Tasted following a eventful day at Great River for their $1.00 can special and parade party on Saturday morning/afternoon.
Appearance: A very dark copper color, and while held to the light it exhibits an amber red hue. The head is off white color and strong and very slowly dissipates leaving behind a film and soapy inconsistency. Wet lacing remains. Somewhat clear aside for the dark color.
Aroma: Robust carameled malt scent followed by a bouquet of fruity and earthy aromas that linger in the nostrils. The dark fruit are maintained in the none so subtle form of plums and near grape sweetness. Some peat and smokiness contribute and undertoned balance. Chocolate and toffee with, again, the prominence of earthiness.
Taste: Sweet and malty with a wealth of complexity to the tongue. Toffee, biscuits and even toasted malt appear in and out throughout the tasting. The dark fruit is plum like as well with a peaty and leaf like element. I enjoy the extremely subtle fruitiness that doesn't overpower the beer and leaves much of the character to the malt. Perhaps there is a touch of undertoned smoked malt as well as Vianna that make for the candied nut flavor. Finally the aftertaste exhibits some spiciness as well as an even bitterness to round out a successfully crafted beer. More alcohol tasting than it really is (but hardly...I just wanted to write a little bit more for the "taste" category). So there.
Mouthfeel: Smooth with a medium body and a likewise carbonation. A little sticky to the lips, but dry to the tongue making it still a refreshing and thirst quenching ale.
Overall Impression: I've never really been into the scotch ales, particularly because there is so much variation between extremes (from very smoky and peaty to thick and malty and dark fruit tasting) that I tend to choose other beers over scotch ales. Nevertheless this beer maintained a mild and rather pleasant flavor on all fronts in the form that I could again sit here and enjoy over again.