16 February 2009

Beer Review, Scotty Karate

Dark Horse Scotty Karate Scottish Ale
Marshall, MI
9.75% ABV

(Nine point seven five percent ABV? Hell, I had no idea -- I had never heard of this one when it went on tap at the Strut, and ordered a couple just to see what it was like. I figured it for an Oatmeal Stout or a Brown Ale, never thinking it might be a Scotch Ale, but from my notes it fits as a Scotch Ale much better. What follows are my notes verbatim. I originally gave numerical ratings based on my understanding of the beer as a weaker style, but I'm altering them from my notes based on the Scotch Ale style.)

Appearance: Black body, no head. Slightly brown bottom. Somewhat hazy. 4.5/5

Smell: Malty, dry, somewhat bready. Slight yeast. 4.0/5

Taste: Slightly astringent [edited to add -- no crap, that's what almost ten percent ABV will get you], heavy with malt [another edit -- this should have told me this was a Scotch Ale]. Somewhat malty and with notes of coffee and chocolate malt. 4.5/5

Mouthfeel: Moderate. Coats the tongue and goes down clean. [A bit thin for a Scotch Ale in my opinion, but maybe I've been spoiled by too much Skullsplitter.] 3.0/5

Drinkability: Pretty drinkable, a bit dry and astringent for my taste. [Since these are the exact characteristics you're looking for in a Scotch Ale, consider that high praise.] 4.0/5

I'm a bit embarrassed that I couldn't ID this as a Scotch Ale, but the Strut is more a coffee place than a bar; they've got about four beers on tap. I never figured they'd go for anything with any kind of complexity or serious ABV; my opinion of the place has gone way up based on realizing what this beer really is.

Overall: 4.2/5

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