis & Gunn Independence Day 2012

This was the brew that Katie picked out for me last night. I picked a four pack of this up at Spirits Unlimited in Shrewsbury on July 3rd. I saw a few posts regarding the release of it, but I haven’t seen any reviews of it to date. I don’t have a huge amount of experience with Innis and Gunn. This is actually my first review of any of their beers. I have tasted a few of their offerings at different beer festivals and remember liking them. So, let’s crack this one open.

ABV: 7%

Style: Scottish Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “One of America’s National Symbols, ‘Uncle Sam’ is a real man of Scots decent. Samuel Wilson’s parents sailed to America from Greenock, Scotland. Samuel supplied the army with meat in barrels during the War of 1812-15. The barrels were prominently labelled “U.S.” for the United States, but the soldiers joked that the letters stood for “Uncle Sam.”

Random: Does anyone else find it funny that a Scottish brewery brewed a beer in honor of American Independence Day?

First of all, this brew comes in a clear glass bottle. The four pack is really tall, so that should have kept most of the light out and given that it was brewed for July 4th, I’ve assumed that it was pretty fresh anyways. It just strikes me as odd that they would choose a clear bottle. Now that I’ve successfully gone on a tangent, back to the beer in hand. This brew poured with a two finger white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a clear mahogany color with an insane amount of carbonation visible. The nose was really pungent…a lot of oak and some nutty sweetness. Despite the heat, it was still in my wheelhouse. The taste was much like the nose, very oak dominant. I also got vanilla and a hint of nuttiness with some tobacco. This drank more like a brandy or a good bourbon rather than a beer. I really loved the flavor. The body was thick with lots of carbonation. The finish was lengthy with some booze warming on the end. Although most people will find this one a little heavy for a brew that is marketed on one of the hotter holidays of the year, I absolutely loved it. Throw the AC on and sip this one.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Belhaven Scottish Ale

This was the second brew that Katie got for me. I love when people buy me beer. Other than the fact that it’s free, it’s nice because they tend to get me beers that I would never purchase for myself. My father does this too, except he basically buys the beers based on the labels. Katie tends to buy me English/Scottish brews…and I have no idea why. She really only likes drinking fruity beers (she bought herself cider). So, without further ado…

ABV: 5.2%

Style: Scottish Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Malty and hoppy, we at Belhaven love the classic Scottish Ale and we’ve been brewing it longer than any of the other beers we produce. Delivering a sweet, smooth and creamy finish, Scottish Ale has a stunning ruby colour in the glass. Magic.”

Random: I saw that they also offer this beer out of a nitro can. I’d be interested in seeing the difference.

This one poured out of the bottle with a two finger, off white, seriously thick head. It dissipated slowly, yet left no lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, mahogany color with low carbonation. The nose was earthy hops and biscuit malt, but was a bit off kilter. The taste was more balanced than the nose. It started with the biscuit malt up front then the earthy hops came through with some grass in the back. Even though initially I wasn’t thrilled with the brew, I really enjoyed the flavors. The body was medium thickness with low carbonation. The finish was long with some hops. I didn’t know what to expect from this one, but it was pretty satisfying. It’s worth a try.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Long Trail Hibernator

Yesterday, my sister and I went to Newtown, PA to walk around for the day and go into the shops and have some food. It’s my last Saturday until June that I’m around because I start the Fire Academy next week. So, we ended up in this place called the Black Horse Tavern to grab a beer and some snacks. They actually had a decent beer selection, but it was to the point that this was the only beer that I hadn’t tried. So, onto the brew.

ABV: 5.6%

Style: Scottish Ale

Trivia: This is Long Trail’s winter seasonal which is available from November to March.

Random: The Black Horse Tavern had the best fish and chips that I ever had (although it was a special). The batter was crunchy and not greasy and the fish was insanely fresh. So yummy!

This brew poured with a thick, tan head that took awhile to dissipate and left lots of lacing on the glass. the body was a deep mahogany color without any visible carbonation. The nose was pretty mild with a bit of spice to it and some mild sweetness. You could even make an argument for some roasted nuts in there as well. The taste started with a lot of malt and spice, specifically cinnamon and nutmeg. I would definitely think that this beer was more of a winter warmer than a Scottish ale. The body was toward the heavier side with low carbonation. After a few sips, I think I also got some maple flavors to it. There  was obviously low booze to this brew, without any alcohol warming present. The finish lingered with the spice that was apparent in both the nose and the flavor. Not a bad beer, but it’s not something I would rush to have again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0