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Battle Royale – Slainte Mhath

April 5, 2011

Since that Damn Beer Blogger has been busy making sandwiches and not pitting beers against each other, someone has to take over. I’m going to man up and do it. In this battle we have three Scottish beers, to an extent. One is brewed in Scotland and aged in rum barrels. One is brewed here in BC. One is brewed somewhere in Canada and pays homage to its Scottish heritage.

There will be no shots of me feeling the spirit of the battle and wearing a kilt.

In the Northern corner we have Innis and Gunn’s Rum Cask. This particular bottle spent 57 days inside a rum cask before being deemed sufficient to drink by someone named Heather. Innis and Gunn’s clear bottle always make me shy away from buying them, but when their marketing company offers to send you a bottle, you’re not going to say no. When the next brew comes up you may turn it down, but I’m never going to turn down a free beer I’ve never tried before. Back to Innis and Gunn. Vanilla, similiar to Granville Island’s Lions Winter Ale, butterscotch, a touch of skunkiness and subdued spices. The skunk was nowhere near as bad it was in other Innis and Gunn bottles. If they used a real bottle I’d love to go to a local liquor store and buy a bottle and see how much better the beer can be.

In the Western corner we have Alexander Keith’s Tartan Ale. No laughing please. It was sent to me by their marketing company in Vancouver. The intern who sent it to me is pretty hot too. When a hot chick offers you a free beer you’re going to say ‘thank you.’ This beer was “inspired by the heritage of the man himself.” Alexander Keith was born in Halkirk, Scotland in 1795. He then immigrated to Nova Scotia and started a brewery in 1820. That’s about all the useful information in the press release I was sent. There was a paragraph trying to argue that scotch ale is a style of beer and not a modern invention based on some casual observations that turned in to guidelines. I disregarded it. On to the beer itself, but that is what will speak the loudest. It’s painfully obvious that it is brewed by accountants. The flavours are incredibly artificial in taste. Reminds me of a drinkable version of Okanagan Spring’s Pale Ale. Sorry Graham Kendall, Brewmaster Emeritus, Alexander Keith’s Nova Scotia Brewery, this beer won’t attract a single person outside of your current market range.

And in the Eastern Corner we have local Granville Island Scottish Ale, one of the breweries latest in their Limited Release series. I believe they’ve now moved on to a double IPA. Granville Island’s Scottish Ale is much darker than the other two. Immediate flavours of caramel, with a strong alcoholic presence hot on that caramel’s heels; which I find surprisingly strong for a beer with an ABV of only 6.5%. Other flavours found were nuts, a touch of fruits and hints of coffee and chocolate are also available. I found the beer to be overcarbonated causing my tongue to feel like it was being pricked by a thousand dull needles. Not very pleasant.

TKO! And not in the tradition sense. All three beers were knocked out. I didn’t like a single one. Where are my Traquair House beers?

  1. leo permalink

    Good to see a new post from you, one more week and I was gonna have to call you out. Instead I’m gonna call out damnbeerblogger to stop making sandwiches. haha. I actually enjoyed the GIB Scottish Ale. More as it warms up and the peat comes through rather than straight out the fridge.

  2. Beerlearner permalink

    I agree w/ ya on the Innis & Gunn front, that’s maybe why I don’t tend to buy any of their stuff unless it’s in the box they provide.

    I actually enjoyed GIB Scotch Ale. Granted, not as much as others I’ve had but it’s something that I’d certainly split with my gf again.

    AK Tartan’s Ale – well, maybe if I have little to no other choice…or if it’s in a mixer…and I need to bring a mixer to a party…of friends that I REALLY like…that are already 1/2 drunk….and really thirsty.

    I’m curious how you manage to get beer sent to ya by marketing people. Props to ya. Thanks for doing the review.

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