Scotch Ales, sometimes referred to as a Wee Heavy, are strong malty beers with caramel, toffee, and brown sugar aromas and flavors. They are not a style you see everywhere today due to our love of the almighty hop, but if you're someone who loves the depth and complexity of beers originating in Scotland, a wee heavy just might be for you!
And, if you live in a good craft beer community, you might be able to find one of the classic examples that are made today including things like Alesmith's Wee Heavy, Founders Ol Bastard and Backwoods Bastard (barrel aged), and Oskar Blues' Old Chub Scotch ale. One of the first beers of this style that I was introduced to was Orkney Skullsplitter. I'm not even sure if that one is imported into our country anymore, but I recall the rich malty flavors, balanced by the warming alcohol level and fruity yeast esters. I definitely put Scotch ales in the 'contemplative' beers category for the usual desire to sip on one during cold winter months right next to the fire. (Don't forget that spring doesn't officially start until late March!)
Last year, we decided to make a small batch of Scotch Ale and lay it to rest in bourbon barrels. We only filled four barrels, so knew this one would be a small blend. Old Forester and another West Coast distillery's American Whiskey barrels were chosen to mature this one. Since this style of beer is not quite as bold as, say, an Imperial stout, we thought these barrels would highlight the unique malt forward flavors we would have in the base beer. Kentucky Kilt rested in these barrels for about a year in total and emerged with mild vanilla aromas supported by rich toffee and caramel flavors. A hint of coconut lingers on the finish. The personality of this beer is a sweet melody that will envelope your taste buds with a relatively easy drinking, malt forward barrel aged beer. We hope you enjoy what we blended up. Just make sure you get your allotted 2 bottles. I'm not sure it will be around long!
Oh, and a little insiders tip for reading this far: We are nitrogenating some draft that is going to be simply divine. Keep an eye out for that, especially at our tasting room.