This is a cool one for me … back in June of 2010, my daughter and I went to Halifax and I had a chance to visit this brewery. It was a great place, right on the pier, the beers were excellent and I think, still worth a stop! If you are in that area give it a visit!
Here’s my photo from 2010! I think the place still looks the same. However, they have built a new brewery. Congrats to them! Ok, onward to the beer … to recap, I will be using the 2015 BJCP Guidelines to score this beer based on Aroma (12 pts), Appearance (3 pts), Flavor (20 pts), Mouthfeel (5 pts), and Overall Impression (10 pts). You can see the standard score sheet here.
The Evaluation. The beer is called “New” Scottish Ale. From the description: “In Latin, Nova Scotia literally means “New Scotland.” To celebrate Canada’s Scottish roots, we have brewed up a lightly peated Scottish Ale.” This is a tough one to categorize. Since the ABV is 5.5%, it would fall in the category 14C – Scottish Export. However, because the brewers mention “peat,” I’ve decided to judge it in category 32A – Classic Style Smoked Beer. Basically, the smoke flavor should be supportive and supported by the Classic Style selected (in this instance, 14C).
Aroma. Low smoky phenolic right up front but doesn’t overpower. Light toasty, bready malt in support. No esters. No hop aroma. As it warms, the smoke begins to dominate the biscuity malt character. (7/12 pts).
Appearance. Pours to a bright copper color with a small off-white head. Does not persist. Bubbles continue from the bottom of this clear beer. (3/3pts).
Flavor. Big, smoky phenolic (peat) flavor at first. Peat lingers well into the aftertaste. Medium high hop bitterness balances but does not dominate. Finish is quite dry. Subtle pomme-fruit esters show up in the middle. Light floral, spicy, earthy hop flavor as well. Medium levels of malt (bready, grainy, toasty) are there but balance is to the peat/hops. Should be the peat/hops in support instead. Clean ale fermentation character. (13/20 pts).
Mouthfeel. Medium body with medium carbonation. Peat blends with carbonic bite to lend a slight astringency. Expected a little creaminess for style–not there. (4/5 pts).
Overall Impression. This is a very drinkable beer, but the peat is distracting, especially in the aftertaste. Recommend doing away with the peat altogether. Maybe add some crystal/caramel malt and reduce the hop bitterness by 1/8. That should swing it right into style! (7/10 pts).
That’s 34 out of 50 points bringing this beer into the Very Good category.
Thanks, again, to both breweries for producing this nice, refreshing “New” Scottish Ale! Cheers to them and to Canada on this special day!