B.C. Beer Reviews is back to take a look at a first-time entry for both a brewery and a style. In this edition, we will be taking a look at the Scottish Ale from Mt. Begbie Brewing. This is an age-old style that depends on the malt/grain bill used, so let’s take a look at this one.
B.C. Beer Reviews with Nic Hendrickson: Mt. Begbie Brewing – Brave Liver Scottish Ale
Mt. Begbie is a well-known and respected brewery based out of Revelstoke, British Columbia. To show off how well they know their stuff, they were named the best brewery in Canada at the 2017 Canadian Brewing Awards.
On top of them winning Brewery of the Year, the Brave Liver Scottish Ale also won bronze in the category for Scotch Ales. An impressive haul from a big event like that makes for a good beer to try. Let’s take a look.
This beer pours a very deep caramel colour out of the bottle, which is spot on with the style. The beer is the same colour when the glass is full, very dark. It hits the nail on the head when you imagine what a Scotch Ale should look like.
As you would expect from this style of beer, the malt characteristics are what dominate the nose/aroma. There is a malty sweetness to this nose, and it certainly makes for an inviting first sniff.
Taking from the description on the bottle, it says you should catch scents of oak, caramel and scotch.
There are definite notes of oak and woody scents in this one. It plays well with the strong malt notes and makes for a more complex nose than what you would come to expect from you run-of-the-mill Scotch Ale.
There is also a significant aroma of caramel sweetness. This is certainly one of the most noticeable, and strongest, notes you get when pouring the beer and smelling it when your glass is filled.
As for the scotch notes, those do not really come through in the nose/aroma.
The tasting notes are pretty well spot on with the nose/aroma. This beer keeps it simple and offers no surprises between the two.
When drinking this style you are looking for a sweetish, malt-forward beer. This one certainly hits the mark with that.
The caramel notes really shine through in the tasting notes. They are actually quite strong, but not in a bad way. There is a very sweet, almost creamy taste to this one. It is like liquid caramel candy at the front of your palate.
The oak notes certainly play well in the background of your palate. They are not as present in the taste as they are in the nose/aroma, but it is a good supporting note for the malty and caramel-like sweetness of this beer.
Once again, the scotch notes do not really come through in the tasting notes, at first. It should be said, however, that the scotch notes did start to come through slightly when the beer began to get a bit warm towards the end of the glass.
Overall a very sweet beer, but the oak and woody notes help to reign it in. It is not overpoweringly sweet, which is certainly a good thing.
The branding/labeling is as Scottish as it can get. It has a Scottish terrier holding a bagpipe and a sword while wearing a kilt. It certainly catches your attention.
The head of this beer is almost nonexistent. The retention of that head is relatively good, even with very little head to retain in the first place.
The carbonation level is moderate. It plays well with this beer, and it is fairly smooth-drinking.
The biggest, and really only, strike against this one is the mouthfeel. You would expect a thicker body with the malty and caramel characteristics being dominant. This is not the case. This beer has a rather thin body, but that also is not necessarily a bad thing. It just throws you off a bit with what you would expect.
The colour, nose/aroma and tasting notes all hit the style spot on. A malt-forward and pretty sweet beer. The caramel notes are very nice, and the oak reigning in the sweetness a bit is a nice touch.
Want to see a beer featured in B.C. Beer Reviews? Comment below with your suggestion.
You can also see all of the photos featured in B.C. Beer Reviews, and others that do not make it in, by following me on Instagram: nhendy5. And you can see much more concise versions of these reviews up to 24 hours in advance by adding me on Untappd: RedArmyNic.
Main photo by Nic Hendrickson, Lastword Inc., all rights reserved