Total Score: 7.1/10
Red Hill are a brewer (out at Mornington Peninsula, Victoria) that I’ve recently enjoyed some fine Ales from at The Durham (Kingston, Canberra) during a Victorian tap takeover. To be honest I find the labels on their bottles totally uninspiring and I never would have bought a bottle if I had seen it in a shop (same with Kooinda for that matter), but now that I have tried this Scotch Ale and I know it’s decent I will get another Red Hill beer in future. Which just goes to show how important good marketing/label design is for a craft brewer.
Poured from tap into a Schooner.
A: Presents a hazy deep ruby body with an off white half centimetre head. Not bad, it definitely benefits from being a tap beer here. 7/10.
S: Aromas are roasted coffee, hints of peat and cardamom, with a big sweet caramel malt base. I’m expecting this to be a fairly sweet Scotch Ale, as many do tend to be. Bog standard for the style apart from the intriguing notes of roasted coffee. 7/10.
T: All of the above is the flavour profile. That sweet caramel base is well done as it doesn’t ruin everything with cloying sweetness. The finish is mildly earthy hop bitterness. It could do with a bit more peat and more complexity but otherwise the flavours are good. 7/10.
M: Excellent medium bodied with a creamy carbonation, again tap rules over bottles in this department. 8/10.
D: In the end Red Hill Scotch Ale is a decent but non-confrontational representation of the style. Personally I would prefer a bit more adventure but I’m nonetheless satisfied with this easy-going Scotch Ale. I’m not so impressed with the price in comparison to Scotch Ales readily available from Scotland, which teeters on far too expensive in comparison, but for a Christmas treat I’m sure this Ale will make it on Santa’s “nice” list. 7/10.
Food match: Christmas pudding might overpower this Ale but a good roast turkey/chicken wont.