98 Traquair Jacobite Ale, Traquair House Brewery (Scotland). 8% ABV (3/11)
Reddish dark brown color with a tan head. Attractive aromas of spicy apricot-raisin chutney, honeyed juniper, chocolate-covered graham cracker and morning dew on a mossy glen with a supple, velvety fruity full body and a very long, apple pie, salty roasted nut and parsnip-accented finish with mellow, grassy, green hops. Poetry in a glass.
94 Traquair House Ale, Traquair House Brewery (Scotland). 7.2% ABV (3/10)
Deep copper mahogany color. Mild aromas of chocolate, bread and dried tropical fruits have a delicate spice edge and follow through on a round, supple entry to a dry-yet-fruity medium-full body with great depth, smoothness and balance of flavors. Finishes with a long, relaxed fade of citrus, apple, nuts and mossy earth. A sensationally elegant version of Scottish ale.
93 Red MacGregor Ale, Orkney Brewery (Scotland). 4% ABV (3/10)
Deep copper color. Interesting aromas dried tropical fruit, buttered dark toast, caramelized grains, baking soda and faint mossy earth follow through on supple entry to a dryish medium body with layers of unsweetened chocolate on roasted nuts, baked pears and tangy dried citrus on the crisp, chewy finish. Rich, tangy and very drinkable.
92 Kilt Lifter Scotch Ale, Moylan’s Brewing Co. (CA). 8% ABV (3/09)
Deep amber color with a taupe head. Aromas of cocoa, dark raisin toast, roasted nuts have an earthy edge and follow through on a crisp round entry to a dry-yet-fruity medium-full body with toffee, green apple and peppery spice notes. Finishes with a zesty, black licorice an earthy hop fade. A rich and stylish Scottish ale that flavors the cocoa over peat.
92 Curly Scottish Ale, Grumpy Troll Brewery (WI). 6% ABV (3/10)
Slightly hazy copper color. Rich turned garden earth, cocoa and dark roasted nut aromas follow through on a supple, satiny entry to a dry-yet fruity medium-to-full body with very good depth and tangy dried citrus, roasted corn and stone fruit notes. Finishes with a long, chocolate, coffee and pine needle and dried ginger hop fade. Very tasty.
92 Meantime Scotch Ale, Meantime Brewing Co. (England). 8% ABV (3/11)
Deep reddish mahogany color. Rich chocolate covered fig, raisin bran, grilled root vegetable and maple bacon aromas and flavors with a round, supple, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a peppercorn, roasted pecan, white cigar ash and leafy greens finish. Rich, flavorful and balanced.
91 Iron Thistle Scottish Style Ale, Rahr & Sons Brewing Co. (TX). 9% ABV (3/11)
Deep chestnut brown color. Rich aromas of chocolate covered roasted nuts and mild smoked turkey jerky with a round, satiny medium-full body and a mocha, spinach, peppery broccoli rabe- and radish-like hop finish. Very nice.
91 Samuel Adams Scotch Ale, The Boston Beer Co. (MA). 5.4% ABV (3/11)
Brilliant deep cooper color. Finely integrated aromas of raw honey, nut brittle, haystack and horse blanket with a supple, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a Brazil nut, apple core and faintly smoky and iodine-nuanced peat moss finish. Interesting and satisfying.
91 Old Chub Scottish Style Ale, Oskar Blues Brewery (CO). 8% ABV (3/11)
Deep mahogany aromas. Aromas and flavors have a nice combination of dark breads, cherry and dates and root beer with a chewy, fruity-yet-dry medium-full body and roasted vegetable, pepper, winter mint and earth notes on the finish.
90 McRogue Scotch Ale, Rogue Ales (OR). 7% ABV (3/11)
Hazy reddish deep copper brown color. Honeyed cherry, dark toasted safflower bread and apricot soufflé aromas with a round, silky fruity-yet-dry medium-to-full body and a mellow milk chocolate nut bar, peppercorn and watercress-like hop finish. Not really smoky or peaty, just very tasty.
89 Oak Aged Beer Original, Innis & Gunn Brewing Co. (Scotland). 6.6% ABV (3/10)
Deep golden color. Interesting aromas of cannabis, mint, fresh baguette and clay have a compelling musky, skunky note and follow through on a round, silky entry to a fruity-yet-dry medium-full body with fruity caramel and vanilla custard notes. Finishes with a spicy applesauce, praline, creamy lemon curd and mossy earth-accented finish. Unique and fun.
89 Wee Heavy, The Boston Beer Co. (MA). 10% ABV (3/11)
Deep reddish mahogany color. Aromas of chocolate-covered cherries and figs, Raisin Bran and faint dried meat with a supple, chewy, fruity-yet-dry medium-full body and a boozy and densely carbonated honeycomb, char-roasted nut, white pepper and branchy peat bog finish. Intense and rich.
89 Strang Wullie Scotch Ale, Grizzly Peak Brewing Co. (MI). 8.3% ABV (3/11)
Deep russet brown color. Aromas and flavors of chocolate, roasted nuts and grilled romaine with a supple, round fruity medium-full body and a white tobacco ash, mocha and okra-accented finish.
89 Scottish Session Golden Ale, Williams Bros. Brewing Co. (Scotland). 3.9% ABV (3/11)
Hazy, yet luminous old gold color with a wisp head. Aromas of fresh baguette, lemon pepper and peach pudding with a frothy, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and mellow jicama and honeyed macadamia nut finish with lightly grassy and spinach-like hops. A tasty session ale.
88 Scottish Ale, Granville Island Brewing Co. (Canada). 6.5% ABV (3/11)
Deep copper brown color. Mild cocoa and nut aromas with a supple, frothy dryish medium body and a grassy, brown sugar mossy hop finish with a hint of cigar smoke. Very lively and drinkable.
86 Scottish Heavy Eighty Schilling Beer, Williams Bros. Brewing Co. (Scotland). 4.2% ABV (3/11)
Dark brown color. Aromas of chocolate, bran flakes, roasted nuts and twigs with a round, soft dryish medium body and a turnip, jicama, nut skin, sassafras and grassy hop finish.
85 Dark Island Ale, Orkney Brewery (Scotland). 4.6% ABV (3/10)
Dark brown color. Aromas of cocoa-dusted roasted nut, coffee, grass and faint herbs follow through on a round entry to a dryish medium body with good session weight and depth. Finishes with a tangy, slightly sour charred nut, dried meat and earth fade.
84 Bagpiper’s Scotch Ale, Fegley’s Brew Works (PA). 8.5% ABV (3/11)
Deep brown color. Buckwheat pancake, maple butter, chocolate nut, baked apple and faint smoked jerky aromas with a round, lightly chewy dryish medium-full body and a long warming, lemon, grilled parsnip and grassy hop finish.
81 Black Watch Ale, Main Street Grille and Brewing Co. (OH). 8.4% ABV (3/11)
Murky orange amber color. Interesting aromas of coriander, eucalyptus, honey, dark toasted sunflower bread and floral nettles with a soft, dryish medium body and peach-apple cider vinegar, peppery arugula, carrot and radish notes. Different.