Review: Beau's 80 Shilling Scottish-style Ale (Farm Table Series)

It's not every day that I get to try a product before it hits my market! Thanks to Jack over at Eclectic Beverages, he got me an early sample of Beau's All Natural's 80 Shilling Scottish-style Ale weeks before it's launching here in Manitoba! From the label, the story of 80 Shilling originates in the 1800s, Scottish ales were classified on a “shilling” scale based on their alcohol strength, typically ranging from 60 shilling (“light”) to 90 (“wee heavy”). In the midst of these extremes are 80 shilling ales (“export”), classic crowd-pleasers and a style that has stood the test of time. The tasting notes description: 80 Shilling pours a deep copper colour. The malt character is predominant, with a few esters, and just enough hops for balance. This classic Scottish ale possesses a toasted flavour and dry finish, with a mild-to-moderate caramel presence.

Appearance: 80 Shilling pours a reddish brown (burnt caramel) with a good amount of carbonation and a moderate amount of yellow-beige head on top - the head leaves behind a good amount of beige lacing - almost like as if the foam is gently painting the side of the glass.

Aroma: Fairly reminiscent to your typical Scottish ale - I get notes of caramel sweetness, a very earthy/dead leaf sort of hop presence to it, very bready and reminiscent to a box of fresh fried yeast donuts. A hint of mahogany woodiness in there somewheres.

Taste: Not as heavy as a wee heavy Scottish ale but it's somewhat getting there. It's a sweet caramel ale with appearances of peat, a grain storage bin, a hint of woody/earthy hop presence, lightly roasted but no burnt coffee/dark chocolate notes popping up in here.

Overall Thoughts: This isn't something I would go out and get at the LC for the most part but it's easy to drink, a nice brown ale with a caramel/woody presence to it that would be perfect for something like Robbie Burns Day. A good deal of nuttiness and pleasant to drink after a long evening of work - great for this time of the year if you want something a bit darker but aren't really wanting to go for a stout. Thanks Jack!

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