Three Floyds: Robert The Bruce (USA: Scottish Ale: 6.5% ABV)

Visual: Darkened reddish brown hued with a browned bubbled head.

Nose: Treacle, milky coffee and toffee. Caramel chocolate bars. Liquorice and light aniseed. Very sweet with just a touch of citrus hidden underneath.

Body:  Bitter. Liquorice, a hint of sour grapes and lots of malt. Figgy pudding. Slightly fizzy feel. Lemon back. Lots of toffee and fudge. Black cherry. Lightest pineapple hinted at.

Finish:  The high roof of your mouth floats bitter chocolate, with fudge and cinnamon apples remaining on the tongue.  Figs and sometimes shortbread or chocolate digestives remain after a sip.  Slight oak and milk chocolate.

Conclusion: So a Scottish ale from am American craft brewery huh.  You know, I’ve been doing tasting notes for nearly two years now so these sorts of things should no longer amuse me. Notice the word should.

Another beer where the aroma just rolls out of the bottle as soon as you pop the cap. Always a good sign.  The toffee malt and chocolate that is predominant is really well done for the ABV (a side note, when did I start viewed 6.5% as low for this kind of beer?).

It is distinctly recognisable as its style, but everything is very well defined and separate. Each element is smooth crisp and distinct, something that I find rare with these beers, where often tastes can intermingle easily. Very sweet set of flavours, and very obviously malt dominated as it expected for the style.

Like many scotch ales however the heavy flavours can get sickly over time. More a beer you have the one of, though the tiniest citrus touch does manage to help rein that in, possibly a sign of the American styles influence.

A definitely heavy beer with a great nose, pretty good body and great finish.  It has its flaws, but they are ones I find common to most of the style, the sickliness and tendency towards an almost treacle like heaviness. Overall very well done.

As another side note, Three Floyds are doing a collaboration Scotch ale with actual shortbread and toffee. Considering how much those two flavours dominate this beer its going to be odd seeing what they add to the flavour. (Update: My mistake, the collaboration, “Bitch Please” was a barley wine. Brewdog are doing a scotch ale aged in whisky casks which may end up being an Abstrakt and I got the two mixed up)

Background:  Scottish ales are a style I find I rarely hate but rarely love, making often for solid heavy beers. Three Floyds have been earning their reputation with me, though still do not stand as high as their proponents would suggest.  I keep an eye out for their beers though, so they can’t have put me off.