Total Score: 7.6/10
I’m a huge fan of Blackadder (the third series was my favourite) so seeing Bacchus embrace the genius that is Blackadder in the naming of one of their latest mad science experiments they call “beer” I was insta-sold on this. Reading the label got me more excited: “A traditional Scotch Ale with some cunning twists. We used Scottish Barley & infused the wort with heather tips. We then added Sinamar (pure malt extract) to turn it black & then spiced with a dash of Octomore Peated Whisky.” Shit yeah, this sounds like a brew so cunning you could stick a tail on it and call it a weasel [Blackadder reference FYI]. The Bacchus beers are nothing if not interesting, which is why this is my 20th Bacchus review, keep ‘em coming Ross!
Poured from a 500ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.
A: Yep, she’s black as – darkest Scotch Ale I’ve encountered – looks like a Stout. The head was remarkable in its ability to almost immediately vanish, it was tan-coloured when it was there, now it’s just a body without a head (reminds me of Blackadder S1, Ep2 “Head” in that regard). 5/10.
S: Octomore peat comes through right away… there wasn’t much chance it wouldn’t come through – Octomore being the peatiest whiskey in the world. Hints of dark fruit struggle through that bold peat… I hope the other flavours come through – I mean I love peated whiskey (Ardbeg 10yro being a personal favourite) but I really want to get the heather notes as well. 6/10.
T: Flavour is go-oood though! Octomore peat comes through, though more a whisper rather than a roar, with a heavy dark fruit and brown sugar base, a touch of floral heather and a finish of earthy hops to help dull that heady sweetness. Smoky peat lives on in the aftertaste. The balance is pretty spot on for a Scotch Ale, and it’s borderline intense in flavour… hard not to give it top marks… further sips tip it over the line on the sugar side and it begins to cloy just a touch. 9/10.
M: Mouthfeel is a bit of a mess – mid to light, rather watery body, with a thin but dense carbonation – definitely needs more body. 5/10.
D: This is one of those brews where the sum isn’t the greater than the parts – there’s one part that really works (the flavour) while the rest falls a bit flat. It’s got a bit of a boilermaker warming effect to it as well. I like the flavour, though I’m a bit of a salty peated single-malt drinker so I can imagine the peat character could be a bit much for others. Not my favourite Scotch Ale though: Skullsplitter is. 8/10.
Food match: Probs go some game meats and cheese right now. Heart attack later.