There are a lot of perks to writing a beer blog. It gives me an excuse to do what I love which is write about my experiences and force people to read it with the promise of a beer review at the end. Another perk of writing a beer blog is that occasionally people give me beer. Sometimes breweries comp my tab and other times I just receive bottles as gifts. You know what they say, crystal (hops) are a girls best friend!
This year I received some bottles from my manager, who is from Scotland, for a Christmas present. I can only hope that my home made kimchi was a fair trade! Two of the bottles were from Scotland-based Traquair House Brewery and the third was from Samuel Smith’s Old Brewery in Yorkshire, England. I had heard of Samuel Smith’s before but I had never tried anything from them. Traquair House was new to me. Brewed in the Scotland’s oldest inhabited house, Traquair is a tourist attraction, event venue, hotel and even has its own archives! I’ll be adding it to the list of places to visit when I return to Scotland.
I am an American beer girl through and through but I was hoping to be converted by one of these beers. Many of them were barrel aged and they seemed to have great potential. Unfortunately, I was disappointed in most of them. I would love to find a beer from the U.K. with a lesser malt based profile then these. Please send me your suggestions in the comments. Or just send me the bottles, that might just be best.
Organic Pale Ale by Samuel Smith’s Old Brewery
Pale Ale/ 5% / ? IBUs
Reading the blurb about this beer on the Samuel Smith’s webpage, I see that I was supposed to drink it at 51 degrees.Whoops. I do remember waiting a few minutes to drink this beer after removing it from the fridge but I don’t think it ever got up to room temperature. I found that this pale had a ghost of a hop flavor, but it didn’t have much else to it.
Final score: two out of five classed up Molsons.
House Ale by Traquair House Brewery
Scotch Ale / 7.2% / ? IBUs
This beer was all over the place. It started sweet like a porter, but that flavor was quickly overtaken by a strong essence of boozy malt. This was a difficult beer to drink; I couldn’t have finished a full pint, American or English. This beer is ranked as “World Class” by Beer Advocate, yet I couldn’t get over my dislike of the style to enjoy this beer.
Final score: two out of five angry Beer Advocate bros.
Jacobite Ale by Traquair House Brewery
Scotch Ale / 8 % / ? IBUs
Brewed to celebrate the 1745 Jacobite rebellion, this beer promised barrel aged ale mixed with coriander. I side with the freaks who love coriander, so I was looking forward to this beer most of all. I couldn’t taste or smell any coriander in this beer at all. The overwhelming flavor of this beer is yeast. Eric was convinced that the beer tasted like the crusty part of challah. I disagreed as that is my favorite part of challah and this beer had no brightness or sweetness. It tasted like the beer had been derived from old fermented bread. Once again, this beer has exceptionally high reviews leading me to think that either my beer brain is broken or I really don’t like any Scotch ales.
Final score: one out of five disappointed men in kilts.