Ding Points: 81.50
Pour: 90.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 80.00, Mouth: 80.00, Global: 80.00
11.2 oz, clear bottle. 111201936 bottle dot-matrixed in black on the lip of the bottle – whatever THAT means!
Pour gives an attractive, solid copper body and some light froth. Head retention is not huge, but decent. Some watery lace.
Nose suggests plenty of vanilla oak and a light whisky edge – subtle though.
Tastes are not as rich in the oak as the nose would suggest, and that’s just FINE with me! The beauty of the subtle vanilla is that it allows the typical, British biscuit malts to shine through and carry the beer. There’s a decent sweet caramel element and a toasty note about the beer. Brown sugar is there too. The lovely, rounded, English Bitter type notes are the real winners here, along with some subtle blending of gentle hops.
The vanilla is obvious early, but it does a magnificent job of fading quickly to a super-subtle ending. The lightest of light burns in terms of alcohol in the back end.
I’m not a fan of American oak aging (or any oak aging at all), since it so often cranks the whole thing up to ridiculous proportions and wrecks the beer. This on the other hand is the definition of a light touch, and it shows just how a beer can be complemented with gentle oak in a manner which keeps it under control.
Other: 7.4% ABV. Scottish Ale.