I recently realized that I have yet to review a Scotch ale, or Scottish ale, or wee heavy, many different names for this beer! Scotland has a rich brewing tradition that includes a variety of beer styles. The most common export beer is the wee heavy scotch ale, which is typically dark, malty and high in alcohol. Many American brewers have adopted this style, often adding malt smoked in peat that gives a hint of flavor reminiscent of some Scotch whiskeys. Mayflower Brewing Company released their own version of a Scotch Ale that has created significant buzz. Mayflower Scotch Ale is part of their Cooper’s Series, a sequence of small-batch specialty beers that complement Mayflower’s flagship and seasonal releases. The first few Cooper’s Series beers were draft-only, but the Scotch Ale was released in bottles as well. Mayflower Scotch Ale is brewed with roasted barley, special B and peat smoked malt and hopped with Galena hops. It is available for a limited time on draft and in 12 oz. bottles.
Mayflower Scotch Ale pours a deep reddish brown with a very mild off-white head. The smell is faint, some maltiness and just a hint of smoke. The taste is very malt forward, notes of whole grain bread, caramel, raisin and a little peaty smokiness. There is a small amount of hoppiness that helps dry out the finish and balance the beer, but this is clearly brewed for malt lovers. Mayflower Scotch Ale is medium bodied and goes down smooth. It weighs in at a full 8% ABV, but you don’t get any alcohol in the flavor. This beer is very well done, Scotch ales aren’t always my favorite style but I really enjoyed this. Hopefully Mayflower makes this a regular seasonal offering. Hoppy Boston score: 4.5/5.
Previous Mayflower Reviews: