This weekend marks the beginning of the end…of summer at least. But before we head on our Labor Day excursions, we have time for one more review. And it is fitting that we use this one on a beer style we haven’t gotten to yet, from a brewery we haven’t reviewed yet either.
Some styles of beer you don’t see a lot in the United States and even more so in the Commonwealth as well. One of those is the Scottish Strong Ales, commonly called Wee Heavy. The new 17C designation by the BJCP talks about a very malty, very caramel, almost chewy texture with a medium-high to high alcohol content. While finding this style in English Pubs is pretty easy, on a Virginia Brewery tasting menu, it’s not. Luckily for me, I stumbled upon a sampling of this beer the other day and one closest to this style I’ve seen for states around.
Angry Scot, Brass Cannon Brewing Co. (Williamsburg, VA)
Wee Heavy, ABV: 7.8%
Presentation: 22oz bottle into tulep glass.
Appearance: Dark brown and clear with very little off-whitish to light brownish head almost dissipating quickly.
Smell: Malty. Sweet and malty.
Taste: The smell gives away the entire tasting of this beer. There is a very straight forward and malty taste with very little in the way of hoppiness, but when you really get into it, very faint, faint citrus notes can be picked up.
ABV/IBU Feel: While most styles have an almost chewiness to it, this was a lot easier drinking than I would expect. While the IBUs were right where you would expect them (mainly because of the malt), an ABV south of 8% is a little lower than traditional Wee Heavys, and you can tell in the aftertaste.
Overall: I enjoy breweries reaching out and making styles you don’t see everyday. While most places focus on making hops the predominant feature in their beer, Brass Cannon’s offerings seam to focus on the malt and smoother styles. While this Wee Heavy is a little lighter and waterier than most traditional styles, it still exhibited what you look for in Scottish Ales. Like most brown ales, this will work with steaks and BBQ. The more sophisticated cooks could use some of it for a glaze that works well with ribs. However you enjoy it, this beer is worth a taste.