Barrel Aged Scotch Ale (673 of 750) – Mission Springs Brewing

Mission Springs Brewing out of Mission BC have been quietly building up a brand new series of beers.  This series of beer is called the Stave Lake – Lost Barrel Series and the first beer in the series is a “Barrel Aged Scotch Ale”.  A portion of this beer was aged for 10 months in French Oak Barrels while another portion was aged in a freshly drained Okanagan Cabernet Sauvignon barrel for 2 weeks.  Large portions of both barrels were then blended with fresh stainless steel fermented scotch ale to create this beer.  Only 750 bombers were made and are hand numbered with this bottle being number 673.  The beer pours a deep brown colour with hints of ruby red under light and an off white head.  The aroma consist of roasted malts, peat, fruit, oak and a hint of Cabernet Sauvignon.  The flavour is of roasted malts, earth, caramel, toffee, dark fruits, Cabernet Sauvignon, maybe some cherries, oak and a sweet finish.  This is a very complex beer!  The alcohol content comes in at 8% alcohol.  I will probably have to try and hunt some more of this beer down as it is fantastic and only having one bottle to cellar would be awful!

Commercial Description from Head Brewer Kevin Winter:  We took a French Oak barrel and put Scotch Ale to sleep for 10 months. The Ale took on a complex oaky and soft silk-like spirit form. The second barrel had been drained of the previous tenant, Cabernet Sauvignon, the day before in the Okanagan and sent to us the following morning where we inoculated it immediately with our Scotch Ale for a short 2 week nap. It awoke with a massive red wine hangover and a gorgeous bouquet. We took the very best amounts of the two alongside fresh stainless steel fermented Scotch Ale to round it all together, and the result is what’s here in the bottle. A unique expression of barrel aging Ale in French Oak Red Wine Barrels.

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Wee Beastie Scotch Ale – Howe Sound Brewing

O’hare’s Beer Club February 2013 Box

Winter Seasonal

From Squamish’s Howe Sound Brewing comes their “Wee Beastie Scotch Ale ” a barrel aged ale.  This scotch ale pours a brownish colour with an off white head.  The aromas are of peat, smoke and malts and oak.  The flavour consists of semi sweet malts, smokey peat, vanilla, oak and hops bitterness.  The alcohol content is 7% and the IBU is 26.  Not usually being a fan of smoky beer I was a little trepidatious trying this beer.  I am very happy to say that it was a great full flavoured brew and I would love to have some more.

Commercial Description:  A rich, malty Wee Heavy style Scotch ale, brewed with 100% barley malt, hops, water and yeast. Peated malt provides a subtle smokiness to this beer, while medium toasted American oak imparts a silky smoothness and additional complexity. Named in honour of Scottish poet Robbie Burns’ famous poem, To A Mouse, written in 1785. Wee, sleeket, cowran, tim’rous beastie, O, what panic’s in thy breastie! A brave big bodied ale!

Food Pairing according to O’hare’s Beer Club notes are as follows:  Hearty meat stew & haggis of course.

Food Pairing according to Howe Sound Brewery:  This smokey darker ale goes well with hearty fare such as hamburgers, sausages, stews, smoked fish, lamb, beef and game as well as other numerous foods such as fried seafood and highly spiced cuisine. It also pairs well with desserts.

Click here to check out the February Box

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Scottish Highland Cream Ale – Storm Brewing

From Vancouver’s Storm Brewing comes the “Scottish Highland Cream Ale”.  Storm Brewing is only available on tap such as at St Augustine’s on Commercial Drive where this pint was enjoyed.  Fashioned after the popular Scottish Cream Ales the beer is well suited to the rainy winters in Vancouver or Scotland.  The beer pours a hazy golden colour with a white head.  The beer has an aroma of grass, caramel and a hit of peated smoke.  The beer tastes of roasted barley, caramel, peated malts and some hops (Willamette Hops).  This beer has a very creamy consistency and is very smooth drinking.  The beer sits at an alcohol content of 5%.

Big Smoke Ale – Russell and Storm Brewing

From Russell Brewing of Surrey and Storm Brewing of Vancouver comes a collaboration beer called “Big Smoke Ale”.  Knowing that my Girlfriends grandpa called Vancouver the big smoke I had to pick this beer up in his honor.  The beer poured a deep brown with a brownish head.  The beer had the scent that most beers have that are made with peat with some sweet malty notes following.  The beer tastes of malt, peat and a light hops flavor with some smoky and sweet notes.  This beer is one interesting beer and should be tried if you can find it in stores.  The alcohol content of this beer is 8.5% with an IBU of 40.