This week I have several new styles planned for this blog, beginning with today.
Belhaven Scottish Ale
Belhaven is a true Scottish brewery as it is located in Scotland. They distribute several beers to the United States and their Scottish Ale is one of them. However, even though it is called Scottish Ale, it is not classified as a scottish ale. A Scottish Ale is usually more heavy in peated malts and mossy/earthy flavors which this beer is lacking.
It is therefore classified as a Bitter, which is SUPER popular in the UK. The English consider this to be their session beer. They drink bitters like Americans knock back Bud Lights. Bitters can be sweet and malty and sometimes have a gentle kiss of hops. Also a Scottish Ale usually has at least 5% in alcohol content, while this beer has only 3.9%. Remember I mentioned that Bitters are sessionable? A 3.9% beer is certainly that. More evidence for it being a true Bitter. Although….after Andrew’s comment below I’m starting to waiver on whether or not it actually is a bitter.
This beer pours a very clear copper orange to amber color with a foamy white head. The head forms with some agitation and lingers.
The aroma, I am sad to say, is a bit skunked. I can’t say I’m surprised as they used a clear bottle for this beer which offers absolutely no protection from sunlight. I don’t remember this beer being in a clear bottle when I first tried it years ago. Sad choice Belhaven because it absolutely is affecting the quality and longevity of this beer. Once I get past the skunk smell, I can detect some sharp malts and bitter grains.
The flavor is sweet honey with toasted malts and bread. Lots of biscuity malts and sweet grains. There is a sharp sweet flavor that lasts through the drink. No skunk can be tasted though, so that’s good! It finishes slightly bitter and lasting sweet. Get rid of that ridiculous clear bottle and you’ve got a good beer.