No. 400 – Les Bières Béluga’s Scotch Ale
It feels a little strange writing about the landmark of beer number 400 for the year before having written about the landmark of 365 beers that was achieved mid-September – but that won’t stop me.
I had a house party yesterday, a Super Nintendo evening in fact, and at the beginning of the evening was at 396 beers, with four new beers in the fridge. Those beers were Boréale IPA (the regular one), Les 2 Frère’s Hickson Imperial IPA, Dieu du Ciel’s Rigor Mortis and a curious orca themed beer. Needless to say these beers have all been tested and it was Les Bières Béluga’s Scotch Ale that got the honour of being No. 400…
If I have learned anything this year, it is that I like scotch ales, porters and stouts more than any other type of beer. Sometimes it feels that one or two of the styles are blending together when I taste them now. This was the case with this beer.
I hadn’t noticed that it was ‘à l’érable’ before I tasted it, so I was expecting a dark beer with a little sweetness initially followed by a warm bittersweet aftertaste. Oddly, the aroma made me think more of a porter – I got cocoa from it and a little sweetness but didn’t really get that scotchy warmth that you get from a good scotch ale. I also got a strange hoppy aroma from it, which was a little odd.
To taste, it was malty, a little warm and there was a chocolate hint to it. It did however make me think more of a porter. There was also a little sweetness to it, which must come from the maple and it was quite refreshing but it didn’t have the lasting warmth of a scotch ale. I had two other people try it as well – one of whom seemed to agree with my assessment that it wasn’t really a scotch ale, and the other getting some hints of scotch ale from it. I’m not entirely sure what conclusions to draw from that as they would both know their beers a bit – but it confirms for me that it’s a bit of a mixed up beer.
It’s a difficult one to rate – I’m giving one Yes for the adoption of Al (image above right) to begin with. It’s a decent beer, definitely not bad, so it gets a Yes for being good. It was definitely worth the fiver I paid for it so that’s a third Yes. Accuracy is a problem, I can’t give it a Yes because it wasn’t a true scotch ale to me, but I will give it one for being different. Yes I’d recommend trying it and Yes I’d try it again but that would be as far as I would go – 6/11.
I was initially a little disappointed by this but on further reflection I think it was quite good. Maybe I’m just in a good mood because I’m not too far away from 500 beers. Write ups on the other three beers I had last night will follow at some point.