Aloha from the Sunshine State. Finally settling into my new place in Dover, New Hampshire. The land of opportunities. I came seeking work in the beer industry, but in the meantime, you’ll find me working the salad station at a Portsmouth seafood/pizza place. Help!
Besides being forced back into the daily grind of restaurant toil, I’m enjoying things up here. We just bought a bunch of neat ferns for the house, I ordered Indian food last night and got a free order of kheer (Indian rice pudding) for chatting with the owner, and on Saturday, Earth Eagle Brewery/tasting room is opening in Portsmouth, featuring beers like a Scottish gruit with juniper berries, an IPA dry-hopped with citra, and a curry pumpkin porter.
Since we’re talking about ancient ales made with herbs and spices, I figured I would review a beer named after a medieval sword, Great Divide’s Claymore Scotch Ale. It pours totally opaque, like a black jelly bean, with a tinge of ruby around the edge. The nose is full of umami/savory components, plus a barrage of coffee, cocoa powder, and rich malts.
The taste is much the same as the nose; cocoa, dark caramel, and a subtle, roasted grain. The sweet malts really bring out the rich and concentrated fruit character, as well as some very light brandy notes, but overall, the alcohol is relatively non-existent. A light herbalness makes for a drying and earthy finish.
It’s malty and smooth, without being overly sweet. Sometimes scotch ales can be a little over-the-top, but this is an extremely drinkable, yet big beer.