Birra Del Borgo: Brewdog: ReAle In A Kilt (Italy: Scotch Ale: 8.4% ABV)

Visual: Caramel to brown, large loose mounded froth for a head of custard cream biscuit colour. Head leaves lace around the glass.

Nose: Smoked kippers. Pineapple. Smoked salami. Muted cherry. Marmalade. Cinnamon.

Body: Smoked and rocks. Cherry and fruitcake. Marmalade and grapefruit.

Finish: Peat. Salt and smoke. Tangerines. Pink grapefruit tart tang.

Conclusion: So, a peat smoked beer. With the peat smoked golden ale Rex Attitude I wanted more complexity. Here comes a contender, how does it do? Initially it seems very smoky and heavy, lots of peat, smoked kippers and meat. Not very subtle.  This was pretty heavily chilled down due to the current cold snap.

Then to my surprise marmalade in a Dalmore style started showing up, then sharp pink grapefruit pushed through.  There is some of the expected scotch ale fruitcake flavours but only really as a backing for the fresh sharp hops and heavy smoke.

I will give Rex Attitude the advantage in being a bigger and more “event” beer, but this beer gives much more flavour and intrigue which is what I look for in a beer combined with the nice peat smoke element . This beer has a similar clash of expectations to Rex Attitude as well. There it has the huge peat versus golden ale, here it is the sharp citrus against peat.   Frankly it makes me intrigued to try more from the Italian brewer as the base beer seems to be what makes it special, with the Brewdog contribution a flourish on top.  I would have to try the base beer to confirm but that is the current impression I get.

I have tried this beer at warmer temperatures and I found the peat smoke dominates too much like that. Much as this would shock the younger writing version of me I would say that you want to give this a nice bit of chilling down to let the citrus come out a bit.

A tangerine tart, citrus, peat smoked beer. That is just mixed up, fun, and gives you a lot of room to play and enjoy.  A well balanced and thoroughly fun beer.

(Note: You know, I don’t mind not drinking bad beers, but if my reviews keep being this positive people are going to think I’ve gone soft in my old age)

Background: Bloody mid word capitalization, and yes I do realise with my number of grammatical and spelling errors I am in no position to question a deliberate stylistic choice. Still…In good news a chance to break out the thistle glass again, I love the look of it, but it is a tad silly for most beers. Thought it gets more use than my Kwak glass. Maybe I should get in some more Belgium beers so I have an excuse to bring it out. I’ve not tried the original ReAle but this collaboration is a tweaked version of that which uses much more peat smoked malt if I remember correctly. Italy is meant to be the up and coming exciting place in the craft beer scene right now. Yet I’ve drunk nearly nothing from there. I really should sort that out at some point.