Thursday, April 7, 2011

Scotch Ales — 3 Brewery Collaboration vs. Silver City

Green Flash/Pizza Port/Stone Collaboration
Highway 78 Scotch Ale
ABV 8.8%

Dark reddish brown.
Sweet malts with coffee, chocolate, honey and root beer notes.
Not too sweet with molasses and roasted malt flavors.
Hops vs. Malts
(Hoppy, Malty or Balanced):
Finish: Lingering sweetness that with some smoke and acidity.
Overall (Fantastic, Good, Mediocre or Bad):
Good +

Silver City
Fat Woody Scotch Ale

ABV 9.2%

Flat Coca-Cola.
Aroma: Sweet gummy coke bottle.
Flavor: Quite sweet with smoky malts and dates/prunes. A bit thin.
Hops vs. Malts (Hoppy, Malty or Balanced): Malty
Finish: More Coca-Cola then quickly disappears altogether.
Overall (Fantastic, Good, Mediocre or Bad): Good

Blow by Blow
Tonight we battled a collaboration beer brewed by an all-star cast of California breweries against a long-time favorite in Washington from Silver City Brewing Co. The style: Scotch Ale.

A little over a year ago we featured Silver City's Fat Scotch Ale in a battle. This time around we tried the Fat Woody Ale which is the Fat Scotch Ale aged with American white oak. One thing that we noticed in both of the Silver City Scotch Ales was that they were severely undercarbonated. So, if anyone from Silver City is reading, we implore you to get some bubbles into your bottles.

Sadly, the Fat Woody did not live up to our expectations. We had hoped that the wood aging would have been more apparent, but on the contrary, we could barely detect any wood character at all. The whole experience was way to reminiscent of drinking flat cola — very sweet, undercarbonated and slightly fruity.

The Highway 78 didn't blow us away, but we liked it a lot more. It still had plenty of sweetness, but it was also complemented by some smoke and acidity which made it taste more balanced overall.

These beers are definitely made for cold weather imbibing which made them perfect candidates for the winter-like weather we've been getting in Seattle this "spring." We suggest drinking them after dinner since they are very sweet and desserty. Both are worth trying, but if you have to choose, go with the Highway 78. We gave it the edge in this battle and if you like sweeter beers with little to no hops this will be right up your alley.

Winner by unanimous decision: Highway 78

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